What colors should you not wear when fishing?

Scientists have proven that some fish species, such as trout, can distinguish one color from another, just like human eyes. That is why professional anglers use fly bait that matches the color profile of water insects or prey to attract the fish.

Like selecting the correct type of fly fishing gear and bait, wearing the right clothing type is good too but not necessary.

The main reason why anglers wear camouflage is to prevent the fish from sighting you on the boat; else, they are worried. So the question is: what color should you not wear when fishing?

When you fish, avoid wearing light or bright color clothing because these colors will alert the fish of your presence. When fishes notice your movement, they become worried. Instead, you should wear drab or dull camouflage clothing that makes it hard for them to notice your movement.

Before you go fishing next time, improve your chances of catching more fish by dressing correctly. Continue reading to learn more about how the color of clothes you wear can influence your fishing decisions.

You will also know the kind of clothing suitable for fishing, the type of color that matters most to fish, how to attract fish with color and light, and the best boat color for fish.

Does Color Matter to Fish?

Does Color Matter to Fish

Here is an essential question that anglers ask and sometimes argue. Does color matter to fish?

Some anglers believe that color choice is critical for successful fishing, while some anglers argued that color is unimportant. None of these statements is untrue.

The fact that a color matters to fish depends on a unique fishing technique and fishing conditions. However, we are the anglers that believe that color influences the ability to catch big fish in some situations.

Firstly, picking the right color line, fly bait, and fishing wear can boost your chances of attracting more fish in some cases and may not necessarily help in other conditions. For instance, when you are fishing on a sunny day, color does not matter because of the high intensity of light.

An angler can choose a white, golden, yellow, or silver color fly because it produces a flash that can attract fish immediately when the sun shines on it. But during cloudy weather or muddy water, a fish may find it challenging to locate a bait. In this situation, the color of the fly bait would matter.

Fluorescence and bright colors fly are essential for fishing during this kind of situation. Since there is no sunlight to lighten the fly bait, using a bright color bait would work magically.

As we mentioned earlier, some species of fish can see and differentiate color in water. They process visual information through their cone and rod cells. The cone cells make fish distinguish colors, and only a few species have it in abundance.

Examples of such species live in shallow water. They can identify the color of their prey. That is one of the reasons why professional anglers try to mimic their prey’s color and look. So when targeting fish in this condition, color choice matters. Therefore, it is wise to use a fly bait that reflects the color of the prey.

Fishes use rod cells in low light and at night. In this condition, color does not matter much because fish are unable to distinguish the color. However, Fishes can detect light contrast with their rod cells at night. And if you would use a fly, select the ones with the brightest color. 

Furthermore, you want to avoid wearing bright color clothes in this situation because fish will be able to see you move, especially in clear water.

Do Bright Colors Fear Fish?

As we have earlier mentioned, the rod cells of the fish make it easier for it to see bright contrast in low light and at night. Some species are also able to differentiate colors because of their cone cells. Bright color does not necessarily scare fish away from the shore.

In short, we will say bright colors attract them. However, any fast-moving object is enough to scare the fish away from the shore. Also, whenever you wear colorful clothes or a hat to fishing, as far as the fish can detect your movement, that is enough for them to be surprised. So, too much action, motion, and noise are what scare the fishes away from the shore, not the color of the clothes you wear or the boat’s paint. 

However, if you wear camouflage that blends with the background of the surroundings, you could reduce the tendency of scaring the fish from the shore. The reason why you should wear camouflage clothing is to avoid being noticed by the fish.

When a fish sees a bright moving color, that is when it becomes worrying. 

What Color Is Most Attractive to Fish?

What Color Is Most Attractive to Fish

Many anglers have used bright-colored bait to attract fish. The use of specific colors works well for different species. However, there are times when a particular color could achieve better than the other. So if the fish is not attracted to the color, you will want to consider changing it to another color. But the question is which color is most attractive to the fish. 

The question is a very critical one in the sense that color can influence fishing under certain conditions. But one can’t conclude that a particular color is most attractive to a fish, even if we want to. However, many colors can attract fish, not only one, two, or three colors. We said there are many colors.

Nonetheless, the most common lure colors that professional anglers use for fish are green, white, and sometimes blue. Some anglers believe that the blue color bait also does the magic of attracting fish.

Every color tends to attract fish and whether a fish likes a particular color or not depends on what you are trying to achieve. For instance, if you want to attract a fish with bait, you’ll like to consider using a lure with a color similar to the one of its prey. It will make the bait look more like an organism/prey.

Another scenario is the use of light to attract fish. Many anglers have used bright colored light to attract fish to the dock. The fishing light seems to work magically well. Most of the popular colors that attract fishes are green, white, and blue.

Does Green Color Attract Fish the Most?

Greenlight is probably the most popular light you will find in fishing and gear stores. Some people believe the green light attracts fish the most than any other color. Does it? Generally, any light will get the job done.

The simple trick is that the sunlight reflects particles in the water when the fishing light is underwater. The particles attract the baitfish, which attracts the bigger fish to the light.

Now you have understood that it is not necessarily the green light that attracts the big fish; it is just a natural food chain system. However, the green light is said to be the most attractive to plankton and baitfish, which usually migrate to the source of light immediately to reproduce.

Greenlight is the most effective in this situation, but one can’t conclude that it is the most attractive color to fish.

Does Boat Color Matter for Fishing?

Can we all agree that, to some extent, fly bait color matters for fishing? But what about boat colors? Does a particular color affect or influence our fishing ability?

No, we don’t think that the color of a boat would significantly impact the amount of fish we catch, if at all. If fish can hear the sound and see the shadow movement cast by the ship, there is no reason why we think this could cause a significant attraction for the fish.

Besides, the boat’s color will quickly disappear in the water, and not many fish can notice the color from the bottom of the water.

The color of the ship will not make much difference to their eyes, whether in low light or clear water. Even if the boat is slightly above them, they will probably see a silhouette (the shape of the ship).

The only way this could make a difference is if you use a bright fishing light that shines from the bottom of the water to the boat’s hull. However, you may want to consider getting a bright color boat, but a drab color boat will not reduce your chances of catching fish.


The question of what color we should wear/use or not use is a striking one. Every angler has a different opinion, but doing things certainly can influence the result by a small fraction that would count long-term.

To some, wearing bright colors would make them more self-conscious and concentrate on the things that matter, like how they positioned their body, boat, cast, and shadows.