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Lure color selection is affected by the water depth. Offshore fishing lures of a given hue will appear a different shade at various trolling depths. As the wavelength of light needed to illuminate a color decreases with increasing depth, so does the lure's ability to stay the same color across its whole depth range.
Let's examine the entire primary color spectrum and dissect the actions of each hue and the range of depths where they thrive.
Lure Color: Red (Ideal Trolling Depth: <20 ft)
As little as 30 feet below, reds and pinks of a lighter shade lose their distinctive hue. This color's long wavelength (700 nm) is ideal for topwater lures because it is most intense near the water's surface. When the lure begins to descend, it will gradually lose its red hue because it won't be exposed to enough light. Light is refracted more by the waves during stormy days, therefore less of it actually makes it through the ocean. In this situation, the lure's color may fade as quickly as after 20 feet of depth.
You shouldn't use red lures when there is little or no sunlight, like on a cloudy day or at night.
Lure Color: Orange (Ideal Trolling Depth: <30 ft)
On a day when the sun is evenly penetrating the waters, this hue can dive to depths of around 40 feet, but on a day when the seas are stormy, it can only descend to depths of around 30 feet at the most. Even though orange's 600 nm wavelength is an improvement over red's 500 nm, it's still primarily used in topwater lures.
We do not recommend using orange lures on cloudy days or at night when there is little sunlight since their color will not show up.
Lure Color: Yellow (Ideal Trolling Depth: <50 ft)
When fishing from a boat, one of the most common color schemes is yellow and green. When mixed, they can take on the appearance of the highly sought-after Mahi Mahi, a prized catch for humans and other pelagics alike. It is estimated that at a depth of 50 feet, the yellow color, which has a wavelength of about 570 nm, will no longer be visible. The color "chartreuse," which is a combination of yellow and green, is a popular hue. Most diving lures are effective down to about 40 feet, at which time the yellow hue begins to fade to grey in heavy seas. While yellow works well on its own as a topwater bait, it's better when coupled with another color, like green or blue, to create a diving lure that stands out and attracts fish of the same species.
Because of its inability to show color in low light, we don't recommend utilizing a diving lure that is yellow on gloomy days or nights where there is limited sunshine.
Lure Color: Green (Ideal Trolling Depth: <70 ft)
As was previously mentioned, the color combination can be rather appealing when yellow is added. At 70 feet of depth, the green color (520 nm wavelength) will be completely visible, but it will begin to fade at around 80 feet. More diving lures in the color green would be ideal because diving lures rarely go to such tremendous depths.
Topwater fishing lures of the color green are effective on cloudy days and nights, while diving saltwater lures of the same hue will catch fish even in low-light conditions.
Lure Color: Light Blue (Ideal Trolling Depth: <90 ft)
I used to think blue lures weren't as effective because they would blend in with the water, but that was before we learned more about lure colors. It turns out I was totally incorrect. One of the few colors to retain its vibrancy at depths more than 70 feet is light blue (490 nm wavelength). The lure's color will fade as the depth increases over 90 feet. A light blue lure is effective on turbulent seas and deep water, as well as on cloudy days.
A devastating all-purpose lure is achieved by combining light blue, dark blue, and metallic silver. The glittering silver can be used as a topwater lure, and the blue can maintain its brightness even at longer depths.
Lure Color: Dark Blue (Ideal Trolling Depth: <100 ft)
Dark blue, along with violet, has one of the shortest wavelengths of all colors, allowing it to maintain its vivid hue at depths more than 100 feet. Dark blue has a short wavelength of 460 nm, and it gradually becomes a grey as the water depth increases to around 120 feet.
Lure Color: Violet (Ideal Trolling Depth: <200 ft)
At 390 nanometers, violet has the shortest wavelength of any color we can see. Beyond 120 feet, and even down to 200 feet, violet will keep its vibrant hue. As a result of how our eyes process light, violet seems very dark blue to us (hence the reason water is dark blue at extreme depths). In some parts of the world, sunlight may reach the ocean floor at a depth of about 650 feet.
To fool a picky saltwater fish, you need to be excellent. The greatest saltwater lure is one with a tried-and-true motion that draws strikes even when other lures are ineffective. It could be as simple as a head tilt, a twitch of the tail, or a change in color to convey emotion. Fish react strongly to this lure's presence in the water. You need to think about how the lure swims and how far it can be cast. The most effective saltwater lures are designed to cast far and accurately. Because of its design and weight distribution, the lure swims with an enticing wobbling motion. An effective saltwater lure's movement is characterized by a little wobble or wiggle that agitates fish and attracts the attention of predators. Do not assume that the lures will attract fish without your participation. The greatest lures for saltwater fishing are those that even a novice can use successfully. My favorite lures bounce and dive like an injured baitfish when I flick my wrist or jerk the rod tip.
The best lures for saltwater fishing must be durable enough to withstand the relentless assault of a predator and the harsh elements of salt, sand, and rocks. Try to find a lure with a durable body made of corrosion-resistant metal, hard plastic, or stretchy plastic. Ensure that the hooks are securely fastened by using titanium or stainless steel fasteners. The hooks, which are attached to the tail of the lure, are made of rust-proof metal and have welded eyes and needle-like tips. Replacement parts should be cheap and simple to get for the best saltwater lure.
Many saltwater lures are only effective on one or two fish species, however the ideal saltwater lure can catch many different types of fish. It's best to get a saltwater lure that can be used for a wide variety of fish. Whether offshore or on the coast, conditions can shift rapidly and opportunities may only be available for a short time. Always have a bait that you know the fish will go for handy. Take along a variety of lures, including topwaters, metal spoons, jigs, soft plastics, and hard plastics, before you leave the pier. My top recommendations for saltwater lures mimic the largest variety of bait that most predators prefer, preparing you for success whenever the time is right.
How do I choose a saltwater fishing lure?
It's natural to wonder, "How do I decide on a saltwater fishing lure?" when faced with so many alternatives. The first mystery to be solved is, "Where are the fish feeding?" A spoon or jig may be more effective if the fish are concentrated near the bottom. A hard plastic or topwater lure won't sink as quickly as a jig or spoon if the fish are holding near the surface. Look at the bait the fish are taking. Do you have a fish finder and are you marking anchovies? Do mullet swim uncomfortably just below the water's surface? Find out what kind of fish are in the area and make lures that mimic their size and shape. Whereas a long silver spoon mimics the slim profile of a baitfish like a menhaden, shad, or squid, a bushy bucktail has the wider profile of a larger baitfish like a sardine. Fishing lures made from hard plastic are cast to replicate the same size, shape, coloration, and patterning of a natural catch. The final stage consists of learning via practice and error. The easiest way to see if the lure works is to cast it out, attach the bait, and watch what the fish think.
What color lures are most effective in saltwater?
The next step after deciding on a lure is to learn which colors work best in saltwater. The obvious solution is to use bait that is the same color. For shrimp, use a pink lure, for mullet, black with a silver belly, and for anchovies/menhaden, blue over silver. Some of the most common lure colors, such pink and green, redhead with a white body, or chartreuse, aren't explained by this. A bright lure is more noticeable even in murky water and bright sunlight. Use a dark lure when fishing in dim light. Even in crystal clear water, even the most perceptive fish can be fooled by a natural lure.
When Should You Use Saltwater Lures?
It goes without saying that you need high-quality, durable gear for fishing in salt water. When fishing in saltwater, you need equipment that can withstand the harshest environments and sharpest hooks.
This is especially true for lures used in seawater. These lures must withstand powerful impacts and the corrosive effects of saltwater.
When fishing for large species in the ocean or around coastal areas, you should utilize the best saltwater lures you can find. Designed to withstand the harsh conditions of saltwater and huge fish, saltwater lures are extremely versatile.
How Are Saltwater Lures Made?
Lightweight materials like wood, foam, and thin metal are used in the production of lures. Putting plastic on the front of a lure causes it to sink below the water's surface and swim with a "wobbling" motion when it is retrieved.
Production runs of a certain size typically employ machines, while some are still handmade. It's common knowledge that handmade surf fishing lures and topwater poppers are among the best of their kind.
The above lures will increase your chances of catching fish while saltwater fishing anywhere in the world.
The truth is that if you want to catch saltwater fish, you don't need a ton of lures in your tackle box. Using these methods, your time on the water will be more productive. There's no guarantee that they'll always be successful, but you can rest assured that you'll receive a lot of strikes while using them