Monthly Archives: September 2014

Shell or Hologram Fishing Lures?

Shell or Hologram … flash … subtle or bright?

We have all spent years rationalizing reasons why some things work some days and other days they don’t. Opinions as to why this happens are like belly buttons. There are lots of pretty, colorful and flashy lures on the market today and we all have given them a swim. Every lure maker wants their products to be successful and BFD particularly is no exception.

I always wanted to ask a famous maker like Joe Yee which seemed to work better – lures with shell inserts or lures with flashy hologram fishing lure inserts. I had the opportunity to ask Joe Yee and Eric White both this question at dinner one night in Honolulu. When I asked Joe and Eric this question;

Joe replied, “I don’t know … if there are no fish around, they won’t hit either one.”

Eric replied, ”Shell is definitely better.”

Phil Rabedeau is the color consultant for Mepps. His book “Master Angler Using Color Technology to Catch More Fish” is fascinating. It is geared more toward fresh water obviously but light in the water is light in the water and salt doesn’t change it that much. Algae rich “green” fresh water or plankton rich “green” salt water are about the same optically as well. There are some nuggets in this short book.

When I spoke with Phil, he told me about repeated experiences on different species where silver flash in warm clear water wasn’t working and when he switched to gold flash his ”luck” changed. Phil contends a fishes eyes get more sensitive as the water warms. So, in say 82 degree water, when fish see bright flash it is like you and me looking into the sun – it is uncomfortably bright.

In warm water, “cool” colors work best (and gold flash or pearl iridescence). In cold water “hot” colors (and silver or hologram flash) work best he says. This fits with Eric’s partiality to shell. Eric fished 80 degree plus water commercially most of the time for Tuna who like 80+ also. Eric didn’t do much Marlin fishing in 70ish degree water as the Blue Marlin that Hawaii is famous for are sparse when water gets this cool. And thus, shell worked better in the conditions Eric fished and he again paid attention.

Winter Striped Marlin fishing in Cabo finds water usually in the mid to low 70’s. Flash and bright work well. In summer, pearlescent and shell and cool colors work well. Eric will tell you in Hawaii in warm water summer, Marlin like lure colors in the blues, black, purples, frog and Opelu. None of these are “hot” colors and are easier for fish to look at and identify – per Phil’s recommendation.

BFD decided to make lures with several different insert materials possessing different color and flash attributes. There is bright hologram which flashes different bright colors at different angles. There is dark hologram which produces muted, almost opalescent reflections at different angles. There is shell which reflects iridescent, pastel colors at different angles. And there is semi-precious stone which reflects the single color inherent in its makeup (the exception being quartz).

The Colors of Fall

Fall, a season more associated with leaves falling from trees for most, means a completely different thing to a fisherman.  It’s not the falling leaves we are concerned with, it’s the falling water that means so much to us in the later months of each year.  Warm water rises, cold water sinks.  This simple truth is the guiding principle of all our vast oceans’ movements and currents.  These very movements create the predictable patterns in ocean life that, when studied, help us determine lure size, lure color, and what a lure should imitate to attract fish.

Ocean Currents

The Conveyor is the term many oceanographers use to describe the oceans’ major currents.  If you understand the Conveyor, then you can learn the movements of the things that live in the ocean.  From the tiny to the great, all things in the ocean live inside the great conveyor, and it gives them oxygen, food, and life itself.

Ocean currents flow over vast distances: these currents push against each other and in total they create the great flow of the global conveyor belt.  An ocean current is a continuous, directed movement of seawater generated by forces such as wind, temperature, salinity differences, and tides caused by the pull of the moon.  Other factors like underwater contours and the shape of a shore line can influence the direction or the power of a current, but typically don’t cause the current.

Continue reading

Take Marlin Off the Menu

Take Marlin Off the Menu is a joint campaign of Wild Oceans and the IGFA. For more information, go to

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