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Laggyman

Primary Colors

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I now know I don't need all the colors in the world. But what primary colors should I stock up on for Crankbaits, Jerkbaits, Topwaters?

I was thinking along the lines of black, orange, silver (fish color) green/chartreuse. Would these 4 colors be good for a wide range of conditions in general? Or I am thinking too much again  :D

Trying to stock up on lures for the widest variety of conditions possible. And trying to do it with at most 4 colors of each lure.... I'm going to restock my tackle box inside-out.  I used to buy whatever the baitmonkey told me I should get, but that has gone nowhere, I have 6 shallow cranks in silver-ish colors, and no black or orange types.  I only have 1 mid-diver (orange) and so on. I keep on buying the same looking lures because I never gave much thought to matching various ocnditions. This is going to hurt me someday...  ;D

black, orange/red, silver (matching the baitfish) green/chartreuse look OK to you guys??

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With the possible exception of surface lures, the best colors to use

are generally the most visible colors. Even if you deliver the best lure,

at the best depth at the best speed; if the bass doesn't see the lure, you won't get a strike.

Actually, there's a window of opportunity, and if the bass sees the lure too late, he'll likely pass it up (especially big bass).

The correct color of course will vary with lighting conditions, which as a rule-of-thumb:

DARK HUES: Overcast days, Night, Murky water and/or Deep water

LIGHT HUES: Bright days, Clear water and/or Shallow water

Be all that as it may, most fishermen select colors based on what THEY like.

(My favorites are Fried Tomato, Pumpkinseed Candy & Motor Oil...Just Kidd'n) ;D

Roger

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I attended a fishing seminar this past spring. The seminar speaker was a field tester for Pradco Lures, one of their main lines is Booyah Baits I believe. So he broke it into 3 categories of colors. Crawfish pattern (reds, oranges, browns) Baitfish pattern (silver and blacks, shad colors, silver and blues) and finaly a Perch/Sunfish pattern (firetiger, perch, sunfish, chartruese). Those are the main color groups and I would have atleast 1 bait from each one. Depending on the type of water you are fishing will determine what colors you should stock more than others. I hope this helps.

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For me, in primarily clear water, I think along Rolo's lines.

Hue is much more important to me than color.

Light or dark, it's that simple.  

I use versions of green , black and brown in different combinations depending on desired HUE.

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Please don't overlook white.  In over 20 years of bass fishing, my #1 color for crankbaits and topwaters has been white or white with a little splash of blue or black.  And this is not just me but most of the people I do and have fished with over the years.

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Well, color can be confusing. Most of the time I really don't think it matters that much, but there are days that are one EXACT color only. I have a lot of colors in every lure category, but I find myself fishing "green" most of the time, year around and in all water clarity. My number two is black neon (black and red). Right now, in the fall, white or white and silver or some combination of white-silver-black seems to match up with the focus on baitfish. My choice for soft plastics and jigs is always DARK.

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Oh yea,...topwaters, white or black.

I've used white jigs with success but never threw much white to give an opinion.  Saltwater is different.  Lots of white.

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Ooo Thanks for the great advice guys!

Hue is much more important to me than color

I was always wondering about those "Shad" "Bluegill" "**fish" patterns... Didn't make sense to have so many look-alikes for fastmovers. How the heck can a Bass distinguish between those subtle differences when the crankbait goes right by it's head?  I have begun to understand those subtle differences are meant not for fish, but for the baitmonkey. And it does a darn good job at it. Must be the lure manufacturer's hidden agenda.

With the possible exception of surface lures, the best colors to use  

are generally the most visible colors

I never gave thought to that.  I have always been shy of Firetiger/Chartreuse patterns as I have never seen any baitfish colored like that! I've read in articles they represent Green Perch and such, but we have none of them over here.  

For me, in primarily clear water, I think along Rolo's lines.

The same for me. I primarily fish clear, at most lightly stained waters. All my lures were bought with this in mind. Back in August I went fishing to an unfamiliar pond after some severe rainstorms. The water was extremely muddy and I was in a world of hurt  ;D BTW, An old geezer by the pond told me the fish don't bite as aggressively when it's muddy. Is this fact? He said something like the Bass don't hunt in Muddy water.

Most of the time I really don't think it matters that much, but there are days that are one EXACT color only

I have had days like that, but only with soft plastics. I swapped from a black/black worm to a charcoal gray (I ran out of black) and the fish magically stopped biting. I swapped back to black/black on a different type of plastic, and the fish are biting again!! Frustruating. But it's only happened once so I can stand the chance of being skunked if I can stop the baitmonkey from wreaking havoc.

If I sort the colors based on Hue... In general terms...

Light -> Dark

White - Firetiger/Chartreuse - Silver - Brown/Orange - Black

??

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I was always wondering about those "Shad" "Bluegill" "**fish" patterns... Didn't make sense to have so many look-alikes for fastmovers. How the heck can a Bass distinguish between those subtle differences when the crankbait goes right by it's head? I have begun to understand those subtle differences are meant not for fish, but for the baitmonkey. And it does a darn good job at it. Must be the lure manufacturer's hidden agenda.

By Jove, you've got it!

The very worst source of advice are the lure manufacturers themselves.

If they had their way, you'd buy every color under the sun, and a few over the moon (pumpkinseed candy & s298)

Roger

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Crankbaits, Jerkbaits, Topwaters?

If I sort the colors based on Hue... In general terms...

Light -> Dark

White - Firetiger/Chartreuse - Silver - Brown/Orange - Black

KISS (in computer terminology) and you've done just that! Going by what others say who've never fished the waters you fish, is like asking street directions from a tourist who's been to a big city once.

The consensus is that all of us have, at one time or other, caught fish on a spectrum of colors. Take it for what it's worth, but my go-to colors are:

Crankbaits

bass pattern

white/pearl

firetiger (hasn't done as well in recent years)

craw (light brown, pearl, orange belly)

green craw

shad (silvery/pearl and holo)

clear

topwaters (Spooks, Sammies, poppers)

clear

firetiger

shore minnow

shad

bass pattern/ pearl belly

pearl

Jerkbaits (x-raps, rogues, husky jerks)

silver/scale

gold

blue back/ silver /scale

shad

bass

olive green back/ holo

**Note: the natural patterns are not meant to match the hatch - EVER - but to help turn on the strike-switch in their puny brains by the use of interesting and benign color patterns.

**Note: Most of the colors and contrasts in a firetiger, color combo are found in yellow perch.

Strange to say, but sometimes I find a certain plug action excels with certain colors, in certain water clarities. I've caught far too many fish on dark days, on light ot flashy colors to go by that rule; ditto for subdued colors on bright days and in clear water.

You never know.

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Better than knowing "which" color to use, is to know WHY.

Our 'Color Spectrum' consists of six basic colors: Red - Orange - YELLOW - GREEN - Blue - Violet

You will notice that "yellow & green" appear in the center of every rainbow...What does that tell you?

With respect to VISIBILITY, the best compromise is yellow, green or chartreuse (which is a combination of yellow & green).

When choosing colors from mid-spectrum you'll never be more than half wrong.

Compromise is vital because lighting conditions often vary within a single retrieve as the lure passes through sun and shade.

The best way to cater to the full range of lighting conditions is to choose a lure with both a Dark hue and Light hue,

alternatively you may choose to compromise by using green, yellow or chartreuse.

Roger

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I agree color is  over-rated.  Focus on the "hue" as these guys put it and your on the right track.

If your expecting a fish to react to a particular color, your over complicating things....fish don't hit pink worms because the associate it with a pink worm that was tasty once before, they hit it because they SEE a WORM.  For the most part!

Good luck!

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Guest avid

Color is indeed frustrating.  

i go with the "dark/light" principle but I find that contrast often helps

so a white bait w/black back is good

the only other contribution worth mentioning is not the color but the finish

for examle, there is flat gold color, and then shiney gold foil.  there are days when gold may be the color but it works better in shiny foil rather than flat paint and vice versa.  and of couse, as always confidence is a primary factor

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Close your eyes.....take a deep breath..........exhale slowly......open your eyes and let the BaitMonkey choose.

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The best way to cater to the full range of lighting conditions is to choose a lure with both a Dark hue and Light hue,

alternatively you may choose to compromise by using green, yellow or chartreuse.

Roger

This is why I think the original FS Rapala and the black shad Culprit worm have been so productive for me. Black & silver, both hues are visible in almost any light. Well said Roger.

Ronnie

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Guest whittler

As a custom crankbait maker I can paint most any color or combination of colors, but in my own personal tackle white, black and green will cover most of my needs. If fishing really gets tough just select a bait thats the most scuffed up or with the most teeth marks, seldom fails.

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Ah...If it worked before, it might work again?

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I always lose lures I catch fish with....  I must be cursed  >:(

I'll see what I can do with the monkey now. But it still doesn't change the fact that there are always too many lures and not enough time...

Thanks!!!

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If you are not getting hung-up occasionally, your are not fishing where the bass live. Unfortunately, this results in losing a few lures, especially if you are fishing from the bank. That's just part of the game.

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It's not the fact of getting hung up, but the stupid reasons I get hung up for.... Or, sometimes I just "lose" the lure.  Like smacking a spinnerbait into a fence when casting and bending the arm into oblivion  ;D  Or trying to cut the excess line after tying your knot over the water. Cut the wrong place and "ploop" goes another Spinnerbait. Stupid mistakes that could have and should have been avoided  :P  

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I'm not gonna lie to ya buddy, used to have the same problem. I upgraded my line first of all. I changed over to 50 lb. Power Pro braided line. Same diameter as a 10 lb. fluro. Great line by the way.

Another thing I did was I started to tie a "safety knot" on top of my clinch knot. Just a regular knot right after the clinch.

Needless to say it worked wonders. I have 2-3 times as many lures as a I used to have, I don't find myself going into the bait shop every other day and buying up lures that I'm gonna lose soon.

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I have always wanted to make a switch to braid, but as a Bank fisherman, I have ruled out the possibility. The fact that I won't be able to break the line as easily is a major problem as I cannot move the boat closer to retrieve my lure.  

Right now I'm trying out a couple of Fluro lines and am going to see what suites me.

I just have to remember to look for surrounding obstacles before casting  ;D

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