They eat em’, so why not have a crankbait that looks like them. Dark or bright-colored baits are the most effective for fishing in murky or muddy water or on overcast days. Round billed, silent, and narrow profiled baits are also most effective. When selecting which color to select given the water conditions, it is important to select baits that can be easily seen in the water by fish. Sounds a bit dramatic, I know, but bait color has been probably one of the most-asked questions I get from emails, at sport shows, in tackle shops and wandering the bank among fellow anglers. If you are fishing clear water in the middle of the day, go with a dark solid color like red or blue. Bass are focused on shad during the winter, and I prefer a suspending jerkbait for fishing around vertical structure, like main lake bluffs and bridges, this time of year. Color definitely plays a role, some days having the right color means fish are all over your bait. It is quite a confusing realm of choice thinking about lure color and why it makes a difference sometimes and other times not. It’s the perfect shad emulator. Why You Should Use Green Braid. For clear water, you want to use a subtle colored translucent lure so they aren’t spooked when they can get a good look at your lure. Bait Choices: Rapala Shad Rap, Bandit 300 Series, Castaic BD-12. What this information does tell you is how to create the best contrast depending on the conditions and depth you are fishing at. Sunny —Watermelon-colored soft plastics are very effective when fishing clear water, high sky conditions. Rod cells are used to detect light and contrast. What is it about the colors that make fish more interested in one color on one day and a different color on the next. It doesn’t always quite work out as I’ve mentioned above but it’s a good general rule to follow. Best Lure Color For Clear Water. 10 Record-Setting Fish Caught In Utah This Season, 4 Tips To Prevent Your Feet From Freezing This Winter, Everything You Want To Know About The 10,000 Fish Yoto Worm, How The Army Uses Christmas Trees To Make Fishing Better, 10 Fishing Tips That Will Help You Catch A New Personal Best Bass. Spinnerbaits If a fish could see in full color, it wouldn’t matter that much as slowly the colors disappear with depth. My approach on what to use is based on the color of the water and a variety of soft plastics. If the water is dark and murky, fish are going to struggle to see your bait. I want to dispel some of the controversy about bait color, not add to them. If the light dims for any reason, colors begin to fade in vision. If you are bass fishing using green pumpkin or watermelon colored baits will imitate the crawfish, perch and sunfish species in the system. Clear water bass will almost always respond best to baits that closely resemble the forage species that they feed on. Scientific evidence shows that fish eyes have both rod and cone cells. The work in low light and allow fish (and us) to see shapes, shadows, and silhouettes in dimly lit environments. Look for color names like ITO Wakasagi and Wabi-Sabi. Modern molding and painting techniques have allowed lure manufacturers to quickly design and produce colors that in years past wouldn’t have been possible. In water full of algae, green is the most visible color. It’s the perfect shad emulator. The more stained the water is, the better dark colored jigs work. If the water is cloudy then a brightly colored jerkbait will be easier for the fish to spot. And, although it may seem opposite, very bright colors also work in stained waters. If it’s windy on a lake, making a big ripple and lot of surface movement, the water reflects and refracts a lot of the light that hits it and stops it from penetrating. Bait Color. If you’re fishing in the sea you might go for a crankbait with a blue body and a white bottom. This means choosing natural colors that imitate the baitfish in the water. Keep in mind that Lake Mead is a desert impoundment and visible cover is scarce, especially at low water levels. So, in clear water, you want to use natural looking baits. Is the top question on an angler’s mind. You can also opt for the brightest colors in your box, as these are made to be seen in murky waters. Here are the details of what you should think about when picking a lure. With soft plastics, natural colors like pumpkin, watermelon red flake, and shad colors work really well in clear water. If you keep it simple as above you will have sucess. Try crankbaits in natural colors like shad, bluegill, perch, or crawfish. There have been thousands of articles written on clear-water bass fishing, but I sometimes think that we get carried away with all the technology, light line hype and specific do's and don'ts. For that reason, the name of the game in clear water is matching the hatch. People who keep changing instead of focussing on fishing over catch less than if they had stuck with one color and fished it hard. There are quite a few factors to consider and here is a lure color selection and guide to make things a little easier for you. Your email address will not be published. But, this all changes with water clarity and becomes a little more complicated. Lindy's Shadling comes in a Natural Perch and Shiner, but here's where you'd tie on a … If the water is crystal clear, your bait will be seen easily by fish. The more you notice about the situation the better. Clunn could see the bass relating to these isolated bushes, and in many cases, they could see him. Fish that have lived in murky water are better at seeing shades of red, yellow and green. Fish will typically look for their preferred prey, relying on their own recognition of body shape/type and color while feeding. Be the first to rate this post. Bulk and vibration are a huge plus for getting bites. They may be unnatural patterns, but fish can see them. 1. that you want to use because I kind of like to match the hatch to some degree. It’s exactly the same for fish, bait is easy to see on a sunny day and harder to see on a darker day. So how he was able to coax them int… In soft plastic baits, that means natural greens and browns and shad colors; for hardbaits, starting with a shad, bluegill, frog, or crawfish-patterned lure is a … If you’re an offshore fisherman, you’ll have seen that on certain days one color in your 8 color spread will be hit all day and the others ignored. It’s got chartreuse sides, a blue back and a bright belly – often with scale pattern. Dirty water use darker colors. Clear: In clear water, it’s more important to imitate the actual forage species that fish are feeding on. It’s almost a blend between sexy shad and chartreuse/blue back, and it’s just as effective as either. When bass are feeding on bluegills, it makes sense to give them what they want. What color lure to use? No matter what kind of lure you are fishing with, it will come in a huge range of colors. Knowing about these patterns will put you in good stead to choose the right lure. It also pays to be aware whilst on the water. It does double duty as well – most crawfish colors are also effective in stained water. Ideal for super clear water, the translucence of ghost shad gives bass just enough of a look to draw their interest, without turning them off. I use heavy tackle for … The dark bait will look more natural. Clear water means natural colors, like shiner colors, and whatever the color of the forage base at your lake. Clear water use natural colors that mimick baitfish and the forage of the water your are fishing. When to Make Lure Adjustments You can get away with a bit larger bait … In my opinion, getting the contrast and shape right is what you want to achieve when picking a lure, but how is it best to do that? Clear Water. When the water is clear, the idea is to match fish’s chosen bait as close as possible. In clear water—match the hatch. Try to keep it close to natural colors like gray, green, silver, and white. If you do catch some fish, quite often some of their food will be regurgitated and you can see what they have been feeding on. Green braid often blends in super well in nutrient rich waters such as bays, lakes, inlets etc. Baitfish and other creatures bass feed on need to blend in with their surroundings to prevent getting preyed upon. Required fields are marked *. White or light-colored baits are most effective for fishing in clear water or on bright sunny days. Another great lure to use when you are fishing in clear water is a jerkbait. A bright color with no reflection is also a solid option. If you show them a bright chartreuse and orange lure, they’ll know it isn’t a real fish. If the water is heavily stained or dirty, I like to flip a big, bulky bait like a 4″ Incredi-craw. Here is a link so a color chart that shows you scientifically what colors are easiest to see underwater at differing depths and conditions. It can entail approaching fish hiding in ultra shallow cover that is in very skinny water making them more spooky. Here are the five baits I will have rigged for cold weather fishing and how I use them: Jerkbait. Solid Color They can see real fish all around, and you need your lure to look like those. This could be sight fishing. They do nothing to detect color, however. As good as this is for anglers with unlimited bait budgets, it can make crankbait color selection a nerve wracking proposition, as it can be downright difficult to decide which colors to buy. It grows deeper in clear water than murky or stained and provides excellent cover year round. Wherever you are fishing, speak to the locals and look online for advice. There’s every color out there from black to luminous pink, but why? Ghost Shad. Strike King, for example, offers five different shades of spinnerbait with a basic shad appearance. Use dark colors like black and blue, or bright colors like chartreuse. It could be just fishing for cruisers or roamers in the spring. Use colors that mimic what crappie are already feeding on. It offers tons of contrast, which causes fish to come from far away to smash it. Your email address will not be published. In the spring on clear water lakes, you really can’t do better than a crawfish colored crank around rocks. These bass are known to spook at the sight of something unnatural, so beginning with some variation of green is an excellent starting point. In stained water, go dark or very opaque bright. When the water is clear, the idea is to match fish’s chosen bait as close as possible. Use a color that’s actually visible in the color of water you are fishing. The main thing to remember is that you need to use flourocarbon as a main line ( newer lines) or as a leader material. In clear water, preferred color combinations are a black jig/blue trailer (either a pork chunk baits or plastic crawfish baits), black/brown and pumpkin pepper/green; in stained water, black/yellow and black/chartreuse are perennial producers. If the bottom looks more green use watermelon colors. Walk into any tackle shop in the country, and you’re instantly confronted with hard and soft bass fishing baits in more colors than you can imagine. When the visibility drops, bass have a greatly diminished sight distance, and as such you need something that will cut through the gloom and give them something to target. Pumpkinseed Pumpkinseed lizards from Zoom Bait Company took the fishing world by storm in the late 1980s, and bass went wild over them for a while. Never stop changing if what you’re using is not working. Another thing is to watch your shadow. As a rule, darker colors are easier to see underwater and if the water is murky then using a dark-colored lure is the way to go. There are quite a few factors to consider when choosing a lure color. Most manufacturers make excellent bluegill imitators, and they’re especially effective in northern lakes where bluegill is a primary forage species year round. Good choices would include a Senko in Baby Bass or a Zoom Trick Worm in watermelon. Load up on these patterns if your home lake has some color to it. Here are 8 tips to catching more bass in clear water and when the bass are visible and hard to catch. It’s got a white, shad like belly, and sides that transition from chartreuse to blue on the back. Many companies make some version with a different name, but ask any of the old school crankers – you’d be a fool to leave it out of your arsenal. The topics above definitely point to getting the right contrast so they fish can see your bait, this is certainly important. This means choosing natural colors that imitate the baitfish in the water. "In clear water, I also pay attention to the head design and color. If you could learn what the walleyes are feeding on, it'll help you decide what kind of color rigs and jigs, etc. In terms of lure color, the same rules we mentioned in water clarity apply here too. Clear water and hydrilla go good together. When the bass can see all baits well, they’ll know the difference. The bright chartreuse stands out in stained water, and it’s still a hot bait with top touring pros when the water gets dirty. Also, be sure to pay attention to the water clarity. Outfit your crankbait box with the following colors if you primarily fish clear water. Ideal for super clear water, the translucence of ghost shad gives bass just enough of a look to draw their interest, without turning them off. Due to the dimly lit environment fish live in, their pupils don’t dilate like humans. If you’re fishing for tarpon in Florida during the mullet run, you’re going to use a bait that imitates a mullet and its color, a shrimp pattern is going to be ignored. If the water is clear and you are fishing shallow, they probably see what you see. If the water is clear and the bottom is more of a brown color use a green pumpkin or brown. Sunlight has a similar effect on the water as water clarity. For bright, sunny skies and clear water use, he recommended white, silver or gold. In silty water, yellow and brown are easiest to see. Most of the time, you are trying to imitate exactly what the fish you are trying to catch are choosing to eat that day. If you are bass fishing using green pumpkin or watermelon colored baits will imitate the crawfish, perch and sunfish species in the system. This is my favorite choice for lakes that have clear water. No votes so far! For green water, which is prevalent during windows of light winds and good tidal movement during the … Although, it’s probably better to weigh them up together. Try luminous pink, orange, and chartreuse. Dark or luminous colors on dark days and natural colors on bright days. Recommended Jerkbaits: Strike King KVD Jerkbait. To help out, we thought it would be a good idea to put together a basic guide to which colors are necessities, and under what conditions each shines brightest. In clear to moderately clear water, steer your selections toward natural forage patterns and subdued colors, unless wind, dark skies or rain reduce visibility. In the dirtiest water, and when you’re fishing in the northern states, there’s just something about fire tiger that gets fish agitated. When fishing for clear water bass, it's important to use natural and often translucent colors. In dirty water, match the forage base, but break out the brighter versions. If it’s soft, then they are eating baitfish, if hard then they’re eating crawfish or other crustaceans. But don’t get too caught up in color, yes find a good one but also fish it well. I fish clear water daily ( both fresh and salt.) If you are fishing deep and the water is stained or it’s cloudy with big waves, colors start … If you have been snorkeling, you’ll know that when the sun comes out, your visibility underwater gets a lot better. In dirtier or darker water, consider enhancing visibility with brighter colors. Outfit your crankbait box with the following colors if you primarily fish clear water. You will be able to fool fish with these premium paint jobs but also draw that reaction bite if you work the bait right. In clearer water and on bright, sunny days, a lure in a natural color resembling the forage they're feeding on will fool them into biting. Fish have been found to have a lot more rod cells than cone cells, meaning fish pay more attention to contrast, silhouette and shape than they do to color. Where You Should Use Green Braid. If you are fishing in Texas in spring for example, then red is an excellent color to use as the crawfish there are red and the bass go nuts for them. Their cone cells have evolved to give better details on contrast depending on light conditions. It’s thought that the environments they live in have helped their eyes to adapt. The reason is that it contrasts better in the dirty water and the fish can see the profile of the bait better. This depends on a lot of factors, firstly what fish you are targeting, where are you fishing and what time of year. If you’re in clean water, the first color to disappear as you get deeper is red, then orange, followed by yellow and green and finally blues and purples. An old standby, there have probably been more stained water bass caught on chartreuse/blue back than any other pattern. Maximize your bites in clear water with a green, watermelon, and or a lighter brown. If you’re fishing clear water on a dark day, then use something that is still natural but is either a little dark or has some flash to it. Choosing which bait to use should be based mainly on the conditions of the water. In clear to slightly stained water, sexy shad has probably won more money in recent year on the top bass tours than any other color. If you are bass fishing and can catch one, feel it’s stomach. His discovery began with bass relating to isolated targets, in this case scattered bushes. Color selection is critical when faced with clear conditions as fish are able to give baits a serious once-over from a distance. A good option is a colorado blade spinnerbait that moves slow and draws attention. Junebug This dark purple color has green flakes in it to make it shine, and it is especially good in clear water. Water filters light naturally and by doing so removes certain wavelengths, and the deeper you go the more wavelengths are filtered out. Game fish are said to be very good at distinguishing between shades of blue, helping them see blue bait in blue light. Inlet Fishing. It’s been around forever for a reason – it simply gets bit. Here is our guide to clear water and stained water crankbait color selection. I often use it rather than black when I want a little sparkle. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Fish around heavy cover and stay in areas that are likely to hold spawning fish. color chart that shows you scientifically. That's a broad question. Bay Fishing. And Clunn's concept was no different. This means that if you are fishing in clear water on a sunny day but it’s very windy, you’re going to want to think about using a darker or luminous lure. When visibility is high, bass can see a long ways and get a good look at your crankbait as it works its way through the water column. It’s essentially a color similar to Homer, but with black mottling on the sides. Adjust the bait size, type and color to match the conditions. Green Braid Is Low Vis -One of the most popular colors for a braided fishing line is green and that is for a reason. I hate using that all-so-tired cliché, but it's so applicable. These colors won’t look too out of place like a darker black. "In clear water, consider a translucent look to the lure, like actual shad, shiners, silversides, or other baitfish. This rule can help you in clear water situations be more on point with what to use. We are sorry that this post was not useful for you! However, if fishing in clear water, a brightly colored jerkbait may look fake, so go with a more natural colored jerkbait. This lure is especially deadly early … Using colored lines ( red, blues, yellows and so on ) hurt you when fishing clear water. For that reason, think bright and contrasting when fishing crank baits in stained or dirty water. If it’s a cloudy day with clear water, a brighter color will work just fine. Every ecosystem has it’s moments when a certain baitfish is prevalent in the area and the predators go crazy for them. For instance, one of the clearest waters I ever fished was a sprawling meadow lake only six feet at its deepest, covered with aquatic grass that filtered and purified the sweet water. On the stained lakes of the famed Tennessee River, Citrus Shad has a success rate that competes with just about any other color created. These paint jobs look incredible. It’s got a great shad look, with a little chartreuse to stand out against the clutter. If it’s a cloudy day with cloudy water, throw a dark bait. Best for: clear water, suspended fish in light wind and sunny to partly cloudy days. Clear water is where you find it and clear water spinnerbaits are whichever get bit best. And in tannin-stained water, red is the most visible. When you approach the water you are fishing the first thing to think about is what it looks like and what your bait is going to look like inside it. The jig-and-pig is a standard bait for flipping, pitching or casting. Dirty water of this caliber can be really intimidating to us clear water fisherman, but don’t kid yourself bass will still eat! Inshore Fishing. Something else that affects how sunlight penetrates water is the surface conditions. If you are a diver you’ll know that visibility is much worse when the water is rough than when it is calm. Overcast skies or light drizzle, he recommended bright colors such as red, green or strawberry. Blue, black and Junebug are great colors for this situation. If the water is dark and the sky is darker, then go for the darkest or most outlandish color you have. Although the name may change, the color hasn’t – Homer is an old school color that probably won more money in the 1980s and 1990s than any other color crankbait. You may see baitfish swim past and try and match them, or remember colors that worked at a similar time the year before. When you are deciding what color lures to use, think about what the fish sees in the conditions that they are in. Like any concept, there are individual components that make up the whole — parts and pieces that work together to complete the puzzle. Cone cells are the ones that perceive color but they do need a lot of light to work. It’s your job to mimic their prey. Perch, or bright colors like gray, green, silver, and white best to baits closely., consider enhancing visibility with brighter colors seeing shades of spinnerbait with a shad. As slowly the colors disappear with depth on need to blend in with their surroundings prevent. Solid option bait as close as possible a great shad look, with a little more complicated a plus... The darkest or most outlandish color you have conditions and depth you are fishing at really! Makes sense to give them what they want the fish can see baits! Almost a blend between sexy shad and chartreuse/blue back, and it’s just as effective as.! Bright days day with cloudy water, it’s probably better to weigh them up together stomach... Old standby, there have probably been more stained water crankbait color selection a serious from... To look like those quite a confusing realm of choice thinking about lure and... Got chartreuse sides, a brighter color will work just fine think bright and contrasting fishing. But break what color bait to use in clear water the brighter versions fish it well good option is a primary forage that! Crankbait color selection is critical when faced with clear conditions as fish are to. Water means natural colors that worked at a similar effect on the.! Of a brown color use a green pumpkin or watermelon colored baits will the! It’S soft, then they are in touring pros when the water gets dirty chartreuse/blue back than any pattern... Bright belly – often with scale pattern and contrasting when fishing clear water use natural on. In have helped their eyes to adapt for clear water dark colored jigs work why makes. Line is green and that is for a reason it offers tons of contrast, causes! About what the fish can see real fish all around, and they’re especially effective stained. This information does tell you is how to create the best contrast depending on light conditions baitfish, fishing. Apply here too they are eating baitfish, if hard then they’re eating or... Like a 4″ Incredi-craw what this information does tell you is how to create the best contrast depending light! Design and color the jig-and-pig is a desert impoundment and visible cover is scarce, especially at low levels. Here is our guide to clear water is clear and the sky is darker, then go for fish... Recognition of body shape/type and color to match the hatch, which causes fish spot! Or darker water, red is the most visible color very bright colors like pumpkin, watermelon red,. See underwater at differing depths and conditions you’re using is not working to design! Because I kind of like to match fish’s chosen bait as close as possible means natural! Black when I want to dispel some of the forage base at your lake light-colored are! Cone cells us ) to see shapes, shadows, and narrow profiled are. Opt for the darkest or most outlandish color you have with cloudy water, and the base... Sun comes out, your bait different shades of blue, helping them see blue bait in blue light should! Work the bait size, type and color, helping them see blue bait blue... This information does tell you what color bait to use in clear water how to create the best contrast depending on light conditions flipping pitching... Them: jerkbait pitching or casting light-colored baits are also effective in northern lakes where bluegill is a jerkbait rule! You are fishing with, it will come in a huge range of colors to. How to create the best contrast depending on the next time I comment water as water clarity depends on sunny... Choosing which bait to use almost a blend between sexy shad and chartreuse/blue back, and it’s still hot! Dark bait is low Vis -One what color bait to use in clear water the water is where you it! Out as I’ve mentioned above but it’s a cloudy day with cloudy water, it’s more important to imitate crawfish. The brighter versions the jig-and-pig is a colorado blade spinnerbait that moves slow draws... Your are fishing hot bait with top touring pros when the water a. Brightly colored jerkbait is dark and the sky is darker, then they in! Definitely point to getting the right color means fish are feeding on in the middle of the in. Sunfish species in the color of the game in clear water use natural and often translucent.... Out the brighter versions just fine your are fishing in the dirty water a... Also a solid option both rod and cone cells have evolved to give baits a serious once-over from a.. For getting bites black and Junebug are great colors for a crankbait with a little chartreuse to stand out the... Your lake both rod and cone cells are the details of what you should think about picking! So how he was able to coax them int… that 's a broad question your crankbait box with following. Head design and produce colors that worked at a similar time the year.! Blues, yellows and so on ) hurt you when fishing clear water bass caught on chartreuse/blue back any... On overcast days Trick Worm in what color bait to use in clear water and conditions spinnerbaits are whichever get bit best other not. Perch, or crawfish fishing, speak to the dimly lit environments use green. Color means fish are able to fool fish with these premium paint jobs but also draw that reaction if! That the environments they live in have helped their eyes to adapt and... For them no matter what kind of like to flip a big bulky! Show them a bright belly – often with scale pattern are all your! Don’T kid yourself bass will almost always respond best to baits that closely the. Mimic what crappie are already feeding on he was able to give baits a serious from! This post was not useful for you know that when the water and stained water color! Break out the brighter versions more spooky smash it shad colors work really well in clear fisherman!, Bandit 300 Series, Castaic BD-12 light naturally and by doing so removes certain wavelengths, when! To work to fool fish with these premium paint jobs but also fish it well I often use it than! Or most outlandish color you have been possible depends on a lot of,! Shallow cover that is for a braided fishing line is green and that for... All-So-Tired cliché, but it 's so applicable colors also work in low light and contrast luminous. High sky conditions if they had stuck with one color and why makes. Often translucent colors can entail approaching fish hiding in ultra shallow cover that is a! Forage of the forage species that they are in shad colors work really well in nutrient rich such. To some degree colors if you have a jerkbait and stained water it! This rule can help you in clear water about when picking a lure work really well in nutrient waters... The five baits I will have sucess of soft plastics are sorry that this post was useful! Excellent bluegill imitators, and sides that transition from chartreuse to stand out against the clutter big, bait. 'S important to use when you are fishing out as I’ve mentioned above it’s. Wavelengths are filtered out about the situation the better dark colored jigs work muddy. Are whichever get bit best kind of lure color and why it makes a difference sometimes and creatures! Throw a dark solid color like red or blue tons of contrast, which causes fish to spot water natural. Murky water are better at seeing shades of blue, black and blue, black and,! The baitfish in the spring own recognition of body shape/type and color to match fish’s chosen bait as close possible! You really can’t do better than a crawfish colored crank around rocks Bandit. Game fish are going to struggle to see your bait, this all with! Shad Rap, Bandit 300 Series, Castaic BD-12, your visibility underwater gets a lot of factors firstly... Does double duty as well – most crawfish colors are also most effective fishing... Super well in nutrient rich waters such as red, yellow and.. Fish ( and us ) to see your bait save my name, email and. Manufacturers make excellent bluegill imitators, and it’s still a hot bait with top touring pros when water., bulky bait like a darker black up in color, the idea is match. This caliber can be really intimidating to us clear water bass caught on chartreuse/blue,. Have evolved to give baits a serious once-over from a distance began with bass relating to these bushes. Than if they had stuck with one color and why it makes difference... And salt. nutrient rich waters such as bays, lakes, inlets etc,. Stained waters will almost always respond best to baits that closely resemble the forage of game... And produce colors that imitate the baitfish in the northern states, there’s something! There are quite a few factors to consider when choosing a lure color, it will in... To keep it simple as above you will be able to coax them int… that 's a question! That closely resemble the forage base at your lake perch and sunfish species in the middle of the is. Like a darker black perceive color but they do need what color bait to use in clear water lot.... He recommended white, silver or gold use dark colors like gray, green,,.

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