Baits incorporating ultraviolet light may give anglers an edge when it comes to catching fish in low-light conditions.

Unlike humans, who cannot see reflected ultraviolet light without the aid of a black light, fish can see reflected ultraviolet light and use it in the identification of prey, habitat and mates in their natural surroundings. 

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With this knowledge, bait manufacturers have tried to incorporate UV colors in the manufacture of baits. In recent years there has been an explosion in the number of UV baits available, with everything from crankbaits to soft baits currently featuring UV technology.

How can UV baits help you catch more fish?

UV baits have proven most effective in low-light conditions, making the baits more visible to fish.  This means UV baits can help you catch more fish in deep water, where light does not penetrate well; in the low-light hours of dawn, dusk or night; or in murky water, which reduces the penetration of light.

In contrast, UV baits tend to be less effective in bright conditions, such as clear water on a sunny day.

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While a number of factors, such as vibration, shape, size and movement all contribute to a fish striking a bait, sight is unquestionably one of the most important factors. If a fish can see your bait better, it improves your odds of inducing a strike.

It is important to note that the scientific evidence showing UV baits are better at catching fish is a bit murky, but there is no question that fish do see reflected UV light and UV baits make lures more visible in low-light conditions.  And the explosion, in recent years, in the sales of UV baits suggests many anglers are having success with them.

Best colors

The manufacture of UV baits is, in some ways, still in its infancy as bait producers continue experimenting with different colors and patterns, trying to find the most effective combinations.

What is known for sure is that fluorescent colors provide the most dramatic UV presentation, but that does not necessarily mean they are the most attractive to fish.

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With so many colors and patterns of UV baits now available to anglers, the best course of action is to experiment and find a combination that works best for you. Start with bright fluorescent baits and expand from there.

Types of baits

No matter what type of game fish you pursue, there is likely a UV bait on the market for you to try. UV baits are available in crankbaits, for everything from muskies to bass. A wide range of spinners offer UV technology for multiple species, ranging from trout to northern pike. Soft baits like worms and crayfish also come in UV varieties.

Of course, the quality of UV technology incorporated in baits can vary dramatically, so it is probably best to start with baits produced by reputable bait manufactures, who have invested heavily in UV research and development.

© David Coleman | – Rubber Worms