Brian Holland

Perception of Colour

So, you have rocked up to the lake or river and you find fish and you select your bait, whether its Boilies, Pop-ups, maggots or lures you pick out your favourite colour and begin fishing. Have you ever taken the time to think is the colour I am fishing with is appropriate?

Colour, what is colour? Colour of anything is determined by the wavelength of light that it reflects.

Our eyes can only detect 3 frequencies of colours these being the primary colours Red, Green and Blue and the variation of these being mixed. High frequency (Blue) Medium frequency (Green) and low frequency (Red).

Now when it comes to fishing, we are now casting our perceived colour into water which then absorbs the colour wavelengths of light to different degrees until the colour disappears when it reaches a certain depth.

Red at 15 ft

Orange at 25 ft

Yellow at 40 ft

Green at 70 ft

Blue at 90 ft

At a depth of around 40 – 50 ft most colours will become shades of grey, blue, and black due to light from the surface reaching these depths.

These depths are all very well if you are next to the colour that you have cast out, but now you must take into consideration the distance you are away from them. So, if for example you are fishing a 10 ft deep lake with a red bait and you are 6 ft away the colour will be absorbed and disappear. So, you must think in the vertical and horizontal planes.

Simple, Wrong.

 Now consider the light of the actual day that is penetrating the water, On, sunny days the light penetrates the water deeper than on overcast days reducing the visual colour of the bait at the perceived depths.

We can also bring in the surface conditions of the water as a large chop on the water will reflect the light rays more than a calm day.

The clarity of the water itself, is it clear or does it contain suspended matter such as weed and plankton in the water again reducing the colour wavelength, has there been a runoff from a field pushing mud into the water.

Some fish can see ultraviolet but let us leave that for another time.

So, once you have considered all these various factors you should be good to go with the ultimate colour to catch your fish on that session.

Or I just like this colour so will the fish.


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