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.

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Oval Skirt Saddles – Is the jury still out?

Standing in the back of a boat, watching bait being dumped into the live well, I wondered why all skirted saltwater trolling lures present a round silhouette when most all bait fish are some geometric form of an oval?  “That’s just the way they all are” I was told by my Captain when I asked the question.  “They have all been that way forever.”

Other lures for other fish have presented more lifelike silhouettes to predator species for over a century.  Why not skirted saltwater trolling lures?  When I asked I was told that the hydraulics of a trolling lure moving through the water at 6 knots or more require round shapes.  But several hard body lure makers have proven that this is not true.

bait“The skirts won’t work on the ovals because skirts are round,” I was told.  Really?  The skirts I have used are stretchy, plasticized vinyl and conform to any shape, round, oval or square.  The skirts I know will ‘throw’ the same shape off the back of the head that the saddle ‘tells it to’ in a manner of speaking.  On most bait fish, the area back from the head is the tallest part of their oval bodies.

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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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