Does Fishing Kayak Color Matter? Here’s The Truth…

Fishing kayaks are considered a big investment which is why it’s important to consider several factors before making your purchase. One of these factors is color as kayaks come in a wide variety of color combinations to choose from.

Some anglers choose the color of the kayak based on aesthetic preferences while others believe that the color of the kayak might affect their chances of success when fishing as some colors might scare fish away from biting while others might attract them.

So, does fishing kayak color matter? The color of a kayak does not affect fishing. There are many anglers that believe that bright colors like yellow or orange in kayaks are the best to attract fish while colors like white might scare them away, however, there’s no scientific evidence to support this. The color of the kayak only matters when it comes to your visibility and safety on the water.

Keep reading to learn more about what fish can actually see in the water, how the kayak color matters when it comes to fishing, and how to choose the right kayak color

What Can Fish Actually See?

fishing kayak in see to explain does fishing kayak color matter

Most fish species have a highly developed sense of color vision that allows them to pick up on the colors that are most common in their environment. They can also distinguish the shapes of objects in the water as well as their sizes and distance.

This impressive sense of vision can be attributed to the fact that their retinas have the same two photoreceptor cells that are found in human retinas.

There are two kinds of photoreceptor cells which are rod cells and cone cells. The rod cells allow the fish to detect shapes and movement in the water while the cone cells allow the fish to recognize color wavelengths.

Fish can usually recognize colors with longer wavelengths such as reds, oranges, or yellows better than colors with shorter wavelengths such as greens and blues.

While their sense of vision is quite developed, the extent of their ability to distinguish shapes or recognize color is still greatly affected by the water clarity and surrounding light conditions.

In clear water where light penetration is good, fish will be able to see in more detail and in a wider range of colors. However, in murky water where light penetration is low, they will not be able to see in as much detail and they will depend on other senses like smell and taste for navigation and locating food.

Does The Color of Your Fishing Kayak Matter?

It is a common belief shared by many anglers that bright colors such as yellow, green, or orange are good options for the kayak color as they might attract more fish while white color might scare them away.

However, the color of your fishing kayak does not matter when it comes to your chances of success when catching fish.

The color of the hull of the kayak is usually the only part of the kayak that fish will be exposed to and there is no scientific evidence that proves that any hull color is more effective than another in attracting or driving away fish.

As for the color of the rest of the kayak, it might matter for different reasons other than catching fish including your safety and visibility when out on the water.

There are other aspects of the kayak that matter more when it comes to affecting your chances of catching fish other than its color. These aspects include the shadows the kayak might cast, its movement above the water, and the amount of noise it might produce.

How to Choose the Right Kayak Color?

Now that you know that the color of your kayak has little to do with your chances of success when catching fish, there are some other factors you might consider when choosing the right kayak color for you.

The main factor to consider when choosing a kayak color is your safety on the water. It can be very important to be visible when out on the water in high traffic to avoid any possible boating accidents and to make it easier to get help in case an accident does occur.

The best kayak colors for safety are bright colors including yellow, neon green, and marine orange as they stand out the most and can be seen from a distance even in choppy weather conditions.

It’s recommended to avoid the color white when fishing offshore or in bays as white-colored kayaks tend to blend in with whitecaps making them difficult to spot from a distance. Even when fishing on inshore lakes, there can be a lot of water disturbance and a white kayak will still be difficult to spot.

It’s also recommended to avoid the color blue because it often blends with water.

Another factor to consider is stealth. It’s best to remain as hidden as possible when hunting out of your kayak since blending in with your environment will allow you to get closer to your prey. This works for fishing as well as bird or duck hunting.

You can learn about the best hunting kayaks here, by the way, where I get more into the topic of stealth and colors when it comes to bird hunting from kayaks.

The best kayak colors for stealth are camo colors with hues of green, gray, black, and white as these colors blend best in most conditions. Sandy colors or light browns are also recommended to blend into the shoreline, brush, reeds, and cattails.

However, it is important to keep in mind that blending well with the environment can be dangerous especially when you’re out on the water in choppy water conditions or on cloudy days as you’ll be more vulnerable to boating accidents.

How to Preserve the Color of Your Kayak?

The color of your kayak might fade away over time due to prolonged exposure to direct UV, extreme heat, or moisture.

In order to preserve the color of your kayak, you need to make sure the kayak is stored in a shaded space away from sources of light, heat, and moisture.

You also need to make sure the kayak is cleaned and completely dry before storing it. To remove any remains of dirt, debris, or salt, you need to thoroughly scrub the interior and exterior of the kayak with mild soapy water then rinse it.

If you do not maintain your kayak properly and its color starts to fade away, you might need to get it repainted which can be very expensive. So, it’s best to keep up with the maintenance of your kayak to avoid further costs.

Related Questions

What Will Scare Fish Away?

The main thing that will scare fish away from biting is loud noises in the water. These noises could be caused by the paddle of the kayak hitting the water or from a motorized boat. Another thing that might scare fish away is the shadows cast by the kayak or boat in the water.

Does Color Matter When It Comes to Fishing Lures?

Colors do matter when it comes to fishing lures because most fish species have a well-developed vision that allows them to see lures and distinguish their colors. The color of your lure should match the water conditions you’re fishing in. So, brightly colored lures work best in clear waters while darker colored lures work better in slightly murky waters.

How to Be Stealthier When Hunting on the Water?

In order to be stealthier when hunting on the water, you need to keep your noise to the minimum as much as possible when moving to avoid scaring away your prey. If you have a brightly colored kayak, it’s recommended to use kayak blinds or a camo canvas to blend in better with your surroundings. It’s also recommended to use scent reducers and to use paddles instead of a motor.

What Color of Kayak Can Attract Sharks?

There is no specific color that can attract sharks. There’s also no specific color that can drive them away. So, the color of the kayak doesn’t really matter. That is because sharks are known to have a poor sense of vision that allows them to only see shadows and movements but not specific colors. They normally rely more on other senses like smell and hearing to move in the water.

Do Moon Phases Affect Fishing Success?

Moon phases might affect fishing success as they determine the amount of light you will have when fishing at night and your visibility on the water. This can also impact the color of the lure you use to attract the fish. If you’re fishing during the full moon, you’ll have more visibility on the water, so using brighter lures will increase your chances of success. 

Helpful Resources 

Fish Eyes 101

Vision in Fishes

Kayak your way to Freedom

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