Outdoor Articles

Bagwell’s Bass Tactics: Why So Many Bass Anglers Are Seeing Red

by Pursue The Outdoors on June 27th, 2005 in Freshwater Fishing

There is an amazing phenomenon running through the fishing world faster than a Triton through an early morning haze. The new craze is the color red. Two companies with very contrasting views are leading the charge and the rest of the community is following their lead.

The company that started this fish catching assault is TTI Companies. They are the makers of Tru-Turn, Daiichi, StandOut and XPoint hooks. For several years, they have been producing red fishing hooks under the names “Blood Red” and “Bleeding Bait” hooks. Their concept was first discovered in a bait shop minnow tank. “It all started in my dad’s tackle shop,” explains TTI’s New Product Manger, TJ Stallings. “He lowered different colored jigs into the bait tank. The minnows ignored all of the top colors, but bumped and chewed on the blood red color jig.” Years later a friend of Mr. Stallings shined a laser in an aquarium and the fish began to follow the red light. Stallings said, “Every fish in the tank followed the little red dot like it was a circus act. That’s when it hit me, hooks should be that color.”

Biologists have a scientific reasoning for the effectiveness of Blood Red hooks. It is a phenomenon called “Gill Flash” When feeding, the gills of a fish become engorged with blood. This signals to other fish in the area that they are feeding. It is a lot like saying, “so long suckers, I have food and you don’t.” Nearly every hook company in the industry has attempted to jump aboard the “red hook” bandwagon, but none of the imitators compare to the innovators.

Even legendary lure companies like Strike King see the importance of the “Bleeding Bait” hooks. Strike King recently introduced its own line of “Bleeding Bait Hook Lures.” They now offer Topwater baits, Crankbaits, Jigs, Spinnerbaits, Buzzbaits and Jerkbaits with TTI’s red hooks.


Is this just another marketing ploy to reel in more money from anglers or do these red hooks really work? Strike King’s Consumer Relations Manager, Chris Brown said, “I don’t believe it is a marketing ploy. We believe that the red triggers fish, we have done tests, TTI companies have done tests, it’s a deal where it becomes a confidence bait. I fish a lot of tournaments and do tons of seminars each year. I use the red hooks from my cranks to my Spinnerbaits, to my soft plastics and terminal tackle and so forth. I have a ton of confidence in the red and I believe others do too. I go back to our product offering, we grow it each year depending on popularity and how consumers respond to colors, body styles etc. It seems to be the growing trend and for good reason.” I have been using red hooks for a few years now and I love them. Reason being, THEY WORK. “I know people who dive and so forth and say the red disappears and it might,” Brown explained. “For us the flash of red on the hook, on the spinner bait wire, in the skirt, we believe that flash is the deal, as the bait is used more the better it gets, the flash is little different than a nickel or gold flash and we feel that has a lot to do with it. Look at our new Bleeding Premier Elite Spinnerbait. Red hook, red skirt strands, red throat, red wire and a red tab on the trailing blade of the bait. That tab gives off an awesome flash. We believe that red flash mimics an injured baitfish and thus attracts an aggressive strike.”

Approaching the “red” frenzy from an entirely different angle is Cajun Line Company. Rather than using the color red to cause their line to be more visible, Cajun Line Company is capitalizing on the colors invisible qualities. According to the company, the color red is the first color to start “disappearing” underwater. In as little as three feet of water, the color red starts to fade out. What this means is that the fish are only seeing the lure and not the line. When your bait is tied to the end of Cajun Line, it looks more lifelike and natural as it swims along. The more realistic you can make your lures appear, the more productive they will be.

Regardless of the reason anglers are choosing to use “Red” products, there is one aspect that remains constant, confidence. If you honestly believe that something works better than anything else and your catch ratio can back it up, by all means don’t stop using it just because someone else doesn’t like it. You have to use what works best for you and you only. I personally love the red hooks and I will continue to use them regardless of what anyone else thinks. They work for me and that is the bottom line.

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