By Capt. Bart Miller
It’s an age old question that may never be answered scientifically, as it is far too subjective and intermingled with personal superstitions and general preference for one color versus another.
For example, nearly all men like the colors blue, black, white, purple, silver, green and gold. Is it any wonder that these very same colors are popular when choosing fishing lures and skirt combinations?
It is also apparent that fishing destinations have dominant color choices that are shared by the vast majority of captains and crew’s: green in the canyons, blue and white in the Carolinas, blue and pink in Hawaii, black and purple in the Bahamas, petrolero brown, silver, black and orange in Mexico, etc. Many of these color combinations, while proven in one area, can also work well away from home.
When I first started trolling in Hawaii, there weren’t a lot of choices. I used a white plastic outer skirt and later, white strip skirts with either black or a rusty red rubber inner skirt. These base colors, while very plain, worked just fine but no one seemingly trusts such a limited selection of color options these days. Fishermen worldwide have their special color favorites which become trusted standbys, each earning their place in the spread whether in tournament competition or just out for a friendly troll. So it really boils down to what you truly trust and are comfortable trolling versus some unknown combination that leaves you with a measure of negative feelings.
So did vast color options become the fashion because they are now so readily available or because they really make a difference? My first thought was that the action of the lure superseded color importance, and later I began to value the concept of incorporating the use of proven color combinations. Years ago, I tried something I had never tried before. I called this combination “the Invisible Man.” I poured a clear head with no color and no insert, then I skirted this clear head with clear skirts. Once deployed into the water, you could see motion, but not shape or color. This no-color lure is once again a part of my arsenal today and proves the age-old adage that color really matters in the eye of the beholder.
Marlin are now believed to see certain colors where once they were considered to be colorblind. Two theories come to mind as being valid in determining your final color selection and they would be to match the hatch and to consider having the proverbial oddball combo in the spread.
In conclusion, my favorite colors would be a pearl shell head because they match all skirt combos. My favorite skirt combinations would be black/pink, black/purple, blue/pink, black/rainbow, blue/white, and pink/red. Sometimes I go beyond that color palate but not very often!