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MittenMouth

Crankbait Colors

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Ive read a lot that colors are irrelevant for cranking and that you should really throw baits based on size. I was wondering if someone could talk more on that. Is size referring to depth only or actual lure profile?  Also, I'm in Michigan and was wondering what colors I should take advantage of. Ive been buying mostly bluegill, live bluegill, pumpkinseed, perch and craw patterns.  Most lakes here are clear so I've been trying to keep the patterns realistic. Should I be looking at any shad patterns or brighter colors?  Maybe both?  Like I said, I know that a lot of people think colors are irrelevant but if you are starting to build your collection I'm sure there are colors that are better than others in general. 

 

Keep in mind I'm very new to the art of cranking since I mostly throw jigs so if I made a mistake above please forgive me :)

 

Thanks for any help!

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It's easy:

 

Silver black back

Silver blue back

Gold black back

Firetiger

"Bass/Shad/Bluegill"

 

of course, I know you only need those, the hard part is trying to convince yourself you only need those.

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The lures have to be some color .I mostly choose baitfish and chartreuse colors  because of their track record in stained water.

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11 hours ago, scaleface said:

The lures have to be some color .I mostly choose baitfish and chartreuse colors  because their track record in stained water has worked well 

 

See, most of my likes are clear. That's where I wonder if I go you're route or another direction for colors. 

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Shad, bluegill, craw and chartreuse. One of these colors will catch bass in any water that I've ever fished. It's up to you to figure out which one will work in a given situation.

Some days, it doesn't seem to matter.

 

Tom

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This ^^^^^^ I mostly fish a crawfish, or shad color. If you fish a lot of clear water, Livingston Lures has some great clear water colors.

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I'm in Michigan as well. Most of this time I'm throwing chartreuse or a perch color.  I'm a big strike king fan and throw a lot of the KVD squarebills.  My favorites are chartreuse/black back, sexy sunfish (those two are my most productive), chartreuse perch, yellow perch, and firetiger. Take a look at some of those and try and find something similar in the brand you prefer. Can't remember last time I threw any of those and didn't catch anything.

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Yea when I lived in Michigan perch was my favorite color too !! It still works here in Ohio.. even in waters where the perch are not present.  

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Shad, perch, baby bass, and something with some red or orange in it.

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I'm newer to bass fishing as well and have been in the process of growing my crankbait collection.  Don't know if it's the best way to go, but I try to make sure I have at least these 3 bases covered for each depth or profile of crankbait.

 

Shad pattern (sexy shad, tenn shad, gizzard shad, etc.; a mostly white color)

Bright color (chart black back; powder blue chart; chart perch; etc.)

Craw color (red, brown with orange, black, etc.)

 

I think this should cover all your bases.  Shad pattern for clear conditions and if shad are present.  Bright color when the water is stained or if bluegill is forage.  And a craw color when bass are feeding on crawfish.

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33 minutes ago, GreenGhostMan said:

I'm newer to bass fishing as well and have been in the process of growing my crankbait collection.  Don't know if it's the best way to go, but I try to make sure I have at least these 3 bases covered for each depth or profile of crankbait.

 

Shad pattern (sexy shad, tenn shad, gizzard shad, etc.; a mostly white color)

Bright color (chart black back; powder blue chart; chart perch; etc.)

Craw color (red, brown with orange, black, etc.)

 

I think this should cover all your bases.  Shad pattern for clear conditions and if shad are present.  Bright color when the water is stained or if bluegill is forage.  And a craw color when bass are feeding on crawfish.

 

That should cover things pretty well . 

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i'd throw some shad/bone patterns in the mix and a couple chrome ones in for good measure.

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The 3 colors that I tie on first are Ghost, dark red/black crawdad pattern and chartreuse w/green micro gold flake back/pearl white. Ghost* was a Poes Super Cedar color that I now custom paint Bomber 7A and Normans DD14 & 22.

* pearl white with micro silver side bones with yellow eyes. I have caught both Smallmouth and largemouth coast to coast, Canada and Mexico on those 3 color patterns. look at Normans DD series 97 colors and you will find very similar colors; white ghost, dark red craw and harbor O. 

Suggest 1 each color Norman DD 14 should work for you.

Tom

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color is one of the last things i worry about for cb

1.depth

2.size

3. action flat side or wide wobble

4.sound rattle or not

5.color

  A. start with a clear type natural pattern bait that is silent

  b.go with a solid color natatural pattern.  Shad, white minnow.

  c. chrome or gold if its sunny

 d. Chartreuse or loud color for dark/mudy stained water.

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Guy you got about the best crankbait advise you can get. Won't throw in too much more about color because I use all what is mentioned above.

 

Wouldn't BS you but you can't go wrong having a 200 Bandit in solid black and an olive green with a strip red belly. Bomber in bone with an orange belly. Use it like a change up if the bit slows down and you want something different to throw.

 

Not sure what they see them to be, maybe they just see them as a shape. Just something that works for me when things get real slow. 

 

Solid colors are hard to come by. I'd like to get a solid brown, deep purple and an orange and try them. Just hard to find.

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I go Perch,bluegill,red craw and some variation of green/blue/yellow like a citrus shad

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On 2/14/2017 at 4:43 PM, MittenMouth said:

Is size referring to depth only or actual lure profile?

I don't consider size having anything to do with depth, or profile unless you're speaking of the bill/lip length.

I consider the size usually referring to the length of the bait not counting the lip generally speaking. With crankbaits all aspects can be really varied with tons of combinations and options. The key is to keep it fairly simple starting out. I only fish cranks down to about 15' so its easy for me to have about 4 different depth crankbaits.

 

Early on the smaller tweaks like flat side, silent, or wide wobble vs tight didn't play a big role if any into my choices. Not that it doesn't matter but I just haven't seen it making a huge difference in the bite for me. The correct depth to me and the color did seem to play a bigger role. If you want to sure pick a few based on what is kind of common knowledge for example the tight or wide wobble, or rattle vs no rattle for certain temperatures or seasons. I just wouldn't get all hung up into that when I first started out. 

 

I hear bass up north are smaller but even the small bass here will eat a 2" crank. This is why I feel many companies make a line in the 2" to 2 1/2" range. As you can see Bandit has made that a key to their line. No matter what depth they kept a 2" profile. 

  • Bandit® Lures 100 Series 2" Crankbait Dives 2' - 5'
  • Bandit® Lures 200 Series 2" Crankbait Dives 4' - 8'
  • Bandit® Lures 300 Series 2" Crankbait Dives 8' - 12'
On 2/14/2017 at 6:25 PM, Raul said:

Silver black back

Silver blue back

Gold black back

Firetiger

"Bass/Shad/Bluegill"

These are some excellent starter colors. I could easily condense the Silver Black or Silver Blue into one. Here the Blue back might have a slight edge over black but if they are hitting one I can get hit on the other 98% of the time. I have lost my last Blue and went to Black and never missed a beat. Also the Firetiger to me works about equally with the Chartreuse or Chartreuse Black/Blue/Brown back. So you could go either way on that as well to me. One color you might ad to the list would be a Red Craw. But other than that those slight optional variances I totally agree those are great colors. 

 

13 hours ago, .ghoti. said:

Shad, perch, baby bass, and something with some red or orange in it.

Also a excellent basic starter list ghoti. Out of all the realistic colors Baby Bass from Mann's BABY 1-MINUS has been a go to bait for me the past year or so. 

IMG_20160515_161009845_zpshsmluowa.jpgIMG_20170213_220135322_zpstn3yha3j.jpg

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19 hours ago, Angry John said:

color is one of the last things i worry about for cb

1.depth

2.size

3. action flat side or wide wobble

4.sound rattle or not

5.color

  A. start with a clear type natural pattern bait that is silent

  b.go with a solid color natatural pattern.  Shad, white minnow.

  c. chrome or gold if its sunny

 d. Chartreuse or loud color for dark/mudy stained water.

John has it dead on point! I fish Table Rock now and it has alot of clear water where I am so just like John said. I stay with shad and crawfish colors.Wiggle warts or Rock Crawlers! Just pick a crank that covers the season for depth.

19 hours ago, Angry John said:

color is one of the last things i worry about for cb

1.depth

2.size

3. action flat side or wide wobble

4.sound rattle or not

5.color

  A. start with a clear type natural pattern bait that is silent

  b.go with a solid color natatural pattern.  Shad, white minnow.

  c. chrome or gold if its sunny

 d. Chartreuse or loud color for dark/mudy stained water.

John has it dead on point! I fish Table Rock now and it has alot of clear water where I am so just like John said. I stay with shad and crawfish colors.Wiggle warts or Rock Crawlers! Just pick a crank that covers the season for depth and action!

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I use bigger crankbaits when the bass are actively feeding around pre-spawn, and post-spawn.  I scale it back to 1/4 or 5/16 ounce in late spring, summer, and early fall.  When it starts cooling off I switch back to the 1/2 and 3/4 size baits.  Chrome/blue back, shad, firetiger, crawfish, and white/pearl are about the only colors I fish with.  If they aren't hitting those, they won't be hitting much of anything.

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FINALLY, a post about 'lure color'.    Well it's about time!      :blob1:

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My #1 smallie crank is purple back/silver sides w/purple & silver glitter made by Marty Burns.  I hate purple on anything but fishing lures!:)

55 minutes ago, RoLo said:

FINALLY, a post about 'lure color'.    Well it's about time!      :blob1:

:lol-045:cracked me up!

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DSPC

SBCR

 

Confused ?  Depth, Speed, Profile, Color in that order.........Shad, Bright, Crawfish, Regional

 

I used to place too much emphasis on color. or at least the subtle difference between color patterns. When I saw Rapala's color pallet, it started to make sense.  There are day to day basic common color schemes for just about every brand.  Then there are those " regional " color schemes.  See the scheme in my avatar. It may not work in 90% of the country but it's a must have on the Columbia River in the spring. It's a regional color scheme.  I like the way GGM stated it.  I made lure selection far too complicated and my bank account suffered because of it. Just my 2 cents.  It's all I have left after buying 30 colors of Deep Little N's.:annoyed1:

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My favorite colors for cranks are these,

Chartreuse Black Back

Fire Tiger

Orange Craw

Other variations of craw colors

Sexy Shad

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Assuming you're fishing the right depth, I think size and action/wobble are the most important for crankbaits.  Color wise you're just looking for either contrast in stained water or natural in clear water.  I'll usually carry a dark(black/craw), light/loud (sexy shad/firetiger, and natural color (shad/bluegill) when I hit the water.  No need to go overboard with color, instead of extra colors try something with a different type of action (like a flat-sided squarebill).

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