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The Rooster

Minor color variation affected fishing dramatically yesterday.

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How many of y'all have ever read that a very slight color difference in one lure vs. another can have a big impact on the fishing?? I have for one.

But how many of us have ever actually seen it, not just read about it in a magazine?? Until yesterday I have never experienced it at all.

Dad and I went fishing for Father's day. We weren't having much of any luck at all. We think the fish are on spawn in our lake, they usually do this time of year. To make matters worse the fish finder was saying the water temperature was anywhere from 82 to 86 degrees.

But there were a few fish active, mostly some large bluegills and a few small bass. Since we're there we figured why not, at least it's fishing, so we started targeting them. We were having lots of hit and miss fish, they'd bump it but not take it. They seemed very willing to chase the baits, just not take it once they caught up to it. And the ones we did manage to catch were hooked on the outside of their mouths, more like they got snagged by accident as they charged the lure (let that be a lesson to you about sharpening your hooks, I ALWAYS sharpen all mine straight out of the package, sometimes you'll catch a fish that you may have missed otherwise).  

After a while of swapping lures from one to another, experimenting to find something that would work, Dad managed to hook a couple of fish in the mouth on a Mepps firetiger colored inline spinner, with a green painted blade. When that happened I decided to switch to one too. I didn't have any Mepps but I did have a Worden's Roostertail inline spinner in the firetiger pattern that had a chartreuse painted blade with glitter on it. I had already tried a firetiger pattern earlier but it had a gold spinner blade instead. I had no luck with it. But the one that had the chartreuse painted blade was loading the boat. I was catching fish every couple casts.

But Dad's luck seemed to have ran out. He started using the same exact size Rooster as me, even the firetiger pattern, but he still was unable to get a fish to take it. He's not one to use anyone's lures but his own, but that time I think he was frustrated at seeing me nailing fish left and right while he caught none. So I talked him into using the other one I had finally (I always buy them no less than 2 at a time, same size and color so I had an extra one just like the one I was using). Once he tied it on he was catching them left and right as well and we had a great time for the next couple of hours.

As far as I can tell, that little chartreuse spinner blade was the only thing that made any difference at all. His green blade was what had started it but it was apparently not quite enough to make ALL of them want to hit it, only just those couple that did. But the yellow in the chartreuse was really turning them on. Eariler though, I had even tried a different Rooster that was chartreuse colored, exactly the same as the blade on the firetiger one, glitter and all, only it's body was that color instead while it had a gold blade. I got nothing on it. Only that firetiger with the chartreuse blade was what worked. And every fish we caught on it was hooked in the mouth. Must have been something about the chartreuse color combined with the movement of it spinning, just chartreuse alone wasn't enough.

Now I have to say I'm finally a believer in subtle color differences make a difference. Before I never would have believed it. I was always thinking more along the lines of size, action, weight, shape, even shades such as light, dark, neutral, but actual color was last on the list in my lure selection process. Now I'll have to give it more credit.

Oh, and for whoever doesn't believe fish can see colors......they should see this.......or better yet, they should have this experience. NO better way to learn than by that. And what a happy lesson it was. :D

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Yes, I have been there when an exact shade of color

or a specific accent is the difference between great and nothing.

Still, I generally consider color the least important variable.


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That's always been my way of thinking too.  I usually just select a color based on how well I think the fish can see it or not, and if I think they can then I don't want them to be able to see it so well they can tell it's not live.  Just see it enough to find it and feed on it, and that's all.

Like in muddy or murky water I'll use black, in stained water I'll still use something dark but maybe not totally black, maybe a dark green or dark  to medium brown instead so it's a little lighter, and sometimes with some chartreuse or bright orange on it to help it stand out.  Then in somewhat clearer, cleaner water I'll use maybe a white, and then in totally clear water I try to go with something translucent, in the very natural shades of what I think baitfish are "wearing" ;D, such as light greys with white undersides, very light browns, stuff like that.  Maybe with some black on the back.  

But to just look in the tackle box and say "hmmm, maybe they'll bite on red today, or purple"........I never do that.  

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