Why are Pink Wahoo Lures Trending 

Could the best wahoo lure color on the planet be a pink-colored wahoo lure? Let’s talk about it.

A growing trend in wahoo fishing has caught my attention – the increasing popularity of pink wahoo lures. Over the past few years, the wahoo fishing community has seen a surge in interest in using pink-colored wahoo lures. Thanks to platforms like YouTube, more and more people are wahoo fishing now more than ever before, and manufacturers like Nomand have responded by producing a wide range of pink trolling lures for wahoo fishing.

In the 1980s, my summers were marked by fishing in Northern Wisconsin at my grandparents house on Lake Holcombe, WI.  I would spend countless hours fishing for northern pike, smallmouth bass, and crappies. It was during these tranquil moments as a kid that I stumbled upon a secret weapon – pink lures. The discovery wasn’t a result of my own trial and error but came from an unexpected source – an old timer living a couple of houses down from my grandparents. He often shared tales of his fishing exploits, weaving stories that were as captivating as they were insightful. I loved listening to his fish stories.  He taught me that unusually bright colors triggered fish to eat, and pink was among the colors he constantly talked about. He always said “Something about the color”.   I integrated this knowledge into my own fishing expeditions, using pink lures with increasing frequency. And sure enough, pink worked.

Remember, the theories on why wahoo-like pink-colored lures discussed in this blog are based on personal observations over the years and should be taken as such. The exact reason why pink works so well for wahoo remains a mystery, adding to the allure of this fascinating sport of wahoo fishing. So let’s get started. 

Weather Patterns and Wahoo Fishing

Florida is experiencing an unusually cloudy winter this year. It has been reported as the cloudiest December-January period in the last 84 years (source: Fox Weather). 

This persistent cloudiness and increased rainfall are expected to continue into early spring due to the ongoing influence of the El Niño phenomenon. This means that Florida’s winter season is shaping to be far from its usual sunny self, instead earning the nickname’ Sunshine State.’ It’s important to remember that limited light conditions influence the behavior of wahoos and other fish like tuna and sailfish over long periods.  On cloudy days, the UV-B rays increase by 25 %. So what does this all have to do with wahoo fishing and using pink-colored lures?  

Understanding Wahoo Vision

To understand the effectiveness of lure color, we must first consider the wahoo’s vision. Wahoos are predatory fish known for their sharp eyesight, which enables them to detect prey at high speeds. I am a firm believer that wahoos use U.V. light as a power to hunt prey. More and more scientific data is coming out each year in bits and pieces. You have to look for the breadcrumbs. 

The fascinating part is that U.V. light isn’t visible to the human eye, but wahoos can see and use it to their advantage, especially on cloudy days. They’re not alone in this – many marine creatures have evolved to use U.V. light in exciting ways. For example, some fish use it for communication, while others use it to find food.

It could also help wahoo regulate their internal body clock, allowing them to migrate or change behavior with the seasons.

Unfortunately, our understanding of wahoo and other pelagic fish like swordfish and U.V. light is still limited. As more research is conducted and more data is gathered, we can create a complete picture of how wahoos use U.V. light and other extraordinary adaptations for survival. 

The Wahoo Lure Color Pink

First and foremost, pink, as a color, is not inherently ultraviolet (U.V.). It’s important to note that pink is not a spectral color and doesn’t have a single wavelength in the visible light spectrum. Our brain perceives pink when red/purple or red/blue light is mixed, colors from opposite ends of the spectrum, but who really cares what we see right? My brain is geared toward what the wahoo sees and not what humans see, so keep that in mind while you are doing your research. To learn how wahoo “may” perceive colors in its environment, you can read my article “How Wahoo See Color” by clicking here.


Hot Pink Lure Paint

The lure paint or dye used to make “specific” pink artificial lures may fluoresce when exposed to U.V. light. These materials can absorb U.V. light and re-emit it as visible light. For example, hot pink is known to have fluorescent light waves in its makeup, causing it to glow under a black light emitting U.V. light.  In sum, while Pink is not a U.V. color, certain pink materials can respond to U.V. light by glowing, making them effective in applications like U.V. lures for fishing.

The Wahoo Lure Secret

Wahoo Lure Secret

Lure manufacturers do not like to share what paint is used as it is proprietary, but I know that the pink lures that perform best for me are those that glow under a black light.  I started using a product called  U.V. Blast made by CS Coatings a few years back. I coat all my trolling plugs and skirts with the U.V. spray. It lights up my lures that are not painted with fluorescent lure paint. I also spray it on dead baits. Click here to purchase from my amazon affiliate link. 


Pink Wahoo Lures Under Under Water Pressure

Water pressure affects color saturation, causing colors to change as they descend through the water column. Some colors fade, turning gray or black as they go deeper. Still, hot pink fluorescent paint maintains its integrity at various depths, ensuring visibility even in less-than-perfect water clarity—ideal for reaching species like wahoos that tend to stay deeper. Check out these recent images from Conch Republic Divers

Wahoo Lures

Clean Water-Eagle Wreck-Islamorada

Florida Keys Dive businesses, like Conch Republic Divers, have started adding fluorescent pink coloring to fins, masks, gloves, tanks and floats, and more for visibility.  Also many swim companies are adding florescent pink dye to swim trunks and bikini tops. Even spear diver community is adding more pink to equipment.

Conch Republic Divers, a renowned dive center in Tavernier, Florida, has been garnering attention. Known for their friendly ambiance and professional services, they offer a range of courses from Discover Scuba to Dive Master. June marked one year since the dive shop got new owners. Dave and Ashley Hudson moved to the Keys and breathed new life into the establishment.  They have been making waves in the Florida Keys community with their refreshing approach to running the business, as noted in an article by Melinda Van Fleet. You can read the article by clicking here.

Green Water-Eagle Wreck-Islamorada

Select Wahoo Pink Lures for Contrast

Another aspect working in pink’s favor is contrast. Wahoo looks for silhouettes and contrasts to identify potential meals. Hot pink lure colors provide a stark contrast against the blues and greens typically found offshore, making it easier for wahoo to spot the lure among the natural oceanic backdrop.  Below is an image of one my pink custom glow pink lures that I use for wahoo fishing. 


Wahoo lures by Capt. Ryan Van Fleet

U.V. vision lets the eyes detect contrasts and colors that stand out in the ocean’s blue-green environment. A bright hot pink lure can provide this contrast, making it more noticeable to wahoo, especially on cloudy days and when the seas are rough.  The Conch Republic Dive company photos I shared above speak for themselves. 

Wahoo Lure Colors-Iridescence

Iridescence is a form of structural coloration that causes an object to change color depending on the angle from which it is viewed or the angle of light hitting it. Fish achieve this effect through the structure of their scales. The iridescent fish scales contain layers of cells that reflect light differently. When light hits these cells, some are reflected immediately, while some penetrate deeper and are reflected by lower layers. The light reflected from different layers interferes with each other, creating the shimmering, color-changing effect we perceive as iridescence.  

Many baitfish, including bonito and blackfin tuna, display various colors, including a little Pink, depending on the light and viewing angles. Lures like the Baitstrip have the right pink iridescence on cloudy days to get attention. If you are looking to purchase some Baitstrips make sure to stop by Tavernier Creek Marina and purchase them from the best bait shop in the Florida Keys. 

Familiar Comfort Food 

As wahoos migrate, they eat what bait is available in that region. So just as we would be drawn to our favorite meal from home while in a foreign country, wahoo may be attracted to familiar-looking prey, represented by the pink lures

Vermilion Snappers and Squid

Vermilion snappers, named for their bright red coloration, are a favorite among wahoos. Interestingly, these fish take on a pink hue when viewed underwater due to the blending of their red tops and white bottoms, especially when in distress. This might explain why pink lures have been found effective for wahoo fishing. The pink lure could mimic the appearance of a distressed vermilion snapper, a natural prey for wahoo. This theory is further supported by squid, another wahoo favorite that can appear pinkish underwater.

Tips for Selecting Wahoo Lures-Sizes and Shapes

Matching the size of your pink lure to the bait fish they are feeding on is essential. This approach is often referred to as “matching the hatch.” 

Key points to remember when selecting wahoo lures:

  • When flying fish, which tend to be smaller, are abundant, I select 7-inch size trolling lures. Flying fish are known to be a favorite food of wahoos, and a smaller, more compact lure can accurately mimic these agile prey species. Wahoo will migrate with schools of flying fish. 
  • On the other hand, when larger prey like vermilion snappers, bullet-size bonitos, speedos, or blackfin tuna are around, it makes sense to use a larger lure, around 12-14 inches.Trolling Speed for Wahoo
  • Next, you must figure out the “wiggle” and the right speed. Movement (speed) and presentation are significant. These fast, aggressive wahoo predators are known for their competitive feeding habits. When bait is scarce, wahoos can become more assertive and opportunistic, going after anything that resembles food. This is where your lure’s movement and presentation can make a difference.
  • High-speed trolling excels when there is minimal bait around and when fish pack up in November and December during the seasonal shift from fall to winter.


The Best Pink Colored Trolling Lures 

The hell if I know, but I do know this.

It’s clear that the marketing strategies of lure companies have influenced many anglers’ beliefs about the effectiveness of certain wahoo trolling lure colors,

Fish are attracted to lures for a multitude of reasons, and color is just one of many factors. The movement, size, and shape of the lure, as well as the speed and manner in which it’s retrieved, play significant roles in targeting wahoo.  Furthermore, fish don’t perceive colors in the same way humans do. With different types of photoreceptor cells in their eyes, their perception of color depends on various factors, including water depth and clarity.

Adding to the complexity, many lure that companies and influencers often add scent to lures especially when they use plastics for targeting redfish, snapper and sea trout. a detail not always disclosed to viewers. This tactic can significantly enhance the lure’s attractiveness to redfish, regardless of its color.

Anglers should remember that lure companies are ultimately in the business of selling lures.  After reading this blog you should now have a better understanding has to why some pink colored lures and some don’t when it comes to targeting redfish and other like sea trout.  My best advice is to keep trying and experimenting with new wahoo trolling lures.

Conclusion-The Pink Wahoo Swerve

All good endings or conclustions have a “swerve”, so here it goes. Most successful wahoo fishermen have known about the magic of pink lures long before YouTube and years before that. The blend of pink with other colors was a closely guarded wahoo lure strategy.   But as with all wahoo fishing secrets, they don’t stay hidden forever. With the advent of social media, this age-old secret of using pink has gradually come out into the open, spreading across the fishing community like wildfire. Now, wahoo anglers from all corners of the globe are catching onto the trend and reaping the benefits.

So, while it might seem like the pink lure trend is something new, it’s a time-tested tactic that’s been around for longer than most of us realize. It’s a testament to the wisdom of those who came before us, the pioneers who first discovered the allure of pink-colored lures for wahoo fishing. Part of the charm and intrigue of wahoo fishing lies in the secrets we keep. These wahoo fishing secrets, whether specific wahoo fishing spots, special wahoo fishing techniques, or unique wahoo lure combinations, add a personal touch to our wahoo fishing experiences. They are the wisdom we gather over years of trial, error, and observation.

While social media and online platforms like YouTube have made sharing and learning fishing tips and tricks easier, remember that you’re not obligated to divulge all your wahoo fishing secrets for more views or likes. It’s perfectly okay to keep some things to yourself. After all, these secrets often become cherished parts of our fishing stories, adding an extra layer of depth and personal connection to our experiences on the water.

So, as you continue your journey in wahoo fishing or any other type of fishing, respect the old secrets and embrace discoveries, but also feel free to keep some secrets just for yourself. It’s part of what makes fishing such a personal and rewarding pastime.  And remember, questioning the “why” behind what works when it comes to any type of fishing, including wahoo, is a sign of a compassionate angler who gets the big picture – it shows a desire to understand the sport on a deeper level. You read this blog and are already heading to the next level. 

So, when you find yourself pondering over the effectiveness of pink lures and wahoo fishing at strange hours of the night or while you are sitting in a meeting at work shaking your head, acting like you are listening to your H.R. Manager give you a shitty lesson on how you should be nice to a coworker that you really just don’t like (just saying), that’s a sign that you are now ready to elevate your wahoo fishing game.  

Those summers in Northern Wisconsin taught me much more than just fishing techniques. They instilled in me a love for nature, a respect for the wisdom of our elders, and the understanding that sometimes, it’s the unconventional methods that lead to the most success. And every time I look at a pink lure, I’m reminded of those lessons and the old timer who shared his secret with me.

Here’s to the old wahoo fishing secrets, the discoveries, the knowledge we gain along the way, and the shades of grey, or should I say “pink,” between

 And remember, anytime your fishing its all good. 

Thanks for reading.

Capt. Ryan