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WI_Angler1989

Smallmouth Bass and Topwater colors

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Happy winter, All! 

 

I'd like to hear some input from you (WAY) more experienced anglers on here about your opinions on topwater color selection for Smallies. 

I've been using whitet/red Spooks and Perch Whopper Ploppers with pretty good success, but the winter Bait Monkey is calling. 

So what's your take, folks? The classic "y'only need white n black"? Au naturale? Or dp any of you have success and fun with vibrant choices like clown or lots of chartreuse? Maybe it all depends on the lure? 

I've heard Smallmouth are prone to hitting those bright colors in jerkbait, grubs, etc, but I haven't really experienced it for myself. Is that mainly a certain time of year for you or is it all about the specific day? 

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 Bait Color for topwater smallies only seems important To Me ~

 

Type (walking, popping, wake or prop bait) size, shape & profile as well as where & how I'm presenting it, seems to determine if I get bit much more than color.   Sometimes, a walking bait is the deal, other times it's a popper, wake or a prop bait.  Some times they are just eating off the top and I can throw anything with results.  But rarely have I seen a situation where only ONE color of a productive topwater bait is the only deal - if white works - so does black.  If chrome works so does gold - If Perch works so does most anything else. 

 

So as long as I'm able to tune in the what they are willing to eat, and have confidence in the color I choose, If there is going to be a topwater bite, I seem to do OK. 

 

If I believe smallies are going to commit to a surface bite - I'd be fine with fishing the right size & profile bait, in a manner that would illicit a strike and let you pick the color . . . . .  because when it's fished at the right time & place, I don't think it matters. 

 

So get some that you like.

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

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I agree with AJ on this one, color means more to me then them. If I'm fishing topwater I try and use a color that will contrast against the sky. I just feel it's makes it easier for the fish to see. On a cloudy day I'll use a black lure where as if it's a blue bird day I'll use something with some flash or white. 

 

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I don't think the detail is critical when it comes to color for topwater but there are some patterns on certain baits that have their time and place. I use 3 different patterns, dark, light, and clear or natural, but I do have one that doesn't fall into any of those. A Super Spook Jr. in Nickel is really tough to beat when it is sunny and I don't know why, I had a lot of success with the nickel pattern in a full size Spook for largemouth that a friend turned me on to but you could only get that pattern in the saltwater baits back then. If it is overcast or just partly sunny other patterns work better but for some reason that nickel is flat out deadly in bright sun. My other favorites for a Super Spook Jr. are blue shore shad, bone, and Florida Bass. The Super Spook Jr. is pretty much a favorite for smallmouth and I tend to pay attention to the patterns more because of that but every other topwater I go with the light, dark, etc. approach.

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Thanks for the comments, guys! I guess I'll just have to do some trial and error and get a variety of colors.

I didn't have anything in particular in mind lure wise, although I do hope to get some more spooks! Maybe a BBZ-1 rat. I've seen some insane vids of that Ppro rat killing smallies.

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Bone is my favorite 

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17 hours ago, A-Jay said:

If I believe smallies are going to commit to a surface bite - I'd be fine with fishing the right size & profile bait, in a manner that would illicit a strike and let you pick the color . . . . .  because when it's fished at the right time & place, I don't think it matters. 

 

So get some that you like.

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

I agree with what A-Jay says above ^^^^

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On 1/7/2018 at 7:28 PM, TnRiver46 said:

Bone is my favorite 

Bone and clear are the only 2 colors I really "need". 

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On 1/10/2018 at 1:05 AM, Bluebasser86 said:

Bone and clear are the only 2 colors I really "need". 

 Thanks for the input, Blue. Do you ever throw chartreuse topwater? I know that some have a highlight of chartreuse on them, but I saw the whopper plopper sooner color was one you referenced in a previous thread. Smallies notoriously like chartreuse, depite my best efforts!

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39 minutes ago, WI_Angler1989 said:

 Thanks for the input, Blue. Do you ever throw chartreuse topwater? I know that some have a highlight of chartreuse on them, but I saw the whopper plopper sooner color was one you referenced in a previous thread. Smallies notoriously like chartreuse, depite my best efforts!

Not often with topwaters. I have some of the Sooner colored ploppers, and a custom painted black with chartreuse stripe super spook jr, but that's about it for topwaters with chartreuse on them for me. 

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48 minutes ago, Bluebasser86 said:

Not often with topwaters. I have some of the Sooner colored ploppers, and a custom painted black with chartreuse stripe super spook jr, but that's about it for topwaters with chartreuse on them for me. 

 

For some reason that Sooner colored plopper calls to me. Hopefully the smallies feel the same way!

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21 minutes ago, WI_Angler1989 said:

 

For some reason that Sooner colored plopper calls to me. Hopefully the smallies feel the same way!

They like it at Table Rock. 

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KISS......

White (bone)

Black

Silver

 

Like mentioned above, I seldom swap colors and have better luck

They are hitting or they ain't.

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The three that I have had a lot of success with . A buzzbait , popper , and 5 inch curl  tail grub  rigged on a light jighead or weightless and buzzed . It didnt make any difference what the color is where I fish .

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When I think of topwater, I think pretty similar to the guys above.  Action and profile come first.  After that, I match conditions by keeping it simple.  I generally have white, black, and a color to match whatever the natural forage is in most of my topwater baits.  

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This is something I have always wondered. Always wondered why one color, size or type work one day, and a fail the next.

 

I have used the Mepps Black fury with great success in the past. I also likes the red mepps comet # 4.

 

For top water I like the frog color, or red white. Seem to be a big hit on some rivers.  

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This is my first post, so I don't have a ton of input but from a flyfishing background color is second to the action / profile I think.

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19 minutes ago, Abby said:

This is my first post, so I don't have a ton of input but from a flyfishing background color is second to the action / profile I think.

 

Thanks for the input! It's always great to have a variety of backgrounds and experiences weigh in on topics.

 

And congrats on the first post :D haha!

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How early in the year do you guys like to throw top water for smallies? Mostly immediately after the spawn or a little later say up into the summer and early fall? 

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On 4/8/2018 at 1:52 AM, EKYbasser said:

How early in the year do you guys like to throw top water for smallies? Mostly immediately after the spawn or a little later say up into the summer and early fall? 

With the right conditions, you can get on a good pre-spawn topwater bite or fall bite, too.  Unless the water gets really cold early, I'll throw them into late November.

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Last Fall 2017, I found an incredibly consistent Sammy Topwater bite while fishing a 50 yard stretch of the Huron River. The Sammy bite was so consistent, I literally spent 5 days a week for two months from 5pm to 8pm (roughly 60 hours on the water) fishing just those Sammys exclusively. At one point it went from just Topwater fishing to pretty much a scientific experiment and the bite didn't stop until water reached 45 degrees in late November. I learned more about Smallmouth feeding behavior and Lure color in this 60 hours of fishing, then the previous 20 years had taught me. And that is: I only really need 4 Colors for Topwater Smallmouth.....White, Chrome, Bronze, Firetiger 

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31 minutes ago, Active_Outdoors said:

Last Fall 2017, I found an incredibly consistent Sammy Topwater bite while fishing a 50 yard stretch of the Huron River. The Sammy bite was so consistent, I literally spent 5 days a week for two months from 5pm to 8pm (roughly 60 hours on the water) fishing just those Sammys exclusively. At one point it went from just Topwater fishing to pretty much a scientific experiment and the bite didn't stop until water reached 45 degrees in late November. I learned more about Smallmouth feeding behavior and Lure color in this 60 hours of fishing, then the previous 20 years had taught me. And that is: I only really need 4 Colors for Topwater Smallmouth.....White, Chrome, Bronze, Firetiger 

I was using the chrome shad color one. Was about 7 am. Fish of all sorts kept hitting top water I was like lets give it a try. Then boom there she was. 

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In a nut shell , we probably don't have to own every color : )

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20 minutes ago, Active_Outdoors said:

In a nut shell , we probably don't have to own every color : )

Nope. Have you notice one pattern producing more than others?

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