Weather Forecast


Glow-in-the-dark baits can work as an aid all day long

The Friday night basketball game had my eyes glued to the court. Our high-school team was in a close one and as half-time approached the score was teetering on a tie.

When the buzzer sounded, fans oozed into the lobby in search of cheap hotdogs and bags heaped with salty popcorn. I stood near the entrance, half-listening to an acquaintance and taking note of the drastic differences in people as they continually passed, some dressed in neatly pressed business apparel that made them stand out from parents wearing team sweatshirts and jeans, others still bearing their jackets in an attempt to regain warmth stolen by a frigid winter whose frost wrapped the main entrance glass doors.

A bearded fellow wearing weathered Carrhartt overalls unknowingly bumped my elbow as he jockeyed for position in line for the concession stand. His pant cuffs were wet and he shuffled the large pack boots that barely lifted from the tile floors when he walked, his hands tucked behind the front of his bibs. A Tazer swung like a pendulum hanging from the brass zipper pulled chest high and I wondered what he had caught that evening, although I would never find out. I noticed others with the small lights of one make or another hanging from their jackets as I walked back to the stands to occasionally pump my fist in the air in support of our hometown team.

Those Tazer's have been around for some time, but the concept of charging glow baits has existed since luminescent paints were invented. Flashlights and lanterns were long the standard methods for recharging glow-in-the-dark jigs and since those items were of necessity under the blanket of night, it was only logical to employ their use.

Then anglers discovered the long lasting, high-intensity glow produced while using a camera flash to charge the luminescent baits. Soon after, tackle manufacturers created Tazer type mini-chargers that use a concentrated light beam to super-charge jigs and lures designed to glow.

Today, tackle shops offer specific tools for illuminating an applicable bait and check-out aisles have them vertically dangling for customers who may have forgotten to grab one in the fishing department when they purchased the baits that go hand-in-hand with ice fishing at night.

The bait packages advertise "glow-in-the-dark," which is true, but realize that the world under a sheet of ice and blanket of snow isn't parallel to our environment above water. Think about it. On most bodies of water you can see the shoreline from the middle of the lake and even further when it's clear.

Obviously the fish beneath you experience suppressed visual fields, with factors such as water clarity and snow cover directly affecting how far a fish can actually see. A fish in cloudy water environments on a sunny afternoon may have nearly the same visual capabilities as one in clear water under the cover of darkness. But even clear water offers the opportunity to use glow-in-the-dark, or in some cases, glow-in-the-middle-of-the-afternoon baits.

Educated anglers know that subtle variances in presentation can elicit interest and reaction from fish. Luminescence in a pitch-black environment is radically intense, but utilizing glow in the middle of a sunny afternoon breaches extreme contrast, becoming an asset in subtlety instead of severity.