Merwin: Eye For Details?

When it comes to fishing lures, the eyes have it. Or maybe they don't. This photo of a Florida redfish I hooked on a Storm Chug Bug popper reminded me of that age-old question because the eyes of both fish and lure are so prominent.

So how important are eyes on a lure, or even on a streamer fly? Most lures have distinct eyes, but I sometimes suspect this is more an enticement for fishermen to buy the lure in the first place. If a lure looks realistic--including its eyes--anglers in general seem likely to buy it.

Many baitfishes have prominent eyes. It's been often argued that eyes on a lure give predatory fish a target to attack. I like that logic, and so I almost always put eyes on streamer flies I tie or lures that I build. But I've never proven to myself that fish care one way or another.

A lure's overall action and color are probably both more important than whether or not eyes are added. Would a "blind" Jitterbug catch as many bass as a standard version with eyes? I almost hate to say this, but I think it probably would...