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Colour makes a difference
  |  First Published: May 2008



Over the years we have read quite a few articles written by prominent fishers and a scientist or two regarding lure colour and if it actually makes a difference.

Some anglers think it does and others seem to think it doesn’t. All generally acknowledge that the action of the lure and the manner in which it is retrieved play significant roles in how successful an angler might be. 

We certainly agree with this but we have serious doubts about claims that colour makes no difference. We’ve had many discussions concerning colour and the claims and counterclaims made regarding this matter.

While out in the boat on Lake Eucumbene recently, we were once again discussing the issue and decided to run a test of our own. 

We selected two Lofty’s Cobras each and ensured that we had four different-coloured lures. Our four test rods were all rigged in a similar manner including 14lb lead-core line and we ran out each rod at four colours, so everything was the same except the colour of the lures.

A few minutes later one of Lars’ rods had a beautiful fat rainbow of about 500g was boated and released. Five minutes later the reel on the same rod screamed again and another fine rainbow was caught and released.

Peter then changed the two lures he was running to other colours and we continued trolling. The same rod of Lars’ was in action again and another rainbow was caught and released. Three fish on the one lure had been caught and nothing on the other three rods!

Peter then changed one of his lures to match the one which had been successful. A little while later it was hammered by a good-sized brown, followed quickly by another rainbow on Lars’ rod. 

Five fish had all taken the same colour lure and nothing had been taken on the others. We changed the other two outfits so now we had all four rods running the same colour lure. About 10 minutes later two of the rods went off and as we were retrieving these fish, the other two rods were hit!

So does colour make a difference? We certainly believe that it does and if we had any secret doubts at all they were well and truly dispelled by the result of our little experiment that day.

The guys at Alpine Angler have available a general guide to lure colour and time of day and it’s well worth a read. In big bold print on this guide you will read ‘colour does make a difference’.

BOAT SAFETY

Every year we hear about anglers drowning in the lake when their boat capsizes. Again a few weeks ago, sadly this was the case. So many of these deaths could be prevented if only people acted a little more intelligently. 

If you must wear thigh waders when launching your boat, take them off as soon as you’re under way. Should an accident happen, you’ll sink like a rock if you keep wearing them.

Check the weather before heading out. If it changes for the worse, seek the closest shelter. Remember, you don’t have get back to the ramp to be safe.

Don’t overload your small tinny. We’re often horrified to see three large blokes in a 3m to 4m tinny with less than 30cm of freeboard. That’s scary, one little wave and they’re history. An overloaded boat is very limiting and anything less than an absolutely calm day and you’re asking for trouble.

What about wearing those lifejackets we all store away in the bottom of our boats? We’d rather do that than have someone tell our families that we won’t be coming home.

Modern lifejackets are such a technological improvement on the older style and are worth every cent. Next time you go boating, think seriously about boat safety and make it the enjoyable and safe pastime that it ought to be.

FLY FISHING

After three months of the best dry-fly fishing for a long time, we’re nearing the end of the season for our rivers and creeks, which closes at midnight on Monday, June 9 and reopens at the beginning of the long weekend on October 4.

Lake Eucumbene is open for fishing year round and from now on the big browns will be heading up to their spawning grounds and flyfishers will either be cursing as they’re unceremoniously smashed up by double-figure fish or will be in heaven if they manage to land one of these leviathans.

Evenings on the lakes are generally excellent at this time of year and Tantangara can fish extremely well right through the day. Don’t forget to have plenty of warm layers of clothing with you as it can get quite cold from now on.

Good flies for late evening and night fishing include Craig’s Nighttime, Mrs Simpson, Woolly Bugger and Fuzzy Wuzzy.

BAIT, SPINNING

With colder water now, you can catch a fish at any time of day but we recommend you start about 4pm and continue well after dark. So you’ll need a lot of warm clothes and a thermos with something warm in it.

Some fishers drive their cars as close as they can to the water’s edge, cast their baits out, put their rods in the rod holders and get straight back into their warm car and wait. This does restrict your fishing spots but it keeps you a lot warmer.

The normal set-up with a grub or scrub worm under a running sinker and a dropper with PowerBait is an effective rig.

For lure casters, working the lake edges can produce excellent browns and rainbows. The browns are cruising the banks on their way to their spawning streams and the rainbows are coming and going regularly.

Good lures include Lofty’s Cobras, Tassie Devils and Snowy Minnows, which are fairly streamlined and cast well, even in the wind, and trout love them.

TROLLING

Go flatlining closer to the edges and over shallow weed beds in the early morning. As the day progresses, move to deeper water and mix the flatline with a lead core line to get some of your lures deeper and increase your chances.

Good spots include the dam wall, Powerlines, Big Tolbar, Grace Lea Island and Portal Arm. Good lures include Tassie Devil numbers 37, 56, 87, S5, Y82, 450 and luminous pink and Lofty’s Cobra numbers 6, 14, 34, 55,100Y

For regular updates visit www.alpinetouristpark.com.au/fishing.shtml and www.adaminabyangler.com.au/reports.shtml

Facts

DETAILS, DETAILS

Fishing is a matter of getting fine details just right. To succeed or fail you have to get everything as perfect as possible but sometimes you make a little mistake without even noticing. 

It’s happened recently up here not long ago. Two of my costumers wanted to go trolling with lead line. The day before, we went through the set-up with leader, lead-core line and the backing.

We took off early the next morning, I had my boat and they had their own. We launched the boats and sped off to my favourite trolling spot and started fishing.

They adjusted their speed to mine and everything was just fine, at least for me. I got fish after fish, landed eight and lost at least 10. They caught one.

We had the same set-up except for one little detail – they’d put their Tassie Devil on back-to-front by mistake and sadly, they’d wasted a beautiful morning’s fishing.

– Lars

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