Whenever you go into your local tackle shop, or the fishing section of Walmart, you will see shelves upon shelves of lures. You may know the model and the size of the bait you would be using, as well as how to fish that bait. However, you may wonder, what color do I need? Many lures have dozens of colors for each model, sometimes even more. However, we can't buy all of them. Which one should I buy? Here's a quick guide on how to properly pick out lure colors.
Above: Black and blue works very well in dark, murky water, even if the color doesn't match that of the forage.
Go dark for dark water
In dark water or dirty, darker colors, such as Junebug and Black and blue, work well. They provide a contrast or silhouette to the dark, unclear waters. For muddy ponds and green colored lakes (in the summer, algae and plankton blooms turn many lakes green), this is a staple color, especially if you live in the South. The bass are usually sight feeders, and need to be able to see your lure. I have had many fish-less days in the past when I was using a clear color in dark water. The fish just can't see the lure, folks. Make sure you have some packs of black and blue/w blue flake lures in your arsenal.
Natural Colors for clear waters
In clear water, natural colors are the way to go (Green pumpkin, watermelon, or shad). These colors resemble forage fish, such as bluegill, and look quite natural in clear water situations. Many northern lakes, moving rivers and creeks, and reservoirs, have clear water, especially in the late fall, winter, and early spring. Dark colors look very unnatural , and won't get you the same number of bites. Get some green pumkpin in your tackle box.
The color of the forage
Sometimes, the fish are just too picky. You need to, as fly fishermen say, "match the hatch". Sometimes, the bass are just feeding on one thing, and your lure looks quite unnatural to them. Look for what the bass would be feeding. In most ponds and lakes, it's bluegill, so make sure you have some green pumpkin colored baits at hand, but sometimes it shad (shad colored cranks and silver/whitish lures come in handy), crawfish (craw pattern crankbaits or orange/reddish baits), or even trout (trout pattern swimbaits, jerkbaits and other hardbaits are needed, but trout forage waters are rare, unless you live out west). I make I have green pumpkin, and shad and craw colored lures in my box at all times.
Hi. I am Ian, an extremely avid bass fisherman living in Howard County, MD. I like to bank fish and fish at local ponds and small creeks. I will explore budget friendly options for people to use in this blog. I hope I can teach you something.