Does lure colour influence catch per unit effort, fish capture size and hooking injury in angled largemouth bass?
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© 2015 Elsevier B.V.. The contemporary tackle box for recreational angling is packed with lures that cover the full spectrum of colours with the assumption that colour influences fishing success. Yet, there is little research that identifies how lure colour might influence capture rates or size-selectivity. Moreover, while much is known about the factors that influence hooking injury or hooking depth (which is a good predictor of mortality in released fish), to our knowledge no studies have examined if such factors are influenced by lure colour in fishes. Here we tested the effects of lure colour on catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE), size-selectivity and hooking injury of largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides, using artificial 12.7. cm un-scented soft-plastic worms. Lures comprising six colours in three colour categories (i.e., dark - bream 'blue', leech 'black'; natural - cigar 'red', wasp; bright - pearl 'white', sherbert 'orange'), which were individually fished for 20-min intervals multiple times per day. Data analysis revealed that CPUE was similar across individual colours and categories. However, bright colours appeared to selectively capture larger fish than either dark or natural lure colours. Lure colour did not influence length-corrected hooking depth or anatomical hooking location. Our study reveals that while different lure colours might capture the imagination and wallet of the angler, they do not influence CPUE or hooking injury in bass but appear to have a small influence on the size of captured fish.
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