Getting your Evanston news from Facebook? Try the Evanston RoundTable’s free daily and weekend email newsletters – sign up now!

Last week I spoke about the most asked question of professional fishermen at the sports shows, which is, “What is your number-one lure for all fish?”

I thought I would continue that theme with the next most-asked questions, one of which is “Does color of the lure make a difference?” The short answer from most anglers is “Yes.” The problem with this is if you asked six fishermen which color worked best in a given situation you would probably get six different colors. The problem with color is that it’s impacted by so many variables that most fishermen do not or cannot figure when they are choosing a lure color.

The wavelength of the color has a primary impact on what is visible underwater. In this order, colors disappear every 10 to 15 feet of depth: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and black.

To this piece of the puzzle, you have to add the mineral content of the water, because that will affect what the colors look like in different light. The other problem is very little research has been done on what colors do fish actually see and react to.

With all of that said, I can tell you that on certain bodies of water, certain colors work and others do not. For example, on Lake Vermilion in northern Minnesota, where I have fished for more than two decades, the best colors for most species are white, yellow or chartreuse. The lake is clear water down to 10 feet, but the water is tannic (copper-colored) from the iron in the soil. This probably has an impact on what those colors actually look like to the fish.

I can tell you that with all the hours I have fished on that lake, those are my go-to colors. I think you will probably find on most lakes if you not familiar with what colors work if you’re fishing shallower than 10 feet of water, go with white, red or yellow baits until the fish tell you otherwise.

Next week I’ll try and explain the number-three asked question, “Do spray-on or impregnated scents really matter to the fish?”

Until next time…keep a tight line.