Bill Dance Explains the Difference Between Horizontal vs Vertical Lures and Which Works Best


At this point during quarantine time, you’ve probably re-spooled at least a half dozen reels with fresh line, cleaned the boat twice that many times, ordered more fishing equipment to your front door than you know what to do with, and spent countless hours pouring over lake maps and navigation charts.

Need something more to keep you busy?

If you’re like me, you too have been spending more time than usual flipping through the pages of Bass Pro Shops and Cabelas’ catalogs wondering which of the hundreds of lures you should add to your arsenal. I enjoy scoping out the lures for new designs, techniques, and unique presentations to incorporate into the upcoming fishing season. Making this latest video from Bill Dance extremely timely:

Who doesn’t love fishing advice from Bill Dance? Which sort of brings me to my next question.. how does Bill Dance NOT have a blue check on his Instagram account?! Somebody needs to call over to Instagram and find out what’s going on! Anyway, I digress. Who else found that tip on how bass see helpful in their lure selection?

Another popular question often asked about how bass see is, do they see color? And according to Bassmaster, the answer is “Without a doubt yes!” Here’s more information from the team of biologists working with Bassmaster:

“Not unlike humans, bass have cellular structures in the retina called cones and rods. Rods allow an animal to see black, gray and white in low-light conditions, while cones allow an animal to see color. The exact kind and quantity of cones in bass is uncertain, but the plentiful existence of cones, along with related research, indicates that color selection can be important, depending on the conditions.

Color is a product of light. Light is both absorbed and refracted by water, and the shorter the wavelength, the deeper the color can penetrate. In clear water, the blue end of the spectrum is visible at the deepest depths, while the red end is absorbed more quickly.

However, the clarity of the water also plays a role. If there is a strong algal bloom, or the water is muddy from a recent rain, light behaves differently. In these conditions, colors that contrast with the surrounding water will be noticed more quickly. At night, bass rely on their retinal rods, just as we do, to see shadows and movement. During new moons, there isn’t a lot of ambient light in the water, and it dissipates quickly with depth. In these conditions, darker lures have more contrast and can be seen better. On bright, moonlit nights where more light penetrates, more lure colors will be visible to a bass.”

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