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crossfisher

Confused

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I've read nearly every article on this sight and some others for beginning bass fisherman. And unless my mind is failing me I believe I've read everywhere that you use dark baits in light water and light baits in dark water. However I have a friend who is a former successful tourney fisherman who says that is backwards. He has taken me fishing numerous times on waters of differing types and conditions and structure types. Every time we fish he fishes light colors in light water and dark or more natural colors in darker water and out fishes me 2 to 1 one and often 3 to 1. Soon as I go with what he is using or to something in my box that he says should be just as good as what he is using. I begin catching more fish. What is up with that? If it makes any difference we are in Northern California and we fish nearly every type of water available from the California Delta to small ponds. ???

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I'm not sure but you might have just read it wrong. Usually they say that the lighter more natural colors like the grays, whites and silvers are good in clearer water or lighter water. This is because it is  said that the fish have a better chance to see the lures, which is also why you may hear some people say to reel in the bait faster. Generally, they also say the darker colors are better in darker water because of the profile they make. The larger bait or darker color provides more of a profile that the fish can see. However, it still is possible to catch fish with either color. One of the best things you can try to do is get a look at what the fish are eating in a particular lake if you are still confused. Hope this helps.

bassdocktor

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Man, you read it all the way around.

Clear water = clear natural colors, dark water = dark or hot colors.

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ive always based my color selection on the weather rather than water clarity, since there arent too many "clear" water bodies of water in this area. clear/high skies, ill go with dark, natural colors. overcast days ill go with brighter colors for contrast. ive always done this for other species (muskies), but not quite sure if this philosophy is the right way to go for bass?

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dark colors in dark water because the bass's eye sees the outline outline of the bait better for some reason but raul was right clear water= clear colors dark water =dark colors

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"dark colors in dark water because the bass's eye sees the outline outline of the bait better for some reason" .  You have to put your self in the position of the bass -- he is in the water looking up at the sky rather than on top looking down.  The light in the sky provides the backdrop against which the bass sees the lure.  Now in clear water, the fish will be able to see the lure out in front and in his peripheral vision and this is why lighter colors and flash will draw his attention.  You also have mix all this in with the sounds produced and the vibration picked up by the lateral lines of the bass.  All of these help you get him headed toward your lure.

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Crossfisher,  For the same reasons as above use dark colors for stained water and natural for clear.  Make sure it is the water clarity that is making it dark or clear.  Many waters appear dark do to the bottom layer of sediment, specially in the extreme north.  Get in the habit of defining water as stained or clear.  Water becomes stained mostly from suspended sediments which have washed into the water and algea.  Judging water clarity will not only alter your color selection but as you become a more experienced fishing alter how you fish.

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Having read all your explanations, I believe I understand where my confusion came in. For example one day while fishing a lake that was just slightly stained my friend was using a brown colored Senko with black flakes. And Since I had one that was Watermelon with Red and Green flakes he suggested I use it and that it may be just as good or better then the one he was using. Both of these colors happened to be dark, but what made them both effective choices was that these colors are natural not so much that they were dark. Both of these colors turned out to solicit the same number of strikes, but I did not hook up as much do to the fact that I was setting the hook too quickly. In that same situation a silver shad color may have had the potential to be just as effective because it is a natural color, which is why my son who decided to be different then us and use a Shad Rap caught fish also, but not as many. I think I've got it! The watermelon with Red & Green flake Senko has been a very effective color for me regardless the clarity of the water I'm fishing in which must be do to the fact that it is relatively dark making it good for stained water conditions and natural making it a good choice for gin clear conditions. And in turn the same is likely true for the color my friend was using also.  :)

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