Caitlin Young of Blythewood, South Carolina, posted her science project entitled “The Color Preference of Catfish” on this blog site on Jan. 3.
As scores of anglers read the results of her project, which concluded that channel catfish exhibit a preference for the color blue, a goodly number of anglers began reminiscing about the fish that they used to catch while wielding various blue baits.
For instance, Steve Desch of Topeka, Kansas, fondly recalled the days when he lived at Table Rock Lake and spent many hours fishing with Stacey King of Reeds Spring, Missouri. During many of their outings, this duo caught an impressive array of bass on electric-blue plastic worms.
Other anglers remembered catching scores of largemouth bass at the Lake of the Ozarks and Truman Lake on a hand-poured black-and-blue Guido Bug attached to a black-and-blue-shirted jig
Several anglers thought about the untold numbers of crappie and white bass that blue jigs allured in years past.
As these anglers talked and thought about Young’s science project, some of them began to realize that blue baits no longer play a significant role in their repertoire.
For example, most practitioners of Midwest finesse tactics rarely use lures with a blue hue. In fact, the only ones they use are Strike King’s black-and-blue Bitsy Tube and Z-Man’s black-and-blue Finesse WormZ, and these are used infrequently.
Thus, for the rest of 2012, several of us finesse anglers have decided to increase our usage of blue baits when plying the small flatland reservoirs of northeastern Kansas.
One of the ways we are going to do this is to paint scores of our jig heads blue. And these blue jigs will be dressed with the same soft-plastic baits that were described in our blogs posted on Jan. 18 and 23. (http://www.in-fisherman.com/2012/01/18/more-on-the-zero-and-zinkerz/ ;http://www.in-fisherman.com/2012/01/23/midwest-finesse-lures/)
Some of our finesse brethren, who prefer to use unpainted jigs, pooh-pooh the notion that the color of the head of a jig can make a significant difference.
To appease them, more of our soft-plastic baits will also exhibit various blue hues, such as Z-Man’s black-blue/blue laminated ZinkerZ.
Sometime in January of 2013, we will post the result of this endeavor.
It should be noted that Keith A. Jones in his piscatorial masterpiece entitled “Knowing Bass” argues very authoritatively that his extensive research has revealed that “bass see all shades of blue as essentially the same.” His research also discovered that bass were allured more by a silver-and black, dark violet, green, black, white or yellow crankbait than they are by a blue one. But Jones’ blue crankbait attracted more strikes than his orange and red ones.
Jones also noted that “in very muddy waters, reds, oranges and yellows are about the only colors of light available. It is pointless to fret over the exact shade of a blue lure when all the blue light’s gone.” Furthermore, he suggested that the angle of the retrieve can be more important than the color of the lure.
( Readers can find a synopsis of Jones’ ideas about colors at this Bass Fan site http://bassbuzz.outdoorsfanmedia.com/br_news_article.asp?thecat=2&ID=362. )
We are eager to read comments from other anglers about their thoughts and experiences about the effectiveness of blue baits.