A question of colour
  |  First Published: December 2003

YOUR CHOICE of lure colour can make all the difference between a great day’s fishing and just a walk around a creek or a dam.

As a rule of thumb, I tend to look at the water colour (sunnies off) to decide what colour tint it has to decide my first lure selection. Many times the water changes from week to week and even day to day and the lure colour needs to be changed as well.

For instance, if you get a fresh in the water and the suspended sediment gives it a brownish, dirty hue, choose a lure with base colours of browns, blacks or, for some reason, a pink and purple combination.

Generally, after a few days, the sediment settles and the water begins to clear a bit but the influx of nutrients from the fresh induce some algal growth, giving the water a tinge of green. As a starting point, greenish-coloured lures work exceptionally well in green-tinted water.

A fish’s perceptions of tint are very different from a human’s. A new research study has released data backing up this basic theory I’ve used for a few years now. See? I can fluke it sometimes

What about clear water? We have found reflective colours and bright metallic finishes work best in these circumstances and methinks it is because of the fishes’ ability to pick reflected light from greater distances that makes this pattern of reaction happen. I don’t know, but results can’t be denied.

A new colour just released by Halco Tackle is a green back with black stripes, orange guts and all with a holographic reflective finish. Apart from taking the barra market by storm, the new colour scheme is an absolute pearler in the Halco Poltergeist 80mm for cod and big goldens, the Poltergeist 50mm for medium goldens and bass and the 35mm Scorpion for bream, bass and flathead. I reckon this new colour range shoots down the old wives’ tale that fish don’t see colour or reflection. Both of these characteristics are incorporated into the one finish and you just have to talk to the people using them – they’ll set you straight.

The 1/2oz double-Colorado has been the spinnerbait of choice lately and Glen Casey at Bassman has been run off his feet filling orders. Shane Raulston and I have cleaned up lately on this size spinnerbait with purple and brown or black with lime tip skirts. I’m doing a little R and D with Glen and some spoofy little creations are soon to be released. As usual you’ll see all sorts of imitations come out a while after their launch but, as they say, that’s fishin’.


My pleading prediction last month for decent rain has gone unrewarded, with the showers of the past few weeks little help other than a bit of stock feed in the paddocks and the rivers are not really benefiting from the piddling amount.

Not having a chance to fish much lately has me relying on others’ reports of the impoundment and river activity. Golden perch in the dams are pretty keen to eat any style of well-manoeuvred artificial. Water clarity has been excellent lately and in particular Chaffey Dam has about five metres of visibility – great for soft plastic, lure and fly sight-fishing along the drop-offs. On one outing with Glen Casey of Bassman Spinnerbaits, we spotted and cast to about a dozen goldens – fun sight-fishing. As I’ve said many times, goldens are great little fighters on ultra-light tackle or fly. We dropped soft plastics straight onto the noses of these fish.

European carp are also suckers for a small soft plastics and pull like a bulldozer when hooked. Two good friends who love the carp deal, Jason Bird and Wilko, went to Split Rock Dam the other day and after a decent day on the goldens trolling small deep divers, decided to get themselves stretched on some mud sharks. Going by the numbers of rubber lips they caught and killed, they had a ball. They took many on soft plastics and many on fly and the more they kill, the better off we all are. Another mate, Mark Williams, calls it our ‘civic duty’ to kill at least a few carp every time we go out, and that’s a great way to look at it.

Now back to what works best for the natives at this time of year, and the tried and proven techniques work as usual. Deep trolling for cod, medium trolling for goldens, casting spinnerbaits and fly for both will work but just experiment a bit to find out what works best on any given day.

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