“You’ll catch more fish using a pink fluorocarbon leader than a clear one. I spent a day trying this theory out, and I caught seven fish on pink line for every one I caught on clear line. Ever since then, I only use pink leaders,” one angler said to another as they struggled through a slow day of fishing.
The second angler was trying to convince the first to try changing leaders since nothing else they changed was working. Finally, the second angler clipped off a couple of pink leaders, tied on clear ones, and began catching fish — much to his friend’s dismay.
While testing out theories like the productivity of leader colors, it’s important to remember one cardinal rule when it comes to fishing: what works one day doesn’t necessarily work all the time. Fish can be finicky, and while they may prefer a certain color lure, hook or line one day, they may abandon it the very next day. This is especially true when anglers are trolling or anchored down with multiple lines out at the same time.
Instead of sticking to one color of anything based on one day’s experience, anglers will almost always fare better if they start off each day trying multiple colors. Throughout the day, anglers will notice a pattern of what the fish are hitting and can change the non-productive colors to the hot ones.
And even when one color — line, lure or hook — is hot, it doesn’t hurt to leave one color in that isn’t getting hit, because just as fish can change their mood on a daily basis, they can also change it during the same day. Leaving that non-productive color in the water can show anglers that the mood of the fish is changing, and as the bite on the hot colors tapers down, anglers can begin changing to the new hot color.
The same can be said for the size of lures, how much weight an angler is using, or how deep or shallow an angler is fishing. Don’t lock yourself down into what worked for you on one particular day. Stay flexible, and you’ll catch more fish.