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So I just started bass fishing and lure color is something I kinda struggle on what color to throw and when. Can anyone help out picking soft plastic color vs hard plastic? Is throwing hard plastic lures different than soft plastic as far as color goes?

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Bass have falling victim to every color and every hue of soft plastics ever created.

 

However, starting colors for soft plastics are as follows:

  • Black w/ Blue Flake
  • Green Pumpkin w/ Black Flake
  • Watermelon w/ Red Flake

From here, your collection of soft plastic colors will grow immensely over your bass fishing career.

 

As for Hard Bait colors:

  • Shad
  • Blue Gill
  • Crawfish (Brown/Red)

Again, starting point.

 

I hope this helps and welcome to the passion.

 

 

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Bass react to a wide range of colors that can change every day. The above post indentifies popular colors of this era and everyone will suggest what works for them. Keep in mind those colors are working because the majority of anglers are using them, not because it's the colors the bass may prefer. 

Not knowing your location we tend to assume you are fishing for largemouth bass, Spotted and smallmouth bass prefer different colors.

So, where are you located, region is good enough and what species of bass?

Tom

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@mattkenzer offers a great starting point....and if you're smart, a great ending point, as well.  There may be volumes written about color just within Bass Resource forum posts....but don't complicate things.  I think most of us have narrowed it similarly.  I like green plastics, generally -- and I pay little to no attention to flakes.  I also have some darker plastics, black and/or blue mostly; a few worms in brownish, and some soft paddle tail swimbaits in white.   I have lots of other 'stuff', but I could go to just green, dark, brown and white tomorrow and never look back.  Hardbaits, similar story....I like the cranks to be mostly blue/white/chartreuse, or some combination...and lipless can have some metallic silver or gold in them.  But, keep in mind not to overthink it....after all, so much conflicting info is written because it is an inexact science and nobody can know for sure what the bass thinks of your color choices....even when they seem picky, it is rarely possible to know if there weren't other factors involved.

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Not as important as other factors like placement, type of bait, rattle vrs no rattle, vibration vrs no vibration.  Color is not key in my book.

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Soft- Dirty water  = Black/blue

        Clean water = Green Pumpkin

 

Hard - Clean water = Match your baitfish, doesn't have to be exact at all just something close

         Dirty Water = Chartreuse

         Stained or dirty water in spring with water temps below 55/56 I will opt for a craw color over chartreuse

 

        

 

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Go with popular colors . On crankbaits I usually use whichever one I get untangled first , seriously .

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Pretty much the same as what everythingthatswims said. I use different shades of greens, and browns for soft plastics when the water is very clear. 

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When it comes to selecting colors everyone has their own personal repertoire of confusion!

 

I have seen days/nights where color made absolutely no difference what so ever.

 

I've seen 4-5 boats with 2 anglers per boat, all within casting distance of each other, all throwing Baby Brush Hogs in various colors, & all catching quality/quaintly.

 

I have seen days/nights where color made all the difference in the world.

 

Back in the 70s I set a record for the largest 15 bass sack with a 3/8 oz spinnerbait with a pink/chartreuse skirt & a #5 chartreuse Colorado blade...2 nd & 3 rd place was Larry Nixon & Tommy Martin...we were all in the same cove.

 

I have seen days/nights where I had to constantly change colors to continue getting bit!

 

I let the bass tell me, hey dummy I don't like that color no mo! 

 

Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, buzzbaits, chatterbaits ect I feel flash & vibration are more important than color...see the top three comments!

 

That's good start from a dumb Cajun 😉

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Out west where I fish hand poured soft plastics are preferred over high production injected mold soft plastics for a simple reason; custom colors are unlimited.

Very few off the shelf production soft plastic perform as good as hand pours. Every lake has a different hot color for a few months, it's constantly changing.

Faster moving lures like crankbaits, spinninerbait, you can get by with basic colors in shad and crawdad colors where size, action and vibration/ flash are triggers.

Swimbaits it's a good choice to match the hatch with trout, crappie. Bluegill and baby bass realistic coloring.

Whatever color you choose it will catch some bass and that is why bass are so popular.

Tom

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Fisherman have a tendency to give the lure to much credit! 😉

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45 minutes ago, Catt said:

Fisherman have a tendency to give the lure to much credit! 😉

Or too much blame, in my case ☺

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If I could only pick one color for a soft plastic bait it would be green pumpkin. That's the color I always start with, especially when fishing a new area.

 

I could easily get caught up with having a dozen different soft plastics in my bag. But if my green pumpkin Yum Dinger or my watermelon/chartreuse Zoom trick worm isn't working I move on to a different type of bait. But I'm just a weekend or weeknight warrior (with a limited budget) when it comes to fishing. If I was a pro I'm sure I'd have a different mindset.

 

 

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How important is lure color, very important when it matters.

Just read Bass Times article on Omori's win at lake Martin and 2nd place Hawk's lures used. Redish brown crawdad color LC 1.5 for Omori and Hawk used a Realis M62 in scarlet red. Hawk ran out of the red color and used nail polish in scarlet red the final day top isn't charteuse lures red, he obviously thought color was important.

If you don't have confidence in a lure color it stays in the box where it can't catch bass.

Tom

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On 4/10/2018 at 12:37 PM, everythingthatswims said:

Soft- Dirty water  = Black/blue

        Clean water = Green Pumpkin

 

Hard - Clean water = Match your baitfish, doesn't have to be exact at all just something close

         Dirty Water = Chartreuse

         Stained or dirty water in spring with water temps below 55/56 I will opt for a craw color over chartreuse

 

        

 

What he said 😂 But I'll dumb it down for you 

 

Clear water: Natural colors (green pumpkin, watermelon red, shad, crawfish etc.)

Dirty Water: Dark colors (black & blue, junebug, etc.)

 

These rules apply for both hard and soft baits. You'll find hundreds of tips on color but that can be overwhelming if your just starting. This is the rule I live by and it's helped me land tons of fish. Most importantly find what works for you and have fun in the process 😄

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I think we all have our favourite, go to baits. They vary but here is some my list. 

 

5" Senko in watermelon, black and blue

7" Zoom Trick Worm black, watermelon chartreuse tail, junebug chartreuse tail

7" power bait curly tailed worms tequila color, black and blue

5" Zoom fat albert Curly tail grub white, chartreuse, green pumpkin 

4" havoc pit boss black and blue, black and red

Zoom brush hogs watermelon, black and blue

Zoom Super Fluke white, watermelon red

4" tube watermelon 

 

Stained - Dirty water= black, black blue, black red

 

Clean water = watermelon, green pumpkin, natural colors

 

Solid black and solid white seem to work everywhere. 

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2 minutes ago, NorthernBasser said:

For clear water, I'm also a big fan of "ghost" (see thru) cranks/jerkbaits. 

 

1333647369648.jpg

X2 ... gaining steam in my arsenal as well.

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I hope I am not hijacking the OP's thread but i have a scenario I believe relates to the original question:

 

If a group of Largemouth are feeding heavily on Crayfish and you have all the terminal tackle at your disposal but only one of the following baits;

  • 5" Senko - Black w/ Blue Flake
  • 5" Senko - Green Pumpkin w/ Black Flake
  • Swing Impact Fat 3.8 - Shad Pattern
  • Swing Impact Fat 4.3 - Blue Gill Pattern
  • Rage Craw - Pink

Which one do you choose?

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6 hours ago, mattkenzer said:

I hope I am not hijacking the OP's thread but i have a scenario I believe relates to the original question:

 

If a group of Largemouth are feeding heavily on Crayfish and you have all the terminal tackle at your disposal but only one of the following baits;

  • 5" Senko - Black w/ Blue Flake
  • 5" Senko - Green Pumpkin w/ Black Flake
  • Swing Impact Fat 3.8 - Shad Pattern
  • Swing Impact Fat 4.3 - Blue Gill Pattern
  • Rage Craw - Pink

Which one do you choose?

The one that looks like a crayfish, Rage Craw Pink

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On Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at 12:24 PM, AggieBassin10 said:

What he said 😂 But I'll dumb it down for you 

 

Clear water: Natural colors (green pumpkin, watermelon red, shad, crawfish etc.)

Dirty Water: Dark colors (black & blue, junebug, etc.)

 

These rules apply for both hard and soft baits. You'll find hundreds of tips on color but that can be overwhelming if your just starting. This is the rule I live by and it's helped me land tons of fish. Most importantly find what works for you and have fun in the process 😄

Well said, sir. But for spinner baits, use white or white and chartreuse 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, thinkingredneck said:

Well said, sir. But for spinner baits, use white or white and chartreuse 

 

 

 

Agreed!

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2 hours ago, thinkingredneck said:

Well said, sir. But for spinner baits, use white or white and chartreuse 

 

 

 

In the spring or muddy  water I love those colors . In the summer and clearer water i have a hard time getting bites on spinnerbaits . Then I go with more muted colors and smaller blades .

 

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On 4/10/2018 at 10:45 AM, Malice237 said:

I kinda struggle on what color to throw and when.

If I'm  catching fish and they are solidly hooked , I'm probably going to keep doing whats working . If I'm barely hooking fish or the fish keep blowing the lure out , then I'll start experimenting and color  is one of the first things i'll change . I've seen plenty of times where a color change was the difference between hooking bass deeply , or barely hooked . I'm not good at predicting what color to start with .

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