Fishing Talk: Take the Bait!

Fishing Talk: Take the Bait! Apr 5, 2021

UV Coating is changing the way we see colour in fishing

The following article is by Patrick Campeau. It will appear in our upcoming Power Boating Canada Volume 36 Number 1. Want to subscribe for future issues? Click here!

When it comes to lures, there are a lot of different colours available on the market and everyone has their own preferences. However, the new UV coating innovation is changing the way we see colour altogether.

A few decades ago, scientific studies taught us that when light enters the water, the colours with the longest waves are absorbed and appear to gradually turn black. The general rule of thumb is that the colour red is almost completely absorbed in the first 4 to 6 meters deep. Then, orange remains visible until 9 to 12 meters and yellow until 18 to 21 meters. As for green and the blue, they remain visible almost as deep as light itself can penetrate.

The next time you see “UV” on the package, know that this is not merely a marketing ploy, and give it a try. You may be surprised by the results.


During the 1950s, we saw lures covered with a finish called “glow-in-the-dark”. They revolutionized the industry in the 1970s and are still highly valued by various fishing communities. These lures are covered with a luminescent product that can store the light and rebroadcast it after. When it is exposed to the sun or artificial lighting, they emit striking gleams of light, particularly visible in deep, dark, or turbid waters where the sun does not shine.


The sun’s rays are composed of more than 50% of visible light and about 45% of infrared rays. It is estimated that 5% of its energy is emitted in the form of ultraviolet radiation, which is called UV.

Even when the sky is covered in clouds, the ultraviolet rays still get to us. Clouds simply block infrared, not UV. Nearly 95% of the rays that reach the earth’s crust are UV-A. UV-A – invisible to the naked eye and responsible for our sunburns- are between 315 and 400 nanometers. While we do not see them, it is important to know that fish distinguish them very well, down to depths of more than 35 – 40 meters.


Over the past few years, several manufacturers have introduced flamboyant colours to the market that respond to these ultraviolet rays. The colours were appreciated more by amateur fishers. In my opinion, it was the biggest marketing flop of all time. Not because they are not great products, but because these manufacturers launched an extraordinary colour palette that boasts revolution, yet most consumers cannot explain the overall results.

When “UV” is written on the packaging of a lure it means it is covered with a finish that reacts and reflects ambient ultraviolet light, even in shallow waters. It magically lights up, but your eyes can not see it and that is the main problem with this technology for the average person. When placed under a UV flashlight or a fluorescent black light, you will see it in its entirety. The colors then explode and become even more visible and attractive.

According to some biologists, some sources of miniature food in the form of zooplankton or phytoplankton, and even a few others a little larger, have scales and skin that reflects UV. Predators can easily locate them in the water column.


The great thing about lures that react to UV is they work just as well under ice, when the sky is dark, in tinted or clear water, shallow or deep, throwing, trolling, etc. The only time they do not really stand out from other types of lures is during the night when there is no sunlight to make them react. In the dark, the glow-in-the-dark colors are obviously more visible.


Like the conventional lures, they can be used in different ways…

  • The slow and alluring retrieve: For this technique, you simply hold the fishing rod with the tip section aimed toward the sky and retrieve slowly and in a continuous fashion. This type of retrieve is ideal for fishing in shallow water above weed beds or other types of structure.
  • The twitch (jerky) and erratic retrieve: Simply point the rod tip above yourself. Then, while retrieving your fishing line, you constantly apply twitches of the rod tip toward you.
  • The high-speed retrieve: This is a highly effective technique when you require a reaction from aggressive predators. Simply cast the lure as far as possible and retrieve it very quickly without applying any twitches.
  • Making contact with different obstacles: To attract attention from predators, it is recommended to bump your lure against objects under water such as rocks, mud flats, stumps, branches, etc.
  •  “Countdown” Method: “Countdown” type lures will fall directly toward the bottom at a rate of approximately 1 foot per second. You can calculate at which depth your lure has achieved before starting your retrieve.
  • Trolling: This is an excellent technique which allows you to cover a lot of water since the lure remains almost 100% of the time within the attacking zone of the fish versus approximately 60% of the time when using a casting application.
  • Trolling in an “S” pattern: Another great technique to use while trolling is to simply perform zigzags with the boat to create an S pattern and with the lure that is located on the outside, which means the opposite direction of where the nose of the boat is heading, this causes that lure to increase speed while the lure located on the inside will slow down significantly.


These lures are available in several sizes. Spinners in the 0 to 1 size are small lures that are used to fool bass in a subtle fashion. Since they are very lightweight, it is important to use small diameter fishing line and a relatively flexible fishing rod to be able to obtain a significant casting distance.

Larger spinners in the 2, 3 and 4 sizes will produce lots of vibration and reflections in the water. Bass love this type of lure and will not hesitate to aggressively attack it. My personal favorite spinners are the Mepps Aglia, Black Fury, Xtra Deep and Thunder Bug.

Spinners can be used for trolling or casting applications. They should definitely find a spot in your tackle box.


Most spoons are very attractive and effective at drawing attention from predators.

All these metallic lures have one special small feature, they produce a certain amount of reflection and vibration which is dependent upon their shape, their weight, and their swimming action. These are factors that could excite the senses of a lake trout.

Several types of spoons do not require additional action to be attractive. Certain ones are more effective at a certain trolling speed or speed of retrieve. There are spoons that will completely change their action if they are retrieved too quickly and others need to be retrieved more vigorously to achieve their proper action in the water.

Certain fishermen have a bad habit of using their fishing spoon too quickly. This causes the spoon’s action to change and be no longer effective. The Williams lure company has developed a stabilizer with a unique ridge and shape allowing you to fish at different speeds without changing the action of the lure. This ridge works so well that both the United States and Canada have issued a rare patent to Williams for a fishing spoon.

It is possible to change the action of certain thin spoons by modifying their original shape. You can change their motion by applying a light curve to them.  Once modified, the action of your Dartee, Mooselook, Thinfish and other spoons will change in a significant fashion. When performing tests, you may be able to discover new interesting actions.

Good fishing!

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