When is bait color important?
While the perch can see, hear, smell, and possibly taste, the first two senses are, in my opinion, the most important to them. In the fishing literature, you can often find recommendations about what colors of bait this or that fish prefers. Regarding the perch, I was more than once convinced that it is far from indifferent to color. Try experimenting with different colored lures of the same type. The predator will choose a color. And this choice will depend both on the color of the food object, which he currently prefers, and on the degree of illumination of the water and on the depth at the place of fishing.
The auditory organ and the lateral line help the perch out in those cases when it cannot use vision, for example, in troubled waters or at dusk. Fish perceive sound signals as an auditory labyrinth. The high sensitivity of the hearing aid allows them to hear even faint sounds propagating in the water. This circumstance, of course, also needs to be taken into account by the spinning player. In the water column, sound is not only amplified, but its speed is 4.5 times greater than in air. In turn, fish themselves are capable of making sounds in the frequency range from 20-50 Hz to 10-12 kHz. These sounds can occur during movement, eating, and also as a result of the work of special sound organs (for example, the swim bladder). By its nature, it can be blows, grinding, crunching, crackling, rustling, rustling, etc. With the help of the auditory organ, the perch receives “information” that food has been found.
The lateral line in fish runs along the body. This organ – a kind of locator – includes a series of holes that penetrate the scales and lead into a longitudinal canal located deeper, which is connected to the brain through nerve cells. Nerve endings are sensitive to the slightest signals in the aquatic environment, sending impulses to the brain. In predatory fish, including the perch, the lateral line, along with sight and hearing, plays an important role in hunting for small fish. Now let’s move on to the main thing: how does the perch react in this or that situation to the bait offered by the spinning player? If the visibility in the upper layers of the water, where striped predators hunt and where sunlight penetrates most intensely, is about a meter vertically, then they have no problems with color vision. At a depth of more than three meters, the perch can no longer distinguish color at a considerable distance. In this case, he recognizes it only by approaching 20-40 cm.
In case of strong “blooming” or cloudy water, zero visibility is possible. All this suggests that, with the exception of crystal clear water or the uppermost layers, perch in most cases uses the organ of hearing and the lateral line, perceiving noises and vibrations from a lure moving in the water column, say, from a spinner. Vision is connected only after the bait is in close proximity to it. But even if the predator does not see the object (for example, at dusk), the lateral line, which is sensitive to short waves, allows it not only to determine the speed with which a potential “prey” is moving, but also to precisely choose the angle for attack.
With that said, in muddy waters, I tend to fish with jerky vibrating lures or noisy baits. However, as with any rule, there are some exceptions. And first of all, they relate to fishing with plastic fish and twisters with a smooth surface. They work in any water light and are often the most effective of all. But the same vibrotail does not make noise during wiring. The point here, apparently, is that by vibrating its tail, it sends short waves to the lateral line of the perch. When a plastic fish freezes in place, the predator does not react to it.
From the above, I would draw the following conclusion: baits that mimic the natural appearance of the food object are effective in clear, transparent water, since the perch uses their eyesight when they are detected. In water with poor visibility, it is more appropriate to use baits that vibrate sharply during the wiring process, and their coloring does not mean anything at all. As for the smooth plastic fish, the perch finds it in such conditions the faster, the slower the wiring.
I have repeatedly caught perch with purely pike spinners, and every time you are perplexed how, say, a 150-gram perch can be caught on a tee that is larger than the wide-open mouth of such a medium-sized predator. In such cases, obviously, the striped hunter is driven to a greater extent by the instinct of a predatory and aggressive creature. In general, knowing the reasons why the perch attacks the bait is already half the battle. First of all, this is hunger, the protection of the territory from the encroachments of rivals (in large individuals it is manifested especially clearly), the parental protective instinct (to protect eggs and juveniles), as well as purely reflex actions. Even a well-fed perch, having eaten, as they say, to the dump, often attacks the victim only in order to kill her. For example, more than once I had to observe how, during a perch fight, the strangled fish floated up belly, but the perches never returned to eat them.
The choice of spinning lures for catching perch, as we noted above, is quite wide, and a lot has been written about this. And yet, in order not to repeat traditional mistakes, I will say a few words about some of the peculiarities of using baits in a given situation. The main mistake of a beginner spinning player, as a rule, is that he gets hung up on one or two perch lures, piously believing in their capabilities. This ignores the main tactical rule. What is its essence? Let me explain with a specific example. Once, on the way out of a rather deep bay (Ruzskoye reservoir), I caught a decent perch with a Black Fury lure. However, subsequent casts for about 20 minutes were unsuccessful. Meanwhile, the perch drove small change at the very surface of the water.
I put a yellow twister – after a couple of throws a bite. Behind her is another, a third. I change (for experiment) the yellow twister to a black vibrotail – again a grip. But the time (20 minutes) of morning zhora was lost, and soon the predator disappeared. I recommend making no more than ten casts with each lure and then changing it. Then the perch will let you know which bait he likes best. When fishing in cold water, slow lures “work” more efficiently, and at depths of 4-5 meters it is wiser to abandon the light ones, since they sink too slowly to the bottom.
There are water bodies where there are no other predators besides the perch. Pure perch tackle is appropriate here. But more often it happens that you have to fish in places where pike is also found. Thin tackle, the absence of a metal leash in such cases lead, as a rule, to a line break, loss of a trophy and, possibly, to the death of fish. So you have to compromise. In situations like this, I use 0.22-0.24mm line plus a soft metal lead. This practically does not affect the number of perch bites, and if a solid pike takes it, there are good chances to safely retrieve it ashore or in a boat. It often happens that in the area of accumulation of small things, perch zhor lasts only a few minutes. Then the approaching flock of predators departs in an unknown direction. However, one should not always rush to change places. It may be that fresh “fighters” will come to replace the departed.
author V.A. Kazantsev
Open Water Fishing (Complete Fishing Guide)