by Colby Sorrells
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,”
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
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GULF COAST FISHERMAN
W W W. G U L F F I S H I N G. C O M