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View Full Version : Walleye are color blind, with the exception of??



Bellevue Bobber
02-20-2009, 12:14 PM
On a youtube video guide mentions that Walleye only see shades of grey with the exception of "orange and red". And of course, the guide was using red lures and doing well (gotta love film editing).

Anyone validate this?

BB

OldBaldGuy
02-20-2009, 12:21 PM
Referring to my notes from one of Daryl's "walleye workshops" back in April of '06, I find: "Walleye sensitive to yellow/orange/red plus green portions of light spectrum basically the color of perch, a major prey food when present."

Catfishsteve
02-20-2009, 12:34 PM
I was at a clinic with Babe Winkleman a few years back on walleye and he basically said "don't bother to buy any walleye jigs in colors other than red or orange"

Now, I don't know if they can see other colors (remember, light doesn't penetrate down into the water much anyway, color is light and so down at some depth in every body of water, everything is grey anyway, as far as the visible light spectrum goes at some point), but , Babe did say he doesn't really know why, but walleyes prefer jigs in the color red and/or orange to a very high degree, followed by green.

Hadn't read Daryl's response until after I wrote this and so I guess you can pretty much take this info to the bank!!

Evenflow
02-20-2009, 01:22 PM
Color Factor Walleyes (http://www.in-fisherman.com/magazine/exclusives/if0802_ColorWalleyes/index1.html)

mrcold
02-20-2009, 01:43 PM
While I hardly disagree with it, as chartreuse and orange are my two favorite walleye spinner colors, I have had days where the fish wouldn't touch those, and would only go for the blue spinner blades. This wasn't a 1 or 2 fish sample, I'm talking 80-90% of the fish caught were only on blue. I guess it just makes me curious why that would be the case.

*Edit*

From the article above:



Walleyes, though, don't see blues that well; so the water probably has to be ultraclear before blues play a role for walleyes.


But this obviously wasn't the case since I was fishing in Nebraska. :D

Evenflow
02-20-2009, 01:50 PM
This may be a wild theory, but in a lot of Nebraska waters that don't have clear water I have noticed bluegills and perch, etc. that are very lightly colored, almost pail looking. Perhaps since walleyes can barely see blue colors, they notice the movement of the lure and strike because it more closely resembles the other forage fish in that lake. Maybe in these cases the bright colors red/orange are alerting fish that what is in front of them is unnatural looking and actual deters them from biting.

mrcold
02-20-2009, 03:14 PM
Not a bad theory. When we fished Oahe back when the fishing was great up there, the local guys all said to use lindy rigs instead of spinners because the fish were so conditioned to spinners that the plain hook/minnow combo was more effective.

bigjigs
02-20-2009, 04:09 PM
They make multi-colored lures, why not only use these and then be done with it?

jkol
02-20-2009, 04:26 PM
I think it has to do with light properties in water as much with what colors a fish can see. For instance, I've heard many many walleye guys swear by purpleescent shad raps, which does actually make a little bit of sense. Purple is the last color of light to be absorbed which means that even if walleyes cannot see the color purple they can notice the purple grey-scale even after all the other colors have been absorbed.

eye_doctor
02-20-2009, 05:46 PM
My top colors for my jigs and spinners are orange, charteuse, and pink. However, I have noticed that when fishing ultra clear lakes that silver and gold are the best. It's really an interesting topic, and color selection can make or break a day on the water.

Eric
02-21-2009, 09:45 AM
Just because they can see a color best doesn't mean they will bite it best, nor prefer that color to something that looks natural.

For jigging Gavin's, I often think the bright colors are more harm than good. I don't use 'em very often. I can remember saving a tough-starting day with an orange-yellow-and-pink jig a couple springs ago; All the same, red, pink, and orange jigs normally don't get used much for walleye on my boat. They are always on-board and available, I just don't catch too many fish with 'em. Now it's to the point where these colors get pushed to the back and rarely used...

When it comes crankbait time, again natural patterns are the first choice here. Some touches of red or orange on a bait is fine, but I cannot recall ever catching a real good 'eye on a mostly "hot" colored crank. Pike yes-but walleye, none I can remember.

OldBaldGuy
02-21-2009, 10:16 AM
On a youtube video guide mentions that Walleye only see shades of grey with the exception of "orange and red". And of course, the guide was using red lures and doing well (gotta love film editing).

Anyone validate this?Baloney! We know fish can see colors. In fact we know that some species of fish have sensitivities to certain colors. For example, we know that walleyes are particularly sensitive to colors in the yellow-orange and green parts of the spectrum.

Now keep a couple of things in mind. First of all, fish probably cannot see things as sharply or as clearly as we do. You know all the fine details that come on many lures? The fish probably cannot even see them in most cases. They can see shapes and sizes, colors and contrast, but do not care if your crankbait has all the fins and nostrils detailed on it.

Also keep in mind that seeing things underwater is not at all like seeing things above the surface. Light behaves quite differently in water, even in crystal clear water, and the more colored the water is the more it changes everything. For example, we know that the red wavelengths are the first ones to be "absorbed" in water. Red wavelengths are NOT transmitted very far into water even in crystal clear tap water. Red colors quickly fade to gray under the surface.

Color is the MOST OVERRATED variable in selecting which "tool", which lure or bait, will be the best in a given fishing situation. Do not get hung up on colors! There are no magic colors. Now I did not say that color cannot make a difference, but color should be one of those variables you "fine tune" after already selecting the right tool that fishes at the right depth and speed. I also would say that the right size and action of bait or lure would be more important than color. When you get all of that right, then, finally, colors can be fine-tuned to trigger the very most fish into biting.

Don't believe everything you see on the internet.;)

Daryl Bauer
Lakes and Reservoirs Program Manager
Nebraska Game & Parks Commission
daryl.bauer@nebraska.gov (daryl.bauer@nebraska.gov)

OldBaldGuy
02-21-2009, 10:19 AM
You know all the fine details that come on many lures? The fish probably cannot even see them in most cases. They can see shapes and sizes, colors and contrast, but do not care if your crankbait has all the fins and nostrils detailed on it.This is going to come as a terrible shock to those perfectionist fly-tyers like Wray who insist all their bugs have six legs! :D

SKershaw
02-21-2009, 10:27 AM
This is going to come as a terrible shock to those perfectionist fly-tyers like Wray who insist all their bugs have six legs! :D

:aayeahthat: :wRazzing:


Also keep in mind that seeing things underwater is not at all like seeing things above the surface. Light behaves quite differently in water, even in crystal clear water, and the more colored the water is the more it changes everything. For example, we know that the red wavelengths are the first ones to be "absorbed" in water. Red wavelengths are NOT transmitted very far into water even in crystal clear tap water. Red colors quickly fade to gray under the surface.

Don't believe everything you see on the internet.;)

Daryl Bauer
Lakes and Reservoirs Program Manager
Nebraska Game & Parks Commission
daryl.bauer@nebraska.gov (daryl.bauer@nebraska.gov)

A similar thought comes to mind when a tyer/lure-craftsman MUST add red to the fly/lure to imitate the gills of the baitfish or wounded bleeding. Is this addition more for the fish or the angler??? :xhuh: