Ok, where do I start to describe this within the 400 odd words that we aim for, so as we don’t bore you? UV light is not detectable by the human eye but some research indicates that fish are responsive to UV light. That’s the summary of the research I’ve been reading. Do I believe it? Well, initially I did not… more accurately I didn’t think it would have an impact with fishing lures. I based this assumption on the colour of the lures I use, mainly natural colours that are best described as ghost patterns and I still catch fish, so why would UV colours matter.
As the hype continued to build, I decided to do a bit more research by testing a black light with a UV pen on what I considered to be the most popular lures. But before I could get there, the results were surprising. I started with the Jackall Chubby in Brown Suji Shrimp and Atomic Crank in Muddy Prawn and was immediately blown away by the result under the Black light and that was before I could bastardise them with a UV pen.
The Brown Suji Shrimp/Muddy Prawn colour is quite obviously a natural colour and prior to my UV paint research, I put the success and popularity of these colours to the fact that they are a natural looking bait… they match the hatch. Since then, I’ve discovered that they do react in such a significant way under a Black light that may help with getting fish to bite and their similarities end as soon as the black light is switched on.
When I look at blades and vibes I noticed the popularity of the orange bottom, I always thought related to being easy to find against a muddy bottom but under the black light, the orange becomes much more significant. The fluorescent glow of the orange bottom must stand out like a beacon to these fish.
The next lure to come under scrutiny is a soft plastic that has been quite popular. The Ecogear Grass Minnow or more commonly referred to as the “Pink Grub”, is duly named because the most popular colour is the pink version. Often fished unweighted, on a worm hook as a surface lure to replicate a fleeing prawn. Carry these lures into a dark room and see why they were a “must see” under the black light for me.
The Pink Grub for me is not a natural colour, it isn’t a bright yellow or fluoro green but it isn’t a nice subtle brown or green that I prefer. So why is it more popular than the natural green colour that in my mind, should be more successful? Possibly due to the sheer number of angler’s using the pink version or the variation in the colour under the black light.
So does UV responsive colours mean instant success? From these photos, I think not, I don’t use those bright yellows, fluoro greens or oranges on lures in solid colours and I don’t know of many/any that use those colours consistently. My empirical assumptions are that, like any paint, the colour needs to “work” or “match the hatch”.
So don’t go out and buy the nearest UV pen and start colouring. I’m positive that it works but also pretty sure that it needs to be worked into a scenario as much as any other facet or variable that we all contend with when we go fishing.