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Question: How important is color when fluke fishing?
Extremely important
Sometimes important
Not really a consideration

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Author Topic: Fluke Fishing: Does Color Matter?  (Read 9740 times)
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Bucktail
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« on: June 18, 2011, 01:32:50 AM »

If you've fished for any amount of time, you've probably heard someone use phrases like, "You can use any color, as long as it's white."  Or, "If it ain't chartreuse, it ain't no use!"  I know I've used expressions like that from time to time.

For these expressions to be so widely used, there must be a great deal of truth to them.  Right?  Of course, they can't be true all the time.  Can they?  Or does color even  matter at all?  Is it just a confidence thing?

For a long time now my favorite colors for fluke (and some other saltwater fish) have been chartreuse, white and pink.  I do try to match a color to what I think will work best for the current conditions, e.g. stained water, clear water, cloudy skies, rough water, etc.  Having said that, I admittedly, at times, use them somewhat randomly as well, e.g. "This color looks cool!  I think I'll try this one."  

Does it matter?

Fishing on the Irish Ayes the other day, we had a pretty hot fluke bite going.  And when the bite is hot that's the time to experiment.  What I learned that day is that color definitely matters (at least sometimes).  Let me share my experience.

My rig was set up as follows:
A white 3 oz. Spro bucktail with a white bucktail teaser hook placed about 12" above the Spro.  I also had a stinger hook attached to the Spro (see Rigging the Bucktail Stinger: 101).
For bait on the Spro I had two Chartreuse 4" Gulp! Swimming Mullets (one on the main hook and one on the stinger).  On the teaser hook above I had a Pearl White 4" Gulp! Swimming Mullet.

Using the rig like this, every bite came on the Spro or the stinger attached to the Spro.  After a while I swapped out the white Gulp! on the teaser with a natural color 3" Gulp! Shrimp.  Still, every bite was on the Spro or the stinger.

I then replaced the natural shrimp on the teaser with a small piece of Pink Gulp! Cut Bait (which I cut into a pennant shape).  After doing that every bite I had came on the teaser.  The fish were now totally ignoring the Spro in favor of the teaser despite the fact that I still had two pieces of chartreuse hanging off of it, which they were tearing up just moments ago!

I fished like that a little longer - replacing the pink bait on the teaser with another pink piece as I lost them.  Then I replaced the chartreuse Swimming Mullets on the Spro and put a Pink 5" Gulp! Jerk Shad on it and added another short pink pennant shaped strip to the stinger.  Immediately the Spro started to get bit again.  With pink on top and bottom I never knew which one would get hit next (but they both did).

As I noted above, being in the middle of a hot bite is the best time to experiment.  So, I decided to remove my pink bait on the teaser (which at this point was any piece of pink Gulp! I had) and I put the natural color shrimp back on.  Once again, I could not get a single bite on that hook, while the Spro continued to get devoured.  

Based on this experience I could only draw one conclusion - color matters!  And, at least on that day, the colored that mattered most was pink, followed by chartreuse.  The natural color and pearl white baits were a bust.

I'm curious to hear your experiences and preferences as far as bait colors for fluke.  Do you think it matters?

Oh, and "If you don't use pink, you better rethink!"  I'm still working on that one. Grin


* Bucktail with Assist Hook & Gulp.JPG (20.51 KB, 533x400 - viewed 1636 times.)
« Last Edit: June 18, 2011, 07:24:50 AM by Bucktail » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2011, 07:23:32 AM »

Nice write up Bob thumbs up
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2011, 08:35:46 AM »

Great write up Bob. As you said it was the right time with the Hot Bite. It always baffled me if we use Squid, a natural bait cut it into pendent shapes but take the skin or natural color off.
Good Job Bob  thumbs up
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2011, 12:09:47 PM »

I think in all types of fishing it's important to "match the hatch". With coIor, shape and size being a part of the puzzle. Also, there's a lot of variables with water color, bottom color and sunlight which makes certain colors stand out better in certain conditions and in certain areas.

I also think fish know that at the moment, their  food is a certain size and color and they can get keyed into it.

Thanks for the write up!
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IrishAyes
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2011, 09:25:01 PM »

The shape didn't matter much. Bob had fish bite off some of the softbait making irregular shapes out of the bait and they still hit the dang thing.  thumbsup2
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2011, 10:20:00 PM »

last week I was bucktailing at the rocks, I had a 4 oz spro with a white teaser with a chartruse curly tail. I was catching small sea bass on the teaser. so I changed the teaser to a purple color and the fluke were nailing it hard.
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2011, 01:10:47 AM »

Nice write up Bob thumbs up
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2011, 04:43:07 PM »

Today color or shape didn't matter my wife and I were both fishing killie her with a chart swim mullet and me white shrimp and both where catching however they wouldn't touch the spros any color, or the squid, so maybe it was just the killes
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2011, 08:53:00 PM »

Great topic and write-up Bob thumbs up
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« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2011, 05:36:30 PM »

You mentioned the 3 colors I ALWAYS carry.I believe color matters but sometimes I think it matters more to me than the fish   . I always start with white 4" Mulletdown low with a Chart up high.  Pink waits in the wings for the first two to fail.
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« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2011, 09:30:12 PM »

Great job Bob. Yes, in my book as well, color does matter. Catch a fish or two on any boat, and the first thing the other fishermen do is to switch to the color pattern that caught the fish. I've been sold on the theory for years. <'((((><
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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2011, 07:49:44 AM »

I know this is a old thread but.....When we fish for the flatties ...I personally use a regular fluke hook with green feathers with either killies and squid/robin. Michelle  use's the same but with pink feathers... They Work perfect....Ive tried the white ones and all types of "gulps" {thanks but No thanks}.........

 This is what we have used all year and they work just fine...besides why fix it if it aint broken..


Oh yeah.... If u dont use pink its gonna stink..... thumbsup2
« Last Edit: October 08, 2011, 07:53:00 AM by offshore madness » Logged

Why does it Matter to you? cause I could careless.........
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« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2011, 01:27:52 PM »

my opinion on this.  Most fish are color blind.  Well, for the most part.  Top water fish like blue fish, tuna, etc. can see reflections, things that shine, but not necessarily distinct color. Fluke and most deep bottom dwellers can not distinguish any color at all.  When you match the hatch, you want to match size and shade, but not color.  Deep water fish, like fluke, can not distinguish the difference between a yellow, white or chartruse color in 30+ feet of water. You either keep the rig to a dark color, or light color, but a distinct color is not important. 
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IrishAyes
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« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2011, 02:50:42 PM »

Here is my thoughts on this:

In water, you need light to distinguish color. The deeper you go, the more you loose color. If fish do or do not have a different way of seeing color than humans, I have no idea.

I do know that on some days color matters because one color will out produce other colors on that particular day.
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« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2011, 02:54:54 PM »

Here is my thoughts on this:

In water, you need light to distinguish color. The deeper you go, the more you loose color. If fish do or do not have a different way of seeing color than humans, I have no idea.

I do know that on some days color matters because one color will out produce other colors on that particular day.
i agree.. but is it color that matters or the  brightness?  Deep water, no color, but lighter colors do show up lighter..
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« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2011, 03:10:51 PM »

Luna Sea 4   i agree with you.....HOWEVER if the fish are biting they will eat any thing trust me when we went fishing two days ago the fish ate any thing we would feed them...including SLUGS
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« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2011, 07:47:12 PM »

All depends on what your fishing for deep water I think smell matters as much as color
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« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2011, 10:09:09 PM »

The deeper you go, less light you have, hence fish can't distinguish color at all.
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« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2012, 05:48:32 PM »

Fellow Anglers,

I know this thread is somewhat old, but I have to weigh in on this.

As far as color goes, I use basically 2 Spro's.....Chart/White and Glow period.

In water up to about 40 feet, the Chart/White outfishes just about everything. Deep water, 65-95ft, I switch over to glow. Without fail, the glow's outfish everything I throw at them. I even use glow teasers that REALLY shine in the deep.

Must be me, but the pink/red stuff just didn't cut it for me.

Give me a 6 or 8 oz Glow jig with a big strip of Sea Robin or Mackeral skin in Ambrose and hold on.
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« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2012, 07:10:27 PM »

With ya on that John!  thumbs up
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