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Thread: Halibut/Lingcod can they see colors?

  1. #1
    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Halibut/Lingcod can they see colors?

    I know there have been a couple of threads on visiblity and if halibut / lingcod are line shy...I think we have all ageed that they are not usually line shy but there is some anticdotal evidence that they to have color preferences on jig tails etc. If it is dark down there why would that be the case??

    Here is an article that explains the penetration of UV light to 200 METERS! The problem is that we tend to think of vision as it applies to humans. Fish, halibut in particular can see at depth. Since that is the case, color choice can matter. the article is longer and more technical that is necessary for me to understand that in fact my favorite bottom fish can see in 300 feet of water, just like it is daytime to us.

  2. #2


    Ok, so while I agree fish can see much better than we might expect at plenty of depth, I'm not sure how you surmised that from this particular article,'s a typical section of the article:

    Diffuse attenuation coefficient for downwelling irradiance (K^sub d^ in m^sup -1^) is then determined at different depths from vertical profiles of downwelling irradiance by the formula:

    E^sub d^(Z) = E^sub d^(0)exp[-K^sub d^Z](W m^sup -2^)

    Where E^sub d^(Z) is the downwelling irradiance at depth Z (W m^sup -2^) and E^sub d^(0) is the downwelling irradiance just below the sea surface (W m^sup -2^). K^sub d^, which is referred to as a "quasi-inherent" property (31) is the most relevant optical parameter for the evaluation of vertical penetration of light into the water column. However, it is difficult to visualize

    Um, Yeahhhhh, this entire article is difficult to visualize! I've taken my share of college science classes, but this article makes my head spin. And I love that it's 14 pages long and the LAST 8 PAGES ARE ALL REFERENCES! Whew, what a doozy.
    "The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing" Assyrian Tablet 2000 B.C.

  3. #3


    Now thats funny

  4. #4

    Smile Does Color matter?

    I had Halibut swimming under my boat, since all rods were down on the bottom I grabbed a 3' leader and lowered it over the side by hand. The Halibut repeatedly hit the lead ball instead of the herring, so lead must be a Halibut color, at least on the surface.
    And I did finally land that 30 lber by hand.
    Alaska Wildrose Charters and Cabins

  5. #5


    interesting. We've always had better success on black jigs. I've been told they can see the black jigs easier because it stands out against the light from above. But I don't know if light can reach down to depths like that. when jigging for lings in water under 100 feet I think it would work. On a sunny day I've seen the lings swimming around attacking the jigs(20-30 feet of water.)

  6. #6
    Member captaindd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Salcha, AK

    Default Color

    In 1988 there was an article in one of the sporting magazines where they tested different colors and combinations to see what worked best. The worst color was orange and the best was a combination of white & blue. I took some white rope and blue rope tied them to a white jig head and it worked great. Last year on one of my charters we where jigging real hard because of the dog fish. I had one jig that was white with blue strips and it was catching all the fish. Nothing else worked. I gave that jig to one of my customers as I figure I could buy another one.

  7. #7


    Last year we did a uv grub that we tested with huge results..... Something about the color and light would produce fish even at slack tide...... Sometimes the fish get picky about colors........

  8. #8


    Plain old glo white is my go to colour, the stronger the glo the harder they hit.

  9. #9

    Question got me, probably, maybe?

    So Ak. Capt., what is the best color to use out of Seward? Whats your favorite jig set up for lings and halibut? Do you use scents? I fished with your friend Steve Zernia once and they did not put any bait on their jigs. My daughter, another guy and I were catching more fish jigging then the circle hook and herring users on the boat.

  10. #10
    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default What Fist See...

    Great book, no gibberish, scientific though, written by an optometrist, available I think on Salmon, Trout, and Steelheader Website, or just google it....Ok I did here it is:

    What Fish See: Understanding Optics and Color Shifts for Designing Lures and Flies (Paperback)

    by Colin J. Kageyama


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