Gulf Coast Fisherman Magazine Vol. 38 - No. 1 | Page 8

by Colby Sorrells Tackle Time A WHY PINK? nother fishing lure in pink. Why pink? For many years the color pink has been associated with coastal fishing. Why does this color attract fish and fishermen? West coast salmon fishers often use pink in their flies and spoons. Pink is also the color of salmon eggs, and big rainbow trout love to eat salmon eggs. Different salmon in different rivers produce different sizes and colors of salmon eggs. Most fishing guides carry a box filled with different shades and sizes of pink beads to imitate the salmon eggs for their river at any particular time. Pink also mimics the flesh of rotting salmon that is so vital to the river’s salmon use for spawning. Salmon flesh not only feeds the rainbow trout and other fish found in the rivers but also helps fertilize the river itself, providing a better home for next year’s salmon fry. The entire ecosystem from old fish to young fish and even old and young bears depends on that pink colored flesh. From Alaska to California, pink, flesh colored flys and lures catch Pacific salmon. Fluorescent paints were experimented with in the 1930s and perfected right after World War II. The military learned how fluorescent colors could help personnel locate things like handles, steps, and signs during the dark hours of the night. Fluorescent painted parts were used on aircraft carriers, submarines and other places. Fluorescent colors, often referred to as “hot”, are very different from non-fluorescent colors. Paul Johnson, in 1984’s The Scientific Angler, discusses the effect of colors under water. “The reds were jet black, the oranges were black, although the blues and greens showed negligible change. By contrast the fluorescent reds, oranges, and yellows still glowed brightly,” Johnson reported. Dr. Colin Kageyama, in his book What Fish See, discussed colors under water further. He states, “In very clear water, blue and yellow in non-fluorescent and fluorescent green and white were highly visible. In water of moderate clarity, non-fluorescent white, yellow, and orange were easily seen, as were the fluorescent green and orange. (Continued on page 32.) 8 GULF COAST FISHERMAN W W W. G U L F F I S H I N G. C O M