Have you ever been sight fishing on a busy lake and noticed that the angler in the boat next to you was hauling in copious amounts of fish while you were catching nothing but weeds and a wicked sunburn? If so, you might have asked yourself at that time what his secret was. I am guessing that you might have even snuck a peek at his bait and retrieve style in the process. What you may not have thought about, however, was his knowledge of UV rays. Believe it or not, UV rays can have an influence on fishing. Here's how:
UV Rays Influence an Angler's Vision
While fishing, an angler's eyes are subjected to UV rays that are being emitted by the sun as well as the light that is being reflected off of the water. As such, all that intense light has the potential to cause eye strain and vision problems for the angler thereby reducing his ability to see the fish. One way that an angler can reduce the amount of UV rays that reaches his eyes is to wear a pair of close-fitting, wide-angled, polarized sunglasses. The sunglasses should also be equipped with side shields and shatter-proof, anti-reflective, amber lenses. I have also found that wearing a hat with a wide, dark brim helps too.
UV Rays Influence Water Clarity
Most anglers already know that it is easier to see fish swimming about in clear water that it is in tannic water. Subsequently, it is also easier for the fish to see the angler in those situations too. What anglers may not realize is that there are several things that influence water clarity and UV rays are one of them. UV rays penetrate the water and thereby determine how dark the water is at different depths. The strength of UV rays also tends to vary based on the time of day, the season and where the angler is fishing. Therefore, in vodka clear waters, sight anglers may want to try and position themselves in shaded areas like under shoreline canopies. The shade may help to keep the fish from spotting the angler so quickly. For example, think about when you stand outside at night and look into the window of a well lit home. You can see into the light quite easily. The opposite is true for those that are standing within the light and peering out into the darkness.
UV Rays Influence a Fish's Behavior
UV rays influence more than an angler's vision and water clarity. They also influence a fish's behavior. Certain species of fish, based on the position, shape and features of its eyes, may be more sensitive to UV rays. For example, a flounder may have one or two eyes on either the left or right side of its body. They typically lie on the bottom and look up towards the water's surface. In my opinion, that is comparable to a human looking directly into the sun. Predatory fish are also known to use UV rays to their advantage by hiding in darkened areas in hopes of ambushing their prey. As such, a sight angler may want to look for certain species of fish under docks or areas that are shielded from the UV rays.
Killeen Gonzalez enjoys fishing with her family and has traveled extensively.
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