Camo Yaks--Fish see color/patterns well?

Dumb questions for newbie. I’ve seen a few camoflage kayaks advertised and heard that they’re mainly used for fowl hunting. Some camo-boaters said it helps for fishing too.

I know that some fish see color and patterns, but is general fish behavior sophisticated enough to pick out a boater/kayaker with non-camo vs. camo, or is it just a silhouette of hull they mainly see? Also, these boaters were out in the open, not next any reeds or cover. Is it legit or cosmetic trend?

Opinions appreciated.

Gimmick, fish see camo yaks as
easily as others. Its really a gimmick considering most fishermen do not fish right under the kayak, but are casting a fair distance from the kayak.

My 11 footer is sorta camo, and I can
definitely attest that it does NOTHING for my fishing abilities whatsoever. ;~)


Are you getting out on the water
this summer? Seems something comes up each time I try to go.

I’ve been out all Spring . . .
But haven’t wet a line once. :frowning:

I keep going with other people, and have been enjoying paddling different moving waters more and more. I got into kayaking mainly to fish, but ended up enjoying paddling more than fishing. Now, I fish when I go solo because when solo my only choice is a rather boring, mostly flat, slow moving river. Fishing makes it more bearable. Check that, I do enjoy that river, just enjoy it more peacefully by floating and fishing.

I’ve been thinking of picking up a fly rod and learning that skill. I think it would help me catch more fish by having the ability to flip a fly back and forth while moving, rather than cast, reel-reel-reel-reel-reel, cast, reel, etc. Most bites come within 5 seconds of my cast anyway, so reeling back in is wasted time. Do I understand fly-casting that one can drop the fly, then flick the rod to reposition it w/o reeling the line all back in? I haven’t paid a lot of attention, but when I’ve seen fly fisherman, that was my impression. Flicking it back and forth, from one side of the boat to the other, with no reeling in between.



– Last Updated: Jun-29-08 6:53 AM EST –

No reeling required with the fly. Keep 20-40' of line out, lift and recast. Sometimes you have to strip a few feet of line to give the fly some action to encourage the fish to bite. Using a sinking line (lake fishing mostly) will require you to strip in more line to be able to cast effectively. I've found fly fishing to be very effective at catching fish. Easy to mimic local insects and bait fish with fur, feathers and synthetics. A five pound fish on a light, whippy fly rod will send your heart rate into overdrive. Caution, it can become an addiction, along with the associated hobby of fly tying.

As to the original post. Color makes no difference to the fish. I've used red, blue, green and yellow boats. They could care less. Yesterday I caught a nice 3 lb brookie that was in plain sight of me and my yellow canoe in gin clear water. Back paddle a couple of strokes toss the fly, strip, strip, WHAM! I was using a 3weight, he took me into the backing twice berore I got him in the net.

Cammo is good for hunting.
The cammo breaks up your profile for ducks and the like. From below, you are one big solid chunk silhouetted against the sky. Basically, no matter what your hull color, you look like a big black hull against the sky from below. Don’t believe me? Get under your boat or others and look up. Best if you could look at several boats at a time. Below about 3 feet, they all look black.

That said, I believe my solid khaki colored kayak is the most appealing to fish. Could be the color, could be the size, could be the hull pressure. But it does not seem to scare fish and I swear it triggers hits.

The only thing hull color effects is attracting bugs. Yellow and purple attract the most bugs around here.

As a scuba diver I tend to agree the shadow of the hull tends to be dark at most depths, so camo should’nt be a factor directly underneath the kayak.

The deck was of questionable concern, as my kayaks range from single color (dark green) to swirling or blended bright two-tones (sunrise or cloud).

Anyway, seems like camouflage trend is probably just marketing the hunting consumers.

Alot of fish are …
… light colored on bottom and darker on top .

I once heard that this helps them from being eaten by bigger fish . It’s suppose to be more difficult for them to be seen from the bottom upwards (light color) or from the top down (darker color) .

Doubt it makes much difference for a boat sitting on the surface though .

Kayaks probably look like logs
or flotsam on the water.

Yep, and learning to roll cast makes
it even a faster way to fish, especially when trying to hit a target nearest the last one.

No difference for fishing
Buy what you like.

  • Big D

Light belly fish?
Fish are colored on the BACK so that predators from the air will not spot and snatch them as readily.

Fish from below look like kayaks from below, black. Go see, really.

Fish swimming above predators are merely waiting their turn, not hiding.

i feel the most important thing with color is will the powerboats see you! i don’t think the fish care unless they are right underneath your yak. i live in area where lots of powerboats, bright orange and yellow.haven’t been hit… yet

The color of your yak,
appears to make little difference insofar as power boats seeing you goes. Better to wear bright colors as you are the highest point on your boat. For the purpose of rescue and, dread the though, recovery, a bright kayak does make a difference for searches from the air.

I own 2 loon 111s
one is a camo “Perdator” model and the other is what I call “Outfitter green” since thats the color they always buy… and have noticed NO difference between the 2 as far as effectivness in catching fish.

I sux… reguardless of which one I use. :wink:

What I See
My husband uses a fishfinder and fish do go under our kayaks. I have seen many schools of…don’t know if you call them schools of fry fish or bait balls go under my kayak.

Seals go under my kayak also.


Thx for feedback and direct comparison.

Remember, you’re dealing with a creature with a brain the size of a pencil eraser…

Won’t matter to the fish.

– Last Updated: Sep-05-08 12:12 PM EST –

The big shadow of the hull, and the water pressure disturbances caused by the hull, which are detected by the fish's lateral line, are what will scare the fish off, not the color. And this stuff will only scare the fish while you are moving - you paddles will be doing most of the scaring anyway.

Bright colors don't scare off fish - One time while doing some offshore fishing I had great luck catching dolphin that had congregated under one of those bright orange traffic barrels.