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roadwarrior

Rethinking Color

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One of the BEST threads we have ever had posted:

So, me and a lot of members have always ranked "color" at the bottom of our list. My thinking is that color is sometimes critical, but for the most part not at all. Profile, action, size and depth generally rank much higher. After reading this narrative, I might be wrong! What is your take?

 

:stupid:

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I always said color matters when it matters but not when talking smallmouth. I've been fortunate enough to fish enough that I've witnessed not one, but many days in which color was a big factor but this I've experienced a lot more with smallmouth than I've had with largemouth.

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4 minutes ago, smalljaw67 said:

I always said color matters when it matters but not when talking smallmouth. I've been fortunate enough to fish enough that I've witnessed not one, but many days in which color was a big factor but this I've experienced a lot more with smallmouth than I've had with largemouth.

Yes very true observation regarding smallmouth. There are days when color makes a big difference. 

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I don't know.  I have always believed that color was fairly un-important, partially to console myself when I can't afford more than one or at most two colors of a particular lure, but after reading this I am starting to question myself.  Sure the pro's will always try to convince you that you need every color of there sponsors bait, but I had always chalked it up to trying to get product sold.  After reading his first hand account of how much kvd cared about color, maybe I've been wrong. 

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In believe there is always a best color , size, action , sound.... It might not make a big difference but we all know how much a small difference in weight can effect tourney standings .

 

One day when leisure fishing I   switched colors because the bass were hitting it too good and I was spending more time trying to get the crankbait and both hooks  out of their throats than fishing . The new color worked out much better because most of the fish just had the rear treble in their mouths . I caught  more fish on  the color I switched too , because I could make more cast with it .

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I just don't think color is super important in plastics and most baits. I just try to find some spit up baitfish or crayfish and try to match colors of what they look like which usually tends to be green pumpkin, watermelon, brown/pumpkinseed, and white. I'll add a little JJ's for effect. I also hate owning tons and tons of different colors because it over complicates everythings. I will even throw these colors in muddy water (unless it looks like chocolate milk) because the baitfish and craws don't magically change colors because the water is dirtier. Sure, blacks and chartreuses stand out more but I seem to get bigger bites throwing more natural colors in dirty water.

However, I do think color is important in jerkbaits. I will throw 10 baits in 10 different colors and for some reason they will only want X bait in X color one day and a complete different one the next day

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I have seen a lot of days where changing the color of a bait will make them bite, or turn the bite completely off.  I have also seen days where the bass will hit anything you throw at them regardless of color.  There are also a lot of days in between. You just have to let the bass tell you what they want.

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Whether or not it makes a difference to a bass, I've read a lot of things from the science side, and have read a lot of instances of real world examples of how a color change turned a bite on.  Which one holds true and when, who REALLY knows.  There's probably times when a color change triggered a bite, but you can't say for sure it was THAT color was it because once you get a bite you don't want to start changing colors.  All I know is that I have my personal confidence colors that I like to throw, and those are the colors that give me the most confidence when fishing, so those are the colors I like to use.

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I'm relatively new to bass fishing but, I feel color is important. I base my color selection on water type and time of day and cloud cover. Now with steelhead fishing color is almost as important as location.  I know there's a huge difference between the 2 types of fish but, maybe that is why i feel color is important. i have already found that using the same type of lure in 1 color may produce fish in the morning and then turn cold and a color change more often than not will bring back the bite for me. Thats my thoughts on the subject.

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All you need to do is fish SoCal clear deep structured lakes where color always matters, especially soft plastics and swimbaits.

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3 hours ago, roadwarrior said:

One of the BEST threads we have ever had posted:

So, me and a lot of members have always ranked "color" at the bottom of our list. My thinking is that color is sometimes critical, but for the most part not at all. Profile, action, size and depth generally rank much higher. After reading this narrative, I might be wrong! What is your take?

 

:stupid:

Read nothing in that thread would lead me to change my opinion on color!

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Color can be huge on certain lakes, and on others not as much. On other threads I have talked about a clear water lake where sunny and flat equals smoke and some kind of flake baits being hot with watermelon red getting blanked. Under choppy conditions where the light is broke up with sun or no sun and overcast and flat it flips 180 and water red gets all the bites and smoke blanks. I have seen this over the years and this is a very repeatable pattern, my thought is I am matching the gills in the area, and they look different to bass depending on how bright it is below the surface. 

Bring me to my home lake, green water, and water red, green pumpkin, junebug, etc catch them, color really doesn't matter that much.

So yeh color really matters on some lakes especially with soft plastics that are worked slower. Crankbaits I am a bit on the fence about because they are more of a reaction bite unless you are tossing jerkbaits. 

3 hours ago, Jon G said:

I just don't think color is super important in plastics and most baits. I just try to find some spit up baitfish or crayfish and try to match colors of what they look like which usually tends to be green pumpkin, watermelon, brown/pumpkinseed, and white. I'll add a little JJ's for effect. I also hate owning tons and tons of different colors because it over complicates everythings. I will even throw these colors in muddy water (unless it looks like chocolate milk) because the baitfish and craws don't magically change colors because the water is dirtier. Sure, blacks and chartreuses stand out more but I seem to get bigger bites throwing more natural colors in dirty water.

However, I do think color is important in jerkbaits. I will throw 10 baits in 10 different colors and for some reason they will only want X bait in X color one day and a complete different one the next day

Just curious, I fish tubes a lot on a slider head, which can be used to mimic an injured baitfish, the way I fish them most of the time, or dragged like a craw or a goby. I do realize that the tubes do sink vs being suspended, but since they are being fished up in the water column, wouldn't the color selection be just as important? Same with a grub being yo-yo retrieved slowly back to the boat on a light jig?

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I'm with Catt on this one. I have a few colors that have served me well for many, many years. I too read nothing In that post that changed my mind. There's one thing I know for certain. If you have confidence In what you are throwing and you're throwing that where the fish live you will eventually get bit.

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I also agree with those that reading the discussion has not changed my lure color selection at all.I have been using the same colors for decades and the bass continue to bite well.Most lure colors are made more to catch fishermen than to catch bass.Having full confidence in the way you fish is far more important than what color your lure is.

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I think color does matter especially in clear water. I don't know that all these super realistic cranks and stuff like lice targets are necessary because they are moving and the fish doesn't get that good a luck, but natural patterns definitely get me more bites and matching the forage makes a big difference. For example the threadfin shad here have a black back and white belly with a bit of blue along the back. Last fall small is were schooling and hammering them in the backs of creeks. A square bill with a black and blue back got me 10 bass and then I broke it off and couldn't get a bite for over an hour. I took a blue sharpie and added a line to the side and caught 12 more fish. Also the craws around here have orange highlights on the legs and craws. I have out fished my cousin several times with both of using identical line, rod, weight, and hook, with a green pumpkin baby rage craw. I dipped the tips of the claws in orange dye on mine and ended up catching 17 bass and he caught 3. And I was in the back of the boat so I was fishing the same spots after him. I think sound plays a big part as well. Several times I've caught more on plastics in muddy water using a rattle and he was using the same thing without and only caught a few keepers. That's why it's always best to experiment, because you never know what the bass may be keyed in on that day

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Color matters some days, to some guys, and in certain lakes more than others. I have had days where I have tried a wide range of baits and colors on the same lake the same day and couldn't notice a drop off or increase in catch rate. I have also witnessed the opposite.

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I've had days if ya wasn't throwing a particular color you were skunked!

I've had days where ya could throw any color & get bit!

I've had days where I had to constantly change colors to continue getting bit!

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Color makes a big difference in clear water, but it's also my experience that color makes a difference in stained water as well. There have been days that I throw a black with blue fleck worm and don't get bit. I put a staight black worm on, go right back though that same area and straight black will get bit. And vice versa. In addition, I also think the more pressured the lake, the bigger difference color makes. Sure location and action of the bait is important but some days color seems to rank a close third. 

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On several occasions when I have been out with my wife and she has a good bite going with a Ned rig (her favorite way to fish), I've joined her and we have cycled between four and five different colors playing around. Didn't make any difference at all to the fish.  Like Catt said though, I've had hours spent trying to get a fish to bite a t-rig, changed to a white worm (always my last ditch effort), and finally start getting something.  

Jigs, I have almost gotten myself to the point that if it isn't black and blue, I leave it in the tackle box. This leads me to believe that the action is more important because it will be at the same time and place I am having success with green pumpkin soft plastics.  

I swear in the spring in particular that red crank baits trigger some sort of primal rage.  

I'll do my part to help the rest of you out and I'll keep fishing two to three days a week for the next twenty years or so.  When I figure it out for certain, I'll share my results. 

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Lets see...on a t rig for example.

Color matters...so lets say.. Black, Green Pumpkin, June Bug, White...we'll use just 4 for my example, even though we know many more are commonly used.

Weight matters....so lets go with 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 3/8..again, I know many more sizes are used.

Action matters....Straight Tail, Craw, Curly Tail, Lizard...again just gonna list 4

So 4 colors x 4 weight sizes x 4 plastics.

That's 64 combinations to go through in a day to figure it out and again, thats just one rig. It's amazing we ever catch fish...lol

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27 minutes ago, Onvacation said:

I'll do my part to help the rest of you out and I'll keep fishing two to three days a week for the next twenty years or so.  When I figure it out for certain, I'll share my results. 

I have been bass fishing for several decades now and I have come to the conclusion that having full confidence in yourself is far more important than fishing a exact lure color.There are days a exact lure color makes a big difference and there are days lure color makes no difference whatsoever ,it's up to you to figure them bass out on that particular day.I will add that a properly presented lure in a decent color will outfish a "secret color" ,so it would be best to master a couple lure presentations for best results.

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6 minutes ago, Todd2 said:

Lets see...on a t rig for example.

Color matters...so lets say.. Black, Green Pumpkin, June Bug, White...we'll use just 4 for my example, even though we know many more are commonly used.

Weight matters....so lets go with 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 3/8..again, I know many more sizes are used.

Action matters....Straight Tail, Craw, Curly Tail, Lizard...again just gonna list 4

So 4 colors x 4 weight sizes x 4 plastics.

That's 64 combinations to go through in a day and again, thats just one rig. It's amazing we ever catch fish...lol

You forgot hook size 

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1 minute ago, Viper0463 said:

You forgot hook size 

Lol....and retrieval style. If you factor in 4 each for those and your over a 1000 combinations. I'm obviously being a little sarcastic but we have to narrow down our options somewhere.

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My dog chases every color ball. 

If I do a color change it's drastic. 

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Color only matters when it matters.We have a hand full public bass lakes within about 1 hour drive;

the 3 C's Castias,Castiac and Cachuma, the 2 P's Piru and Pryamide.

Each lake is different and the same. All these lakes are deep rocky structured small highland reserviors. Cachuma and Pyramide both have LMB and smallmouth bass populations, the LMB predominately northern strain until recently and both lakes considered numbers lakes where color usually doesn't matter. Piru only had NLMB until recently and considered the easiest lake to consistantly catch bass of all 5 lakes and color wasn't a big factor. Casitas and Castaic both have Florida strain LMB and recently have smallmouth bass populations. Both lakes are considered trophy bass lakes  where color can be critical. Castias tends to change color preference about 3 times each day; morning, mid day and afternoon. Castiac tends to be color dominate for several months before a change occurs.

So color matters when it matters.

Tom

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