“What‘s Your Favorite Color?”

New crayons were one of my favorite back to school supplies. But, I’ll venture to say that even the mega pack of colored pencils doesn’t have the range of colors of fishing lures. This common child conversation starter is difficult for me to answer, perhaps because I fish.

It wasn’t that long ago that lures were packaged as simply “purple” or “silver and black.”  However due to the innovative nature of anglers and lure manufacturers, basic colors like “yellow” eventually were considered not specific enough.  Now, “chartreuse” is well established in standard angler vocabulary.  And new colors (or combinations) are coming out every year. At ICAST, Gary Yamamoto released “Mowed Grass” and Missile Baits, “Green Pumpkin Flash.”

Many colors are named after natural fish food items such as:  “Gizzard Shad,” “Crayfish,” and “Tennessee Shad.” Some colors are given names based on human food items. “Watermelon,” “Bubble Gum,” “Salt and Pepper,” and “Key Lime Pie” are good examples. Then there are lure colors that are less descriptive of the actual perceived wavelength. “Cell Mate,” “Easy Money,” and “Spotted Mess” are intriguing names but I have no idea the color.

Some lure colors are bright to attract attention, even in stained, murky water. Others are almost completely camouflaged in aquatic vegetation, but this natural look may be just what predator fish are seeking.

An angler should have a good selection of colors. The “right” color depends on the conditions such as water clarity, depth, light intensity, temperature, or local prey items.  It also depends on the attitude of the angler. You need to believe in what you are casting, but also prepared to try something new.

Remember: just because “Confused Tomato” got smashed last time, doesn’t mean that “Electric Chicken” isn’t today’s special.

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Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”...  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie."  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.
Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well...
And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.