In Eric’s recent article about choosing colors and patterns for your fishing lure skirts when warm water sport fishing, he mentioned the ‘Superman’ pattern.
Just a few days ago, after publishing that article, we received two great photos from the guys on The Blue Marlin Sport Fishing in Cabo San Lucas. These show Superman himself in action (or post action as the case may be.)
Eric mentioned the Mahi loving this pattern, but here’s a nice Pacific sailfish caught on a BFD Big Game Lure wearing the Superman colors.
And here we see a nice BFD Big Game Lure after a voracious Wahoo did a number on the Superman skirt … ouch!
Looks like we’ll have to replenish the Blue Marlin’s supply of BFD Lures when we go down for some marlin fishing this fall!
Choosing the Right Lure and Skirt Colors for Warm Water Sport Fishing
Most experienced fishermen are partial and opinionated when it comes to off-shore lures and skirt combinations, and I don’t pretend to be any different.
But most new fishermen, who don’t have enough experience to form strong opinions yet, are looking for some help and advice for trolling lure and skirt color combinations; I get calls from guys like this every day. It is with these folks in mind that I set out to write a few articles that can give a little guidance on choosing the right lures and colors when fishing for marlin or tuna.
But catching sport fish isn’t about knowing how to confront them in the span of just a month or two; you need to know their whole cycle. That’s the only way to truly understand what works throughout various seasons. Make sure you read this article on the Colors of Spring, and my next about temperature and currents as well.
If you’re trying to arrange a meeting with a monster, you will need to do a little homework.
As with any battle, understanding your opponent is critical; you need to understand the fish itself. Understanding their movements and appetites, along with anticipating their behavior, will allow for greater success.
It is not a surprise that in a fluid world nothing really ever stands still. The constant pull of the moon, the big summer hurricanes in the Northern Hemisphere are equally matched by the massive cyclones of the Southern Hemisphere, and then there are the greatest ocean-movers of all, tide and temperature.
Tide and temperature move more water than all other forces combined. Temperature is subtle, and it can go unnoticed when the top 300 feet of an entire ocean slowly cools and begins to fall. This endless shift of surface water to the depths and deep water upwelling is a timeless tune that all ocean life must dance to.
Knowing this dance is a secret that separates the casual fisherman from the serious sportsman. This dance becomes the calendar for the commercial fisherman, and the bible for all those that make their living from the sea.
Nothing in the world of marlin, tuna, dolphin fish (Mahi, Dorado) and wahoo (Ono) fishing draws more discussion than lure color. Pelagic fish feeding habits, water temperature and clarity, seasonality, prey base life cycle, light conditions, location etc. all play a role in color selection. There are lure color patterns that have been effective certain times of the year for decades.
Only years of on-the-water experience can narrow the thousands of possible combinations to a few dozen that produce results. BFD’s Eric White (known by many as ‘allyearfishing’ on eBay) has decades of experience in open water commercial and sport fishing, and his expertise helps narrow the field. BFD’s skirt combinations are produced from Eric’s recommendations.
When he isn’t busy skirting lures, Eric contributes to the website with a blog article now and then. Be sure to read his seasonal installments that discuss the intricate changes in the ocean at different times of the year, and the effect these have on our quarry as well as their own prey. You will quickly see that his knowledge of marlin and other pelagic fish behaviors is extensive, and extremely helpful when considering what to use in your spread during different seasons.
You can always ask us for advice when you order lures: we’re more than happy to help. But if you read up on the sizes and colors of baitfish teeming in the oceans during the different seasons of the year, our choices and recommendations will mean that much more to you, and will make more sense.
Glow and Flash
We’ve done a lot of research and spend a good deal of time and energy thinking about glow and flash in our lures. Why? Because we’re trying to replicate baitfish, of course, and as Humboldt discovered, baitfish basically ‘glow.’
Around 1802 Alexander von Humbodlt wrote:
“The luminous animals of the ocean appear, from these conjectures, to prove the existence of a magneto-electric light-generating vital process in other classes of animals besides fishes, insects, mollusca, and acalephae. Is the secretion of the luminous fluid which is effused in some animalcules, and which continues to shine for a long period without further influence of the living organism merely the consequence of the first electric discharge, or is it simply dependent on chemical composition?
You can read a full article about Humboldt and bioluminescence here or you can read this article in it’s entirety here in our blog: Nature’s Bling.
Today, we know that Ultraviolet (UV) light is invisible to human beings. UV light has shorter wave lengths that contain much more energy than the longer wave length light humans can see. As a result of this higher energy, more materials and things will glow under this shorter wavelength light. The shortest of the UV wave lengths have so much energy that they will burn your eyes & skin – which is exactly why they are used in tanning machines. This high energy UV light is the only light that penetrates several hundred feet below the ocean’s surface.
These short light waves excite certain atoms in things that populate the pelagic zone – like fish, algae, plankton, crustaceans and bait fish. These atoms absorb the invisible UV light, change it and emit the changed light that predators apparently associate with prey. Some of this changed light is in longer wave lengths that can be seen by humans. We attached the words “florescence” and “phosphorescence” to this re-emitted light that we can see.
UV light also activates atoms in fish causing them to temporarily emit visible light of various colors. This light emission is known as “fluorescence”. They glow with an amazing array of vibrant colors in sharp contrast to their color under conditions of normal illumination.
Ocean dwellers said to be fluorescent, stop glowing when the light source is turned off. Ocean dwellers with “phosphorescence” can glow for a brief time after the light source is turned off.
Super bright and super long glow time powders are a new generation of Phosphorescent (Glow in the Dark) material based on Rare-Earth elements are the brightest, longest lasting, non-toxic, glow-in-the-dark material known and are at the cutting edge of chemical phosphorescent technology.
You are probably familiar with the old Zinc Sulfide based glow-in-the-dark material that is commonly found in glow toys and glow paints found in hobby stores. As you know, that material only glows for a very short time and then is completely invisible – even in a totally dark room.
Rare Earth elements are nothing like that.
Rare Earth elements produce some of the most spectacular fluorescence and the longest lasting phosphorescence….of any mineral known that can be safely used in a manufacturing process.
The additives we use were developed after years of research. It is doped with Rare-Earth elements that give it an astonishing glow time as long as 30 hours… and equally important… it can be recharged indefinitely. Even after 1,000 hours under direct exposure to intense mercury vapor light it retains 96% of its glow output. Ordinary glow material properties are permanently reduced to a fraction of original after only 15-100 hours of exposure.
Sunlight, ordinary indoor lighting as well as UV (blacklight) can be used to “charge up” our Glow lures. The more UV wavelengths the light contains, the faster it will charge. Sunlight will charge the fastest, requiring only 5 minutes of exposure. A ‘workshop type’ Fluorescent lamp is rich in UV light – holding the powder close to a bright fluorescent lamp will charge it up in about 10 minutes. An ordinary 60 watt incandescent bulb will take 30 minutes. UV (black lights) will charge up the material extremely fast as well.
When fully charged, all glow powders will produce a very bright afterglow for a short time, level off to a moderate level of brightness and slowly dimming over the remainder of their glow durations.
The Green and Aqua colors will remain clearly visible for as long as 33 hours. The Green and Aqua are comparable and by far the brightest and longest afterglow. Obviously, the level of glow at 14 hours is not nearly as bright as it is at 10 minutes after light exposure, but you can plainly see it in the dark.
The Blue glow has a lower glow brightness and shorter afterglow duration compared to the Green and Aqua. This is partly due to the response of the Human eye. Our eyes are much more sensitive to the color green as compared to blue. Green will always appear brighter to the eye.
Newly developed, Violet powder is an absolutely stunning color in the dark. Different than our ultra-long glow time Blue, Green & Aqua colors, Violet requires a much longer charge time and has a shorter glow duration and brightness as compared to the other colors. But it is truly a breathtaking color.
One or more of these Rare Earth based additives is used in BFD Glow lures.
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.
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.