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Keithscatch

If bass are colorblind , why so many colors?

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Now this is interesting to say the least, and begs the question, if bass are colorblind, then why do we have so many color options?  ;D

Maybe we are the ones who the bait companies are targeting. Perhaps they want us to believe that a bass can distinguish the minute differences of certain color hues like Junebug vs bluefleck. Or maybe their is some truth in this afterall??

Here are some links that say fish are colorblind and some links that say no they can see color.

http://fishing.about.com/library/weekly/ftales/bl010326b.htm

Here is an link that states the exact opposite.

http://www.wsu.edu/DrUniverse/fish2.html

And another with both views:

http://dml.cmnh.org/1999May/msg00497.html

It seems that there is not a consensus among scientific websites about this. Apparently deep water fish are the ones who are colorblind and the shallow fish are not.

Here is another link that seems to answer the riddle:

http://www.geocities.com/wwindmills/fishcolor.html

In fact this link goes so far as to say that many fish see color way better then we do. Some they say see ultraviolet colors that we do not. They provide several examples.

My conclusion?   But I still like all of the colors.  :D

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Many fish do see colors because they have cone cells on the retina tissue, something that applies greatly to "shallow" water fish; fish that live in the abysal depths do not have cones on the retina, most of them have bioluminescent patches on the body.

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Go by your experience.  I have several different lures that are  the same, except for color.  4 out of 5 do not produce, but that blue gill pattern catches several bass right away.  The same goes with worms.  You can believe what you read, but go by what you know.  Bass have rods and cones, just like we do, which simply put, means they can differentiate between different colors.

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My conclusion-- That small, furry animal that sits on your shoulder.  :o

Attempt at humor? Don't quit your day job just yet.

This was a thread to provoke thought. I believe bass see color but started reading on various sites that fish are colorblind. So I did some research and found conflicting answers.

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well in a local pond ive always used green and white spinnerbiats. i start with the green and usually catch a couple bass then ill switch and i almost always pick up 1 or 2 more after i switch to white, also when useing a tiny rapala twitching for sunnys and baby bass some colors barely get there attention ovr and over again they just look and go away then ill swtch and boom they grab it left and right

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There are many different types of color blindness in all animals , some can only see black/white/gray some just red/green . But all can see shades of any color even if not the color itself. Many humans are red/green yellow color blind and do not know it, if you do not believe this to be true just watch the number of traffic lites people run ! Case closed !

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I had an eye test to check for that, I hope all states do the same as Texas when getting a license.

My first response to bass being color blind.   I think not.   Do they see colors as us?   I would say no.

There eyes see better as light diminishes......ie.....low light conditions.

Can they see color in low light?   Standard answers for nite fishing is throw dark colors.....ie.....black and blue.     ???????????

Matt.

Keith,     very thought provoking, refreshing to see "newer" thread also.

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A decade ago EVERYBODY said dogs were color blind, now we who dedicated our lives to dogs know that dogs can see green, also they are able to see the UV light signature of certain colors, urine ( used by dogs to mark their territory ) glows fluorescent green under UV light.

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"Maybe we are the ones who the bait companies are targeting." I took the small furry animal to be a reference to the "bait monkey", which means the gentleman thought they make baits all dressed in multi hues for the fisherman, more than the fish.

Bass specifically, have the aparatus to see color. We do not know however that the aparatus functions. Mutiple studies indicate that Bass more than likely see contrast more than color. This is probably true as bass eat more by reaction than they do by selection. If they took the time to sort colors the food would be gone before it could be eaten.

We will know for sure the day one of them critters come up talking.

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It seems to me that all fish are more attracted to action, sound (vibration) and profile than color. Most of the time, a vaiety of colors catch fish. However, I'm sure you all have had outings where a VERY specific color was the only thing that worked or worked sinificantly better. Everyone can probably list several examples of this occurance, I'll list one that illustrates my point:

I was fishing for smallmouth and walley at Bull Shoals with two partners. I was fishing a Rapala Husky Jerk, blue and silver with an orange belly. My buddies were both fishing Smithwick Rogues, black and silver with an orange belly. They caught four walley while I caught one smallmouth. So, as dusk began to fade, I switched to a black and silver Rogue, without the orange accent. My friends continued to catch walley, I never got a strike until I changed to exactly the same color pattern they had been using. A little bit of color made the difference on a moonless night in near complete darkness...go figure.

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A couple of years ago I was fishing a pond that was overpopulated with bass -- the owner had asked that people help him clean some out.  Standing almost shoulder to shoulder with a buddy we were both throwing spinner baits along the same grass edge.  He was gitting bit on every cast with a white spinner bait, I was getting nothing on a chartruse one.  Same retrieve, same angle, same size bait -- different color.

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Why does a baby brush hog, watermelon candy, work sometimes and another time its watermelon red baby brush hog.

The base color is the same, the flecks or flakes are different.    One day it is red and the next day with same conditions, its candy?

We are talking dots, tiny dots.   Why gold flake another day?

I have read lots of published articles that most found, and as Keith mentioned, there is nothing "written in stone" on the subject that leads you either way other than personal experience.

During these high pressure days or the Dog Days of Summer, I could C-rig any of those 3 to find the pattern 90% of the time.

Found one article on leading bait company, crank bait came out and did catch fish, just not anglers, bait ended up in sale bin.   Same crank was re-designed, added gill flash, tiger stripes to body, raised eyes and the bait is best seller.

Moral, it wasn't flashy enough for the angler.

matt

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I certainly don't know if bass are colorblind or not but one thing I do know regarding colors... even if the world is "black and white" to a fish, every color throws out a different shade of gray and different colors will reflect different amounts of light.  The sublety of glitter color is interesting and I have had days like matt fly described where one works and one does not... that would make you think that they see color and at the very least, it reflected light differently enough to make a difference.    

I throw a variety of colors at night but on the darkest nights I stick to black and blue (mostly) as it's the easiest color to see a sillouette of.  

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in my opinion color doesn't have much to do with it. and i only say this because there isnt a bag of worms in my tackle box that is the color of real worms and i havent found a color that dont work.so if we were all color blind and bass were color blind we would still catch fish.......btw sweet potato pie tiki stick is my fav..hehehehe

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Maybe it's not the colour that attracts them but the movement, noise, and patterns on the lure. I'm colourblind with a few colours myself so I guess I can relate to a fish ;)!

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i think they do see color but there are other factors that come into play first.right color on the wrong lure on the wrong presentation = no fish.

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Guest avid

All I know is that some colors work better for me than others.  I would say it could be a "confidence" thing, but the colors I used with confidence in NY are not necessarily the ones I have confidence with down here in Florida.  

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According to Kieth Jones, Phd, who has studied bass at Pure Fishing for over 16 years, bass do see colors. Humans have red, blue and green cone cells in our eyes to help us see colors. Bass have red and green cone cells that allows them to see most colors. The only colors they have a hard time seeing is blue and purples, due to the lack of blue cone cells. They appear as shades of grey. Experiments done with bass have also backed this up. Bass have been trained to respond to the secondary and primary colors other than blues and purples.

Also all colors are eventually filtered out by water depending on clarity of water and sunlight. Reds being the first to be filtered. In muddy waters, it is even harder for bass to see colors. Bass in shallow water can see colors better than those in deep water. If you get deep enough, eventually all colors become shades of grey and black (which is a lack of color). So, you see that bass can see certain colors during lighted conditions, but some colors they can not tell the difference.

Basicly, bass do not look at color when it comes to thier food source. The only role it plays is the color of the lure in contrast to the background of the direction the bass is looking. For instance, if a bass is looking out towards the deep water and sees your lure, a dark one would blend in more with the dark background. A chartruese or white lure would stand out more and the bass would see it easier.

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Bass are not color blind.

They have rods, cones and rhodopsin, just like humans.

Dogs are color blind, not bass.

Many studies have been done regarding colors and how they look underwater.  For more inforation on this subject get Homer Circle's Bass Wisdom and check out chapter 14, What Colors Make Bass Bite?

The more you read and view videos and attend Bass University the more knowledge you will have and the better bass fisherman you will become.

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I wouldn't say bass are completely colorblind...... Rather, I would just say, typically speaking, they don't really care what color a lure is.

There's an easy answer though, to the question, "Why so many colors" ? > Marketing.

Fish

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