The effects of fluorescent orange... and contrast ?

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Flickin4em
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The effects of fluorescent orange... and contrast ?

Post by Flickin4em » Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:02 pm

On the back of the recent mag article and thread over the visibility of the different colours available to the fishermen and women of today I thought I'd share a few old reliable lures (but not all my old favourites)
Here are a few of the proven fish takers from tiny brown trout and lowly redfin to unstoppable trophy stuff up North over the last couple of decades or so... all by trial :? and error :banghead: not some new fandangled tests. but good read regardless ronje it confirmed some already proven theories :D Some of these lures are no longer used as they have landed meterys and are now retired to the rod rack. ... for both their's and my own safety as swimming for your last one of those lures is a bit more risky than it used to be in the 80's and 90's :croc:
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A couple of times if you didn't have one of the orange renoskys you might as well have been casting into the carpark at the shady camp barrage back in its heyday. 8)
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Confidence in your equipment plays a part to an extent ..... but numerous times over the years at all different spots on multiple species I was outfished with a lure almost identical to theirs. I was casting to the exact same area but the only difference was the orange belly /back or sides on the lure they were using taking 90% of the bites particularly on low light sunset or crack of dawn during the runoff. You could notice it a fair bit then ... but definitely a big difference if it was a bit dirty throughout the day too like in the muddy, shallow harbour gutters where the gold bomber was being used. The bright and dark contrast on the Elton John or Guns and Roses also clean up in dirty conditions as also mentioned in the article in the latest mag too.

Also on a slightly different spectrum of conversation the LUMO
"glow in the dark'' tassie devils that I ran 30 years back are still a proven reliable performer on solid trout whilst downrigging up at Dartmouth on the upper Mitta Mitta River near my uncles property. For a while there I was running the glow in the dark DOAs and also nailing plenty of nice Barramundi at night up here.
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From years of fishing I have several favorite lures for different areas they are all different brands and models in a variety of colours but I think that the one that spends the most time out there swimming at the correct depth for the fish in that area on a prime feeding window is most likely to get a bite. :D

Good luck !!! ..... if in doubt ? Just keep casting. To some people the fish are just a bonus. :lol:
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Last edited by Flickin4em on Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.


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Re: The effects of fluorescent orange... and contrast ?

Post by Matt Flynn » Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:48 pm

Those Renoskys used to work well, they were big after the Vibrotail craze.

Caught a 77cm salmon here on a Tassie Devil, since then only caught little ones. Mainly use Celta-style blades, they work, although small minnows get gobbled. Plastics seem to get tapped on the tail too much.

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Re: The effects of fluorescent orange... and contrast ?

Post by NT Wombat » Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:13 pm

Those English perch color CD 3's were my go to trout minnow back in the day, that along with some gold #2 Celtas, Black and Copper #1 Celtas and the smallest yellow Woodens Rooster tail were the only lures in my box. For some reason on days when nothing else seemed to work the rooster tail would go good. On days when Celtas and CD3's were working the Rooster tail wouldn't get a touch.

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Re: The effects of fluorescent orange... and contrast ?

Post by theodosius » Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:17 pm

Just as important as a lure you can trust is a knot you can trust (and tie in the dark and mosquitoes while the bite and pressure is on). My bimini twist and perfection loop take a while to tie but I have confidence in them

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Re: The effects of fluorescent orange... and contrast ?

Post by ronje » Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:49 am

Good comments Flicko.

What I looked at was only for barramundi. What I was trying to do was work out why some things work well and others don't and breaking some of the b...s..t myths that have evolved over the years. I've never fished for the fish types you mentioned.

My stuff was based on experience in this neck of the woods and what worked on the Roper and Daly rivers up there. Lagoons and dirty old Fitzroy R.

Basically I was trying to get enough solid info to "shot-cut" some of the learning/experience path.

In the lagoons here I noticed that a green lure was very successful as was a white lure. (Kokoda soft plastic barra assassins and Squidgy drop bear). Had no idea why but that was just the way it was. Had a theory or two but I was on the wrong track. Only just found out that the Kokoda lure is fluro.

If water was dirtier the white was still OK and red/orange plastics seemed to do better than the Kokoda. Similar for river.

Nobody could tell me why that was so I decided to find out for myself. Hence the testing.

You might say that a combination of an enquiring mind, confidence and too much spare time are good ingredients for investigating.

I noticed that ALL of the expert advice about colour was for clear water and the results from my dirty water testing was the opposite to the gurus.

You might say that it was experience that led me to the "something doesn't add up here" stage.

It was finding that info from the US Navy dive school from 1968 that convinced me I was on the right track. These guys' lives depended on getting it right. They knew what worked underwater and in all sorts of water.

Good confidence boost as it was flagging about then. It was like a light-bulb moment!! I was right after all.

Want a link to it?

I know that a lot smarter and experienced fishing people than me had noticed similar things but didn't seem to know why (none I spoke to anyway). Right for the wrong reasons perhaps.

So off I went to find out why.

The extra that I brought to the mix was experience with electromagnetic radiation. That's what light and colour is all about.

Now that I reckon I have a pretty good handle on it, I'll be guided by the basics. That stuff about EMR was merely the vehicle that led to understanding what was going on.

One last ingredient if you're playing with this stuff is somebody who is quick to see what you're getting at, confident that you're on the right track and is prepared to publish it.

Enter Matt Flynn.
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Re: The effects of fluorescent orange... and contrast ?

Post by ronje » Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:39 am

Here's the link to the US Navy research document. 12 pages. Ponder over it and what you know about lure colours.

Read the summary page 1. That's what the other 11 pages boil down to. Those 11 pages show how the US Navy went about the project.

My work followed it up with why those findings turned out the way they did and how the results can be adapted to Aus waters.

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/661156.pdf

I couldn't work out why no fishing guru in Aus had looked at dirty water.

In the end I put it down to research grants. The money trail.

Plenty of money for research grants for water clarity on Great Barrier Reef. Wonderful place to spend time and measure things with somebody else paying for it. Good office décor there in which to spend a working day.

Neither the inclination nor the research money available to look at places like the dirty old Fitzroy R, Mary R (Maryborough) etc. Barramundi habitat.

So the fishing scribes and other gurus simply copied the research results without thinking. Copied each other as well, I believe.

And THAT has been the reason that the myths etc have led to so much confusion for so long about lure colour.

Now its up to you guys to expand on that and go a step or two further.
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Re: The effects of fluorescent orange... and contrast ?

Post by Flickin4em » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:42 am

Cheers ... excellent effort !

Good to see the hard facts for dirty water :mrgreen: .

I grew up in Darwin and it's been great fun catching the odd barra :cool: I'll continue to get out there with the new excuse of doing "lure colour research " every chance I can get. :D

Got a couple more pics from this years effort including a nice one on one of the oldest fluoro colours up here (an old 6 inch nilsie) also I've found the black lures seem to work OK in dirty conditions too... :mrgreen:
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Re: The effects of fluorescent orange... and contrast ?

Post by bigwoody » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:26 am

There is another common denominator I have noted with my favorite lures, colors or paint that reacts to Ultra Violet light.
Gold bombers are a very good example of barra reacting to UV, the lure will catch fish with hardly any gold paint left on it, remove those red eyes that are highly UV reactive and see what happens.
Nearly all the white plastics are UV reactive, so is chartreuse and green.
Perhaps fish see in a different light spectrum.
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Re: The effects of fluorescent orange... and contrast ?

Post by ronje » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:31 am

Here's my view of the basics involved.

Eyes are last thing that a barra uses in dirty water. The lure action (vibrations) is the main attractant.

The lateral line response gets the barra to the lure and the eyes come into play at the last second (in dirty water).

If the water is just a bit clearer, the more the eyes come into play a little bit earlier. Just before the strike.

If a fish has 1 sensor working to its limits due to dirty/murky water (lateral line), then the less accurate the strike (dirty or low light water).

If a fish has 2 sensors working (lateral line AND eyes) then the more accurate the strike (clearer water).

The greater the lure action the easier it is for the lateral line to "hear" no matter what colour the lure is.

Note that the big ass B52 widow has red on it. Best colour for extremely low light or really dirty water.

Anyway, Flicker, its been an interesting journey and you know the biggest surprise of all?

Just how many experts had no idea at all.
Last edited by ronje on Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The effects of fluorescent orange... and contrast ?

Post by ronje » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:38 am

Woody, the UV light penetrating the water from the surface simply enhances the brightness of the paint on the lure (if it has the special additives).

Are you talking about the red eyes on the lure or the barra?
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Re: The effects of fluorescent orange... and contrast ?

Post by Sullo » Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:30 pm

I'd like to give these a swim
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Re: The effects of fluorescent orange... and contrast ?

Post by Flickin4em » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:29 pm

Sullo wrote:I'd like to give these a swim
Me too Sullo. :mrgreen: I had my eye on the biggest model in the collection for a lap out at the Daly when they're chasing big diamond scaled mullet . :mrgreen:
DAVE used to make the KILLALURE and DK branded ones a few years back. Guaranteed they'll work and be made well for solid fish up North. A mate of mine has already been peeled by a nice baz well over the metre mark on a 12 plus gold 6inch one cutting his 80lb leader on its gillrakers. :banghead:
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Re: The effects of fluorescent orange... and contrast ?

Post by ronje » Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:12 am

No white lure off the shelf is fluro. You can put very pale blue fluro paint on a white lure and then it stands out even better underwater

I have 29 white hard body lures. Not 1 fluro amongst them. White is not a natural colour. Its a combination of ALL colours.

A plain white lure works ok. Remember the US Navy summary on colours underwater? Fluro colours work better than non-fluro colurs. I found that as well.

Best all round non-fluro colour in all waters is white.

Best colour in any waters is fluro of whichever colour can best be seen in that particularly coloured water. eg if green is the pick for clearer water, then make it fluro green etc.

Barra's prime sensor is lateral line so pick a lure that has action (following the bib around). Tail-kicking lures ( coffin shaped bibs) have more action than a wider tracking (snake like track) lure with rounder shaped bib.

Flat sided lures push out more vibrations through the water than rounder body shaped ones.

So a flat sided lure with a coffin shaped bib, in fluro white is a good starter in any coloured water.

I'll put up a white lure pix in a minute to show the difference between plain non-fluro white and a fluro white (well very pale blue anyway- almost white). Big difference and that applies to all lure colours. Make 'em fluro.

These suggestions are simply basic starting ideas once you have a look at the water you're going to fish in. No guarantees of course.
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Re: The effects of fluorescent orange... and contrast ?

Post by ronje » Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:06 am

Here ya go.

All photos of the same lure which has had its bottom half dipped in fluro white paint.

Big difference in contrast between plain white and fluro white for starters. Secondly fluro gives greater contrast between lure and background water colour. Much much easier to see.
Note lure's flat sides and coffin bib.

This angle might show coffin bib shape and flat sides better.

The bottom lure photo is half plain white and half fluro. Wouldn't know it to look at though, would you? Same with all other fluro colours. Without a little UV torch, u're guessing.
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