It was a warm summer afternoon on the lake (Lake Chabot in Northern California). Probably the toughest time of day to fish for trout. I had rented a 12 foot aluminum boat and was trolling the shady shore line and deep sections trying to catch a bite but no luck. On a whim I decided to try a new lure I had, it was a pink transparent Rapala Husky Jerk. I tossed it behind me and proceeded to troll it. Within minutes as I was coming toward a bend it was fish on. First strike of the day. I brought that trout to the boat and turned around and made another pass. Same thing, another trout.
Transparent Colors Catch Trout & Largemouth Bass
A few days later I mentioned it to my friend One True Bob and he told me his favorite lure was something he called The Pink Lady. It was a transparent pink colored lure called the Owner Mira Shad. I went to the bait shop to find some. The guy at the store told me he was having trouble keeping them in stock because word was getting around that see-through baits worked really well for trout and largemouth bass. He said the transparent pink and transparent gold (orange) lures were the most popular colors. There was only one pink lure hanging on the peg so I purchased that one and a few in other colors as well.
Lures that Catch Fish in Hot Weather
Bob and I participated in a fishing tournament at a lake in Upper Northern California where the days got super hot in the summer. Really tough fishing. We trolled various firetiger lures and whatnot and were striking out. So the One True Bob pulls out his Pink Lady and tossed it under the shade of some trees and gave the reel a couple cranks and fish on, he caught a trout.
After trolling around all morning since day break, we caught a trout at the hottest part of the day with a transparent lure in a color that didn’t resemble anything natural. I really didn’t think about it. I was happy to be able to catch largemouth bass and trout on sunny days with transparent pink, orange and blue lures. It didn’t matter why.
Pro Bass Angler Secret Lure
Years later I was fishing next to a guy who was tossing out a raggedy topwater lure (Zara Spook) that had all the paint scraped off except for the top. It was a perfectly transparent lure except for an inch and a half section along the top. He explained it was a technique professional bass anglers were using to catch largemouth bass. The idea was that on sunny days the sunlight would shine through the top of the lure and make it shine pink, orange or blue, like a light bulb, making it pop out from its surroundings.
One thing I’d never considered up to that time was that fish have a hard time seeing a lure in sunny day conditions. The sun makes everything look like a shadow. That’s why black is a popular color for sunny days, because it works great for blocking out the light, making it easier to see under the glare of a summer sun.
Why Transparent Lures Catch Fish
A tinted transparent lure works in a similar way. The transparent color-tinted lures take advantage of the sunlight passing through it to light up in colors and cut through the glare. The light makes it the most visible lure for yards around.
Color Doesn’t Matter Much… Kind Of
The color of a lure isn’t as important as the lures ability to be seen or heard. The color of a lure, in general, is less important than the action and the size of the lure. It’s only when fish are feeding on something that has a specific color that color becomes important, but even then the size of the lure is still more important.
This is why crazy colored transparent lures like bubblegum pink, bright blue, orange and fire red work so well. The color works to get the lure noticed. And when you’re fishing on a hot sunny day, hardly anything gets your lure noticed as well as a tinted transparent fishing lure.
That said, the fish in every lake, reservoir and pond seem to have a preference for certain lure colors. No lure color works all the time but some colors for some lakes work most of the time. Transparent Pink, Orange, Blue and White are top colors no matter where you go. If you’re going to stock up, at least have the first three colors. Transparent pink and orange are my favorite transparent lure colors for catching any species of freshwater fish during hot and sunny days.
How to Fish Transparent Lures
The key to success with transparent stick baits, jerk baits and minnow lures is to use them under the same conditions that you would use a metallic spoon. But what makes them better than spoons is that transparent lures work well when tossed into a shady area near a bank. As long as there is light, even on a cloudy day, the light will energize your lure and make it pop out from its surroundings, calling in fish from all directions. Clear and tinted transparent lures also work great in crystal clear water. All of these situations where transparent lures work best are the most difficult fishing conditions. That’s why I love using transparent lures because it gives you that extra edge when the fishing gets slow.
Favorite Transparent Stick Baits
- Owner Mira Shad
- Rapala Husky Jerk
- Dynamic Lures HD Trout
Best Lure for When the Fishing is Difficult
Give these lures a try. The lure you use doesn’t have to be any of the ones I mentioned. Almost every kind of lure comes in a clear model. If you want to do it yourself or don’t want to spend money, try sanding off the color of an old jerk bait then lightly paint just the top of it. Afterward you can spray some clear glossy topcoat to protect your paint job. This is a great way to give new life to an old lure. Transparent lures belong in your tackle box because they will catch fish from trout to bass under the most difficult fishing conditions.