With all the different flashers on the market, choosing which one to use and how to fish it can be a daunting task, one that’s just as difficult—and important—as choosing what lure to fish. Here are some thoughts on choosing the right flasher for the fishing conditions, including water colour, depth, and sunlight.
The main job of the flasher is to provide action to your lure and/or attract fish from the flash and vibration, but the colour of the flasher is crucial, and you’ll want to choose a flasher to blend with the water colour or to create a contrast to your colour pattern tape.
As a general rule, match the colour of your blade to the colour of the water. Most of the time in the Strait of Georgia and Johnstone Strait, the water is green, so a green blade flasher is the go-to. The green blade blends into the water, so then the colour pattern tape looks more natural, like the side of a fish reflecting the sunlight while chasing the lure. For the south island, Gulf Islands, and near the Fraser River area, I tend to use a chartreuse blade, which blends into that silty light brown-ish-green Fraser River water mixing in the ocean. On the west coast, use green, blue, and purple blades, because the water is more bluish than green. Blue, purple, green, and chartreuse will be visible down to depths of 250 feet depending on water clarity and sunlight.
Red can be used anywhere, because it’s the first colour to fade into the water, which can help create a contrast to the tape pattern. A white blade works in all types of water conditions but is mostly used in low-light situations like murky water or lack of sunlight. Black provides a good contrast to the flasher tape colour pattern, and I tend to use black blades in really clean water on sunny days. A black blade makes the flasher look like the top edge of a big fish. Gold and silver blades can be used in any colour water—they add that extra bling to the flasher pattern and look like fall river return fish.
Most of the popular flashers we use these days are UV, which makes the colour stand out a
bit more. They are great for the murky and deep water fishing we do around the island during the algae bloom and in silty Fraser River water. Glow blades work great for low light, murky, and deep-water fishing. That glow will attract fish by itself before a pattern tape is even applied.
When targeting river returning salmon, it’s common to apply fall colours: purple, green, chartreuse, red, pink, gold, and silver blades, with or without UV.
PATTERN TAPE COLOUR
Pattern tape comes in a wide variety of colours: Rainbow, Fish Candy Chartreuse UV, Lemon Lime, Wonder Bread, Moon Jelly, Purple Haze, Black Mamba, Herring Aid, Madi, Twisted Sister, and Purple Onion are some of the most popular.
Choose a colour pattern that triggers a fish’s attention out of curiosity or creates a fish feeding frenzy around your lure. I find the Moon Jelly tape with crushed glow, Moon Jelly tape on both sides, UV colour crushed tape with glow, and Wonder Bread tape patterns all get the fish’s attention.
I tend to use these tape patterns when the water is coloured, murky, or as a general attractant when the fish aren’t showing up on the sounder. Herring Aid, Lemon Lime, Rainbow, and Purple Crush flasher tape creates a fish frenzy. These colour patterns reflecting sunlight make the flasher look like the side of the fish twisting and turning when chasing a lure. Typically, you’ll apply these colour patterns on one side of the flasher, while the other side might have a glow, Moon Jelly, or prism tape. In the autumn, you’ll want to use more fall river fishing colours in your pattern tape, like pink, purple, green, chartreuse, red, gold, and silver.
Fish are attracted to anything that flashes or blinks in the water, so having LED light attached to the flasher makes it more effective, and you can buy these off the shelf from companies like Pro-Troll. If you cannot find them in your local market, you can make one by attaching Lighthouse Lure LED enhancer lights to your existing flashers.
The Luhr Jensen Coyote Cyclone flasher is the newest flasher in the Coyote series. It features a rotating cyclone blade in the center that reflects more light in a strobing flash and provides more vibration to attract fish—this really makes a difference on a tough day of fishing in murky, deep water.
Both of these flashers will work great in the deep water, murky, and searching for fish. So far, I’ve caught Chinook, coho, pink, sockeye, lingcod, rock cod, ocean perch, halibut, and sole with the Coyote Cyclone.