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Red on our fishing lures, why do we use them?

I've often wondered why is it that we put red on our fishing lures. Many see it as "the bait looks like it is bleeding / therefore dying," but isn't it true that the color red disappears in 15 ft. of water? Now imagine that a fish is 10 ft. away from a lure at a depth of 10 ft. That is 20 ft. the light would have to travel through water in order for the fish to see it. Now I'm not suggesting that the lure turns invisible, if I'm not mistaken, instead it should appear grey. Anyone else care to enlighten perhaps?

Makes me think twice about things like the new crystal minnow with the "blood" spot
Just some food for thought...


  • tenacioustenacious Posts: 124 Deckhand
    most lures are painted to catch people more than fish.
  • mastercastermastercaster Posts: 1,259 Officer
    It's called marketing to ignorance, and it works.
  • LilJimLilJim Posts: 255 Deckhand
    It's called marketing to ignorance, and it works.

    I've always tried to "match the hatch" with my lures. I just wish live targets weren't $20...
  • brianbbrianb Posts: 2,403 Captain
    Here is my 2 cents:
    1. Yep, lures are made to catch more fisherman than fish. If all we did was pull ballyhoo, a couple sea witches in like 3 colors and some ilanders in 3 different colors I don't believe there would be a noticeable difference in catch rates. imo
    2. My understanding is the red is actually meant to mimic the gills of the fish, they are red.
    3. Fish injured? IDK, but my personal experience is that once I was given a "free" gog b/c it had a big red spot on the side. I fished a bunch of gogs without a bite prior to this special red spot gog and when I put that gog out he got eaten immediately. Coincidence? n=1
  • troutman561troutman561 Posts: 575 Officer
    So in a fishes eyes perhaps our red=their grey. Meaning when a fish sees grey they know its injured? Following what I'm saying? Just because it doesn't appear "red" to the fish from a distance doesn't mean they still don't recognize it as blood. Who knows if they can even see the whole color spectrum like we can anyway.
  • Captain DaveCaptain Dave Posts: 3,392 Captain
    I'd let my niece or nephew pick any colored inshore or offshore lure that they personally like for me to use, however my only 100% criteria is that it has to have a prominant eye on it. Look at any Islander lure after you've used it some and look at how many fish hit the glass eyes on it. Same goes with all the custom well balanced lures I have. The eyes and heads all take a serious lickin'.

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  • onICEonICE Posts: 988 Officer
    Especially with crank baits like the yo zuri, probably 80% of strikes are simple reaction strikes. I fish for snook often in the middle of the night on a new moon and I know there's no way they are seeing the details of my bait. I do think the brighter/lighter the better in that situation though the rattle and vibration probably plays a bigger role
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