My hull color is white and it seems to spook the fish. Is any hull color better than another?

Dear Captain "
My hull color is white and it seems to spook the fish. Is any hull color better than another? "

That question has been asked for years and every experiment possible has been done with hull boat colors. Everybody has different opinions on the subject. There is no scientific evidence that hull color matters. Some professionals say dark hulls are better, and some say light hulls are better. I have talked to experts for hours on this subject. One of them was the late Bass Professor Doug Hannon. He has researched this more than anybody I know, and has read many studies on the subject of hull color.

This is a Scheaffer. These boats - made by hand by master boat builder Ben Shaeffer (whose dad was the Coast Guard Commandant and who studied boat building under a guy named Morgan) - are the personal favorites of many local professionals. To buy one you either have to know one is going to be available (they are bought before they go on the market) or get on a long waiting list.

The general rule is, you can have different hull colors because of the many different conditions we fish in. Dark and dirty water, tanic water, clear water. Lush green grass flats. Mangrove tree filled cuts and islands. Muddy bottom creeks and canals. Sandy, rocky and shell beaches. Then above us there are clear blue skies, white cloudy skies, gray skies, dark cloudy skies and a mix of all of above. There would be a hull color that would excel in each of its own different conditions. But common sense tells us that a bright red hull in shallow clear water would stand out to us and it would to fish. But does it really matter? Here is my personal opinion and I am sticking to it!

What difference does it make what color the hull is, since fish already know you are there just by the displacement of water that your boat puts out way before the fish can even see the hull. It is a known fact that through their lateral line, fish can feel from very long distances. They know you're there before they see the hull, even just sitting anchored. Even at that, fish get so predatory they still will eat or want to kill your bait.

Captain David M. Rieumont
The Online Fisherman Inc.


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