Go with the glow for late-season salmon

Mike SchoonveldAs we transition into the final flurry of salmon fishing action for this year’s crop of fish, success will hinge on being on the water in the no-light or low-light periods of the day. Not that you can’t catch fish in bright sunshine, but the odds are the best bite will occur in the gloom.

Odds are also good the best lures to get the fish going will be  those painted with glow-in-the-dark – phosphorescent –  pigments. Older lures may still be found (at least in my tackle box) that are actually painted with phosphor-based paint. Most new lures are now painted with glow-paint based on strontium aluminate (SA).

The difference between them is how long they will continue to glow once charged. The older style paint loses it’s punch in 20 minutes to a half hour. The length of usable glow in the new lures is measured in hours when properly charged.

With the old lures, nothing worked better to charge them up than the bright flash of a camera strobe. A quick burst of light from the flash and they glowed so bright you’d think they were burning. A camera flash will fire up the new SA pigments as well, but to get the most of them, use an ultra-viole (UV) or “black light” flashlight. I bought mine for a few bucks on eBay. The UV rays really excite the strontium aluminate atoms in the paint.

I could go into the science of why either type of pigment gets excited by the flash or being bombarded with UV rays and how, once excited, the atoms produce light. But that’s not the point of this blog. The point is how the glow-in-the-dark lures excite the salmon and goad them into biting and how that puts a load of Great Lakes excitement on the end of your line.

Go with the glow!

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