Saturday, December 5, 2009

Deconstructing Old Ads with Bill Sonnett

Can Fish See Colors?

As an avid reader of older fishing books and articles, I am often amazed at the myths that pop up again and again in much of that older writing. Two come to mind. The first is that Bass hibernate in the Winter. One still saw this in print in the 1950s. I have always been amazed that this myth hung on as long as it did as most ice fishermen, including myself, have pulled plenty of bass up through a hole in the ice in the dead of Winter. They sure didn't look like they were hibernating as they flopped around on the ice.

The second myth was that bass were completely color blind. The first writer I remember challenging this assertion was Jason Lucas. My own thoughts in retrospect are if Bass were color blind why were lures produced in so many colors and why did some colors work better that others. Scientist have hedged on this question and it seem the latest is that they see some colors but not other and may not see them the same way we do. All this make today's ad surprising to me, especially when one considers that it appeared in National Sportsman Magazine in August of 1914. Why purchase a bunch of different baits when with one Skvor bait one could quickly change the same bait in up to 36 different color combinations. They assure us that it is only a matter of getting the correct color and immediate success will follow.

-- Bill Sonnett

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