This fishing trip had to be one of the most frustrating yet. We were on a lake that boasted of big walleyes that had been eager to bite; at least up until we got there. We tried different spots, various baits, and all times of the day with absolutely no luck.
In a last ditch attempt my partner decided to switch to a different colored jig. It wasn’t your ordinary run of the mill color either. I think he called it a shade of root beer.
We went back to the first spot we tried and began to cast. It was almost unbelievable. Immediately he caught a nice walleye, and soon a second. By the time I tied on a root beer jig he had a third. The walleyes just loved that certain colored jig. In the short time we had left to fish we caught eight walleyes that ranged from three to almost ten pounds, the biggest stringer of walleyes I ever got in on.
Now I’ll be the first to agree that fish are not going to be that fussy all the time, but occasionally fish definitely prefer a lure of one color over another. Research has proven that fish have cones and rods in their eyes that enable them to discern one color from another.
Some reputable biologist doubt the validity of new electronic color selectors that are supposed to determine which color the fish want. I don’t have any personal feeling one way or the other, but since the color craze has caught on and tackle manufacturers are turning out lures in every color in the spectrum.
I think that determining which color to use is fairly simple. At least the plan I use has worked for me. First of all, I try to match my lure color to the color of the fish’s natural food found in the lake. This includes brown, gray, black, green, white, and metallic colored lures. If the fish are aggressive, I may use bright colors that will attract fish that might not see a drab colored lure. A good example is using a bright orange or red spoon for northern pike. For some reason walleyes really go for orange, fluorescent green, and yellow.
Another factor to consider is visibility. In stained or murky water bright fluorescent oranges, yellows and greens are good to use because the fish can see them better. For years, walleye fishermen have been using bright colored spinners and lures for walleyes in deep water where plain colored lures lose their identity.
Changing from one colored lure to another does not make up for lack of fishing knowledge or proper techniques, but the right color can sometimes save the day. I know I always carry the root beer jigs anyway!