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UV (ultraviolet) Fishing Baits & Lures - Do They Really Work?

Updated on March 24, 2013

UV Tightlines Lure Company

UV Tightlines Lure Company
UV Tightlines Lure Company

What is UltraViolet Light?


The "science" of fishing continues to intrigue me... what can and can't fish see under water? How do fish react to "natural light" presentations, and do they react differently to "ultraviolet" presentations? I'll share my findings with you in a few short minutes - but first you'll need to understand what ultraviolet light is.

The theory behind UV light (as it pertains to fishing) is this: ultraviolet light is thought to make up as much as 80% of the light in shallow water, and up to 100% of the light in deep or murky water. Even more intriguing is the theory that all baitfish (shiners, shad, crawfish, etc) all reflect UV sunlight - which make them more visible underwater. So the thought is, using tackle that also reflects UV light, would provide a more "natural" or at least a more "visible" presentation (as non UV treated baits simply absorb natural light).

The image you see above is a glimpse of what a UV treated bait looks like under a "black light" - the closest thing to real underwater light conditions. As you can see, the UV treated bait seems to "glow" , and is clearly more visible than the non UV treated bait. So does it catch fish?

All Signs Point To "Yes"...

I don't believe anything, until I've tried it myself. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you'll read my article and consider all my thoughts and opinions, but you certainly won't buy into hype until you've had the chance to try it for yourself - right? I wouldn't have it any other way...

I've experimented with UV baits in a variety of ways, and with a variety of baits - and here's what I've found. The UV treated baits did in fact seem to garner more attention, than the non-UV treated baits. How did I come to this conclusion Simple... I took two identical baits: one UV treated, and the other non-UV treated and tested them under the exact same conditions: and the UV treated baits always got more attention.

I tied on my non-UV treated bait & tossed it around for a good 20 minutes, and got 1 or 2 fish. Then I would tie on my UV treated baits, and give it a go for 20 minutes. I always received 2 to 3 more times the "hits" and caught 2 to 3 more times the fish, using the UV bait. So then I would stop... tie my non-UV bait back on, to see if this "feeding frenzy" I created would "stick" - but the bite seemed to fizzle out. True to form, I tied the UV back on and (yeah, you guessed it) the "bite" was back on. I can't think of a better test that that - wouldn't you agree?

While I am a believer in the fact that UV baits do genuinely work - I do have one caveat. The UV treated baits seemed to ONLY do better in deeper/darker/murkier waters - in other words - waters with less light penetration. I shallower, clearer bodies of water, I noticed I would catch just as many fish on non-UV baits, as with the UV baits. So it would appear that UV treated baits are a viable "tool" for the angler that fishes low-light bodies of water, or deeper waters. They have definitely earned a spot in my tackle box, and continue to catch me fish.


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