When the sun is shining, throwing a bait that reflects the light increases your odds of catching fish.
Various forage such as shad, crawfish, minnows, and worms all reflect ultraviolet light from the sun and bass see this reflection to key in on their prey. Shiny lures shine brightest in clear water but research has shown UV light penetrates murky water similar to what it does in clouds.
When Shiny Baits Shine
Lure makers have been adding on bright UV-reflective paint such as chrome, silver, and gold for years and some have even added on colors that glow after a certain amount of exposure time to the sun. A lure sprinkled with plenty of metal flake throughout its paint job also reflects sunshine well. Lure manufacturer Brett Ware has also infused a small amount of UV-shiny colors into the plastic he uses for grubs, craws, worms, and creatures.
Flashy Bass Baits For The Spring
I use a variety of reflective baits throughout the year based on seasonal patterns. During the winter and early spring, if I am fishing clear water I favor a suspending jerkbait with a lot of chrome in its body to reflect the sunshine. The reflection of the lure becomes even more pronounced when I twitch the bait and the flash created by this action triggers reaction strikes. When I am fishing off-colored water, I switch to a white jerkbait which seems to reflect the UV light better in the dingy water.
Shiny Spinnerbaits Always Play
Another one of my favorite shiny baits for catching both spring and fall bass is a spinnerbait. A spinnerbait’s silver or gold blades generate plenty of flash on a sunny day whether I am fishing clear or dirty water. The blades will reflect sunlight on a steady retrieve, but I like to create more flash from the blades by occasionally twitching the spinnerbait throughout my presentation.
Targeting Spawning Bass With Reflective Baits
When bass are spawning, I like to throw floating worms in bright colors such as yellow, methiolate or white over a bass’ bed to tempt the fish into biting. During the post-spawn, chrome or white topwater baits produce best for me on sunny days because these colors reflect sunlight best when I use a walk-the-dog or popping retrieve.
A variety of crankbaits are also available in reflective colors. One of my favorites for fall fishing is a chrome-and-red Bubonic Crankbait that mimics the bright colors of shad that bass hone in on during autumn. When the sun gets bright, remember to take advantage of its light by drawing strikes with a shiny bait.