This article reminded me of the old quote: “A fishing lure is any combination of metal, plastic, wood, feathers, hair, or other manmade or natural material attached to a hook (or hooks) and designed to attract fishermen.” To wit: Decades ago, to impress an office associate who was a trout-fishing traditionalist as to how random were the criteria for successful lure designs, I concocted a device before his very eyes in about 5 minutes. The body was a remnant of a peel-off pencil eraser painted with Wite-Out, with hooks attached by a wire that also formed the loop for the line. That evening, I demonstrated the new design by landing two chain pickerel with it.

Marvin E. Kahn
Darnestown, Md.

Matching a lure’s color scheme to the prevailing prey takes too much thought, besides which, most prey is camouflaged. What I think about when choosing a color are flash, fluorescence, color intensity, and color combinations. For all humans know, bass have something in their genetic makeup that is a complete color catalog of everything they can eat. Therefore, a perch-colored Rapala becomes lunch, even if that bass never has seen, much less munched, a perch. The bass’ eyes and pea brain are geared toward color and contrast detection not to identify, but to detect. A pink worm will most times be more effective than a super-realistically colored worm. We may not always know exactly what a color looks like at the fish’s eye level, but fluorescence and flash are predictable and visually attractive.

Frank Manuele
Walden, N.Y.

From the Nature Index

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