Part II
Fish Can't See Red?

I Beg to Differ!
By Capt. John King






Eternal Fallacies About Red

1. Red disappears 50' down.  3. Turns to black below 50'
2. 1st color in the spectrum to washout. 4. Fish can't see it.

The above statements are all based on what we, as human can visualize. Not what's been proven a fish can see.  It's easy to make far-out bodacious claims.  Backing them up with the hard-cold proven reel-facts is lot more difficult.  In this case ...impossible!

2010 Monkey Puke Meat Rig

10/1/09 Manistee
12" Flasher & 3 Fly
This photo top the left is a world first.  It's a 12" Leland Puke Reel Flasher collecting it's very first victim on 10/1/09.  This immature King whacked the red and copper colored flasher on our chute rigger down 100' over 500'.  It's a world first for the 2010 Three Fly Monkey Puke Meat Rig ...that struck blood on it's inaugural first trip into the deep!
Leland Puke flasher in 12 inch versions will be available in by Mar. 2010.

The 2010 Monkey Puke meat rig is based on Sparkler (metal-flake) head, candy red and copper.  These combined colors give the fish that extra nudge to strike.  The regular Monkey Puke was the second best selling BTI flasher in 2009.  Only outpaced by the King Purple Glow.   However, when Leland and regular Pukes are combined, ranking in sales would be number one.  So, it was natural to design a dedicated "whack n stack" puke looking meat rig.  One I could be happy with in the correct colors to call it a Monkey Puke, cuz of the huge fan base this pattern has. 

Mediocre wasn't gonna cut it.  That's why I never had a puker meat rig in my tackle lineup until now.  The Sparkler metal-flake head was the final piece of the puzzle that brought this deadly meat rig together.  This new 2010 pattern flat-out rocks.  Going out on a limb, ...I predict the puker meat rig will be the number 1 selling meat rig in upcoming 2010 season. 
Interested?  Then please read on....

10/1/09 Conditions

10/1/09 Monkey Puke

I know this is going to be hard to believe, but on my last trip of the season (10/1/09) every bite came off the hot new Monkey Puke meat rig.  The conditions were plain lousy for good fishing on 10/1/09 with flat calm tabletop water.  Slick flat water does not usually facilitate good action.  Reason?  We can only guess.   Suspecting light is not broken up by the waves and it over-illuminates the baits/lures?  The end product of maxed-out light penetration might aid hungry aggressive fish making it too easy to grab a mouthful of baitfish.

Anyways, getting back to the 10/1/09 trip we fished depths of 100' out to 600' of water.  Taking 5 strikes and with luck on our side, 5 Kings made it to the net in our off-peak middle of the day time frame.  Like I said, every nibble was on our 3 monkey puker meat rigs in our allowed 6 rods.  The rest of the colors we had out got totally ignored with nary a rod wiggle.

My last trip for the 2009 season was a memorable pleasant event with conditions being almost too nice and just enough fish to keep boredom at bay!

Dull, Boring, & Useless Technical Terms
From Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

Light : something that makes vision possible b : the sensation aroused by stimulation of the visual receptors c : electromagnetic radiation of any wavelength that travels in a vacuum with a speed of about 186,281 miles (300,000 kilometers) per second; specifically : such radiation that is visible to the human eye

Color : a phenomenon of light (as red, brown, pink, or gray) or visual perception that enables one to differentiate otherwise identical objects b (1) : the aspect of the appearance of objects and light sources that may be described in terms of hue, lightness, and saturation for objects and hue, brightness, and saturation for light sources <the changing color of the sky >; also : a specific combination  of hue, saturation, and lightness or brightness <comes in six colors> (2) : a color other than and as contrasted with black, white, or gray

The visible spectrum from red (at left) to violet (at right).

Visible light waves are the only electromagnetic waves we can see. We see these waves as the colors of the rainbow. Each color has a different wavelength. Red has the longest wavelength and violet has the shortest wavelength. When all the waves are seen together, they make white light.

When white light shines through a prism, the white light is broken apart into the colors of the visible light spectrum. Water vapor in the atmosphere can also break apart wavelengths creating a rainbow.   Further complicating matters water can act like a prism too.  Breaking white light into who know what down at a 100'.

Our eyes perceive a tiny sliver of the electromagnetic spectrum. The wavelengths from (approximately) 400 to 750 nanometers provide us with our physical view of the universe.  Shades of red fall on the scale between 600 and 750 nanometers.  The continuum of electromagnetic spectrum of light starts with Gamma Rays, X-Rays, Ultraviolet (UV), visible light we see, Infrared (IR), to Radio Waves that power cell phones and TVs. 

Lest not forget microwaves that fall in between IR and radio waves.  None of this stuff amounts to a hill of beans surrounding the reel-facts about Great Lakes fish actually seeing red.  For all we know fish vision can be superior ours and quite possibly see into the infrared and UV bands of the spectrum.

Are you of the mindset that thinks scientific principles can be applied to the unsolvable eternal mystery of fishing?  Please let me remind you of the infinite amount of variables that rarely, if ever can be duplicated.


1. Not a fleet-wide accepted color, red works in your favor.

2. Ex-spurt is a leaky faucet that got fixed.

3. What does red look like to a fish?  Who cares just as long as they bite on it.

4. It's long been proven Steelhead, or 'bows prefer fluorescent reds.

5. Fluorescent Red is a long proven Coho killer.

6. Adult male Great Lakes Coho develop deep red sides.

7. Red is used by nature several ways, like drawing mates.

8. Misinformation is spread by those with blatant disregard for common sense and reel-facts.

9. Red is one of the most expensive pigments for paint and same goes for colorants used in plastic injection molding.  Maybe the red disappears controversy was a possible preemptive strike to keep production costs low?

10. I've got a fresh crisp 100 dollar bill awaiting anyone who can prove beyond a shadow of doubt, fish cannot see red.  Why? ...cuz, there's over 20 photos in both parts of this article that say otherwise.  Showing undisputable photographic proven evidence of red jaw jewlery.

Click for part 1 & 2010 Leland Puke BTI Flasher Info

Looking to purchase tackle that works?  Then click here!

MichiganSportsman Copyrightę1999-2009
Article completed on 11/22/09

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