Old-Fashioned Color Theory for Anglers
October 25th, 2016 by Curtis Condon
Tackle box organization is almost as important as the lures, baits and tackle it contains. That’s because it allows you to know at a glance what is in the box and where to find things quickly when needed. Think in groups when organizing. Group lures by type, then create subgroups for different sizes or colors. The same goes for soft baits and other tackle. Photo by Michael Courtney

Tackle box organization is almost as important as the lures, baits and tackle it contains. That’s because it allows you to know at a glance what is in the box and where to find things quickly when needed. Think in groups when organizing. Group lures by type, then create subgroups for different sizes or colors. The same goes for soft baits and other tackle.
Photo by Michael Courtney

It was a family tradition to shop the day after Thanksgiving when I was a kid. That was before they called it Black Friday.

My brother Dave and I always asked to stop at the hardware store, where we bought each other a new lure. I never wanted anything but red ones because I thought the color was cool and flashy. Dave swore by green ones because he said they looked more like bait fish.

I can’t say that our one-dimensional color choices mattered much. One of us usually did better than the other on individual outings, but overall Dave and I caught about the same number of fish in a season. We didn’t understand why until a local fishing legend, Pop, taught us some color basics.

Pop said there was a color for every situation, and his tackle box was proof. It had so many different-colored lures and soft baits that it looked like a 64-count box of Crayola crayons.

He said he considered fish species, location, forage, fishing depth and water clarity. Each factor helped to dial in the best color for each situation.

One thing he was fond of saying was, “Not all water is created equal.” He said its color would affect a lure’s color. For example, blue water inhibits reds and oranges so they appear darker and muted, while in brownish water the same red lures appear lighter, almost pink.

Pop’s general rule of thumb was to use bright, bold colors in murky water and subtle, natural-looking lures in clear water. In deep water, he liked to fish blue and green lures because fish could see them better. He said red ones disappear in deep water.

I’ve followed Pop’s advice ever since, and my box looks much as his did those many years ago. But I have more red lures. I still think they are cool and flashy.

Outdoors 101: Keeping Boots Stink-Free
Prevention is the best defense: Change socks frequently, air out boots, remove and wash insoles, and wash inside of boots with a damp cloth regularly. If necessary, soak non-leather boots to deodorize them. Avoid household soaps and detergents. Instead, use a footwear-specific cleaner-deodorizer. After soaking, allow to dry at room temperature, away from extreme heat or direct sunlight.

Hits of the Airwaves
Birds are almost always heard before they are seen. To help identify the birds you hear, XLabz Technologies has developed a free app with more than 4,500 different bird songs and sounds. Called Bird Calls, the app is available for Apple and Android smartphones.

What Day Is It?
November 6: Marooned Without a Compass Day
November 7: Hug a Bear Day
November 15: America Recycles Day
November 17: National Take a Hike Day

Got a Tip or a Whopper?
Send us your favorite outdoor tip, photo or story. If selected for publication, we will send you $25 for one-time use of the item. When sending a photo, identify people and pets, and tell us the story behind the picture. Email your submission to gro.etilarurnull@ofni.

Many of Curtis Condon’s fondest memories involve outdoor adventures with friends and family, whether fishing with old school buddies, backpacking in the mountains of the Northwest with his sons, or bird watching along the coast with his wife. He feels fortunate having the opportunity to write about the outdoors and other subjects for more than 30 years.