Implementing Red to Mimic Blood

Bleeding Shad pattern NCB Hybrid Vibe on a black background

The effectiveness of red pattern lures (as well as hooks) has been a highly argued topic within the angling community.  Proponents for red patterns argue that this color elicits a predatory response, causing the fish to react to what they perceive as a wounded bait fish.  Those against this say that fish do not react in such a manner and that the color red does not increase the odds of drawing a strike.  In reality, the answer to this mystery likely lies in the middle.  Adding red to shad patterns has the potential to be effective, but only in very shallow water.  Here's why.

At depths greater than 5 feet, water begins to filter out red colors. At depths greater than 15 feet, red is essentially gone from the color profile of the water! Because of this physical reality, using red to “mimic blood” from wounded prey has the potential to be a worthwhile strategy only in 1-5 feet of crystal clear water.  However, in this situation, a red accented lure may be the difference between drawing and not drawing a strike from a curious fish.

Recommended NCB Patterns:

Bleeding Shad (pictured above)

Molting Craw


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