Lure color might play a role that most bass anglers hadn't considered, according to researchers at Ontario's Carleton University.
Lure color does not significantly affect the number of fish caught or whether hooking-related injuries are sustained, they revealed. But the right color choice could make the difference in whether you catch a 1-pound bass or a 5-pounder.
In a report entitled "Does Lure Color Influence Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE), Fish Capture Size, and Hooking Injury in Angled Largemouth Bass?", they said, "Bright colors appeared to selectively capture larger fish than either dark or natural lure colors . . .
"Our study reveals that while different lure colors might capture the imagination and wallet of the angler, they do not influence CPUE (catch per unit effort) or hooking injury in bass, but appear to have a small influence on the size of captured fish."
In an experiment on Lake Opinicon, a popular bass fishery, they tested six different colors of worms: leech black and bream blue (dark) , natural cigar red and wasp (natural), and sherbert orange and pearl white (bright). During July and August, the baits "were fished quite passively" by anglers with intermediate skill, who caught a total of 119 bass
Each color was fished for 20-minute intervals, and each angler fished all six before repeating a color. Bass were caught all over the lake, with a special focus on shoreline areas.
Blue caught the most bass, with 25, followed by black 23, white 22, wasp 17, orange 16, and red 16.
"When lure color was grouped into the dark, natural, and bright categories, there was a significant relationship detected between the color categories and the total length in millimeters of captured fish," the scientists said. "The bright lure color category caught fish that were significantly longer (mean total length of 349 mm) than fish captured on the dark (318 mm) and natural (318 mm) color categories."
Based on those findings, they concluded, "It is unlikely that there is any management value in regulating lure color. Nonetheless, we expect that anglers will continue to experiment with different colors of lures in their quest for the most and biggest fish."