Choosing The Right Lure Color

Each month, our FishVault subscription boxes contain some of the most popular lures and baits being used by anglers across the country. Quite often, these lures come in a variety of color selections. Listed below is a simple guide to some of the more popular fishing lure colors and when you should try to fish them:

First let’s talk about how the time of day and water clarity play a role in color selection. Think of clarity as a spectrum with two main categories: clear and muddy. For clear water, natural patterns will work the best since the fish can really focus on the bait. Green pumpkin is a good natural color to imitate bluegill and crawfish. White is a good color to imitate shad and bunker. Transparent and ghost patterns also work well in clear water. For muddy water, fluorescent and dark colors stand out the best. Another effective tactic particularly for muddy water is adding contrast by using a different color skirt or dipping the tail of your baits in scented dyes. 

The basic rule of thumb is to pick colors that best match what’s abundant in the watershed you are fishing. For instance, a pond with lots of bluegill will mean that green pumpkin and bluegill patterns will work best when targeting bass, and a lake with lots of shad will result in white patterns working well. 

When fishing in low light conditions and at night, resort to black, blue, and purple because they will be the most visible. (Bonus tip: when fishing in low light conditions use baits that give off lots of vibration and sound to help fish key in on them).

When it comes to stocking your tackle box, the best way to make sure you are prepared for any condition is to always keep a few simple patterns. For bass and freshwater baits try and keep a more natural pattern like green pumpkin or white and a dark pattern of each of your favorite baits. That is the bare minimum, so feel free to snag any of your personal favorite color schemes as well. For saltwater soft plastics, many baitfish can be imitated using white lures. So, try and keep a white pattern for clear and stained water and a chartreuse pattern for green water. For saltwater hard-baits you can keep it simple with a few chrome lures, white, and if you are into night fishing, some black or dark purple.

Finally, always remember that feeding patterns and environmental conditions are constantly changing so although a specific color may work one day, it may not be the ticket a few weeks later. Don’t be afraid to play around with colors until you find something that works.

Remember that FishVault is always looking out for you. Each month, our subscription box will contain some of the best baits and lures in the most popular color patterns. That way you can spend more time fishing and less time shopping. Don’t forget to send us your photos. We would love to see what you catch using each month’s box.