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Does Lure Color Make a Difference in Catching Bass?

with Greg Hackney

Greg Hackney

I have quite a few folks ask me if the color of a lure matters in catching bass. I believe that color is a huge part of the reason fishermen catch bass. If you are using a lure that imitates what the bass are feeding on at the time of year and on the body of water where you are fishing, of course you’ll get more bites than if you disregard the color of lure with which you're fishing. Another factor that makes lure color so important is if you're fishing a color in which you have a lot of confidence. Then you’ll be more expectant of a strike and catch more bass than if you’re fishing a lure color in which you have little or no confidence. If that color looks like something you believe will make a bass fight, then fish it thoroughly, slowly and aggressively enough to get bites on that color. 

When I go to a lake I've never fished before, I’ll look at the water color and say to myself, “According to this lake’s water color, this color of lure should work,” and I’ll start fishing it. Once I catch a bass, if that fish spits up a shad, a bluegill, a crawfish or some other bait when I put it in my live well that’s a different color than the lure I'm using, I will change colors to try and match the bait that the bass spit out. If I can match exactly the color of the prey species, then I believe I will get even more bites. Too, I’ll have even more confidence in the color of lure I've changed to than I’ve had in the color of lure that I’ve used to catch that first bass. I’ll say to myself, “I've got it figured out now. I know what the bass are eating, I know the color of that bait, and I have that exact match for the color of lure.” So, for me, having the right color and the right type of lure that I know the bass are feeding on is a huge confidence builder. Then I believe I can catch more bass for that day of fishing. 

Now having said that, I know you can cast any color of lure, get a bite and catch a bass. But what I've learned is I'm not trying to get just one bite in a day of fishing. I want to get 50 bites. I believe if I can fish a lure the size and the color that the bass are feeding on, I’ll have a much greater chance of getting those 50 bites than I will if I don’t pay close attention to what the bass are eating and try and match exactly the color of lure and the size of bait that the bass are eating that day on that lake. 

If I only can have two colors of lures to fish all over the nation, under all weather and water conditions, I’ll fish either a solid black, a black-and-blue or a black-and-red lure. I want one of those lures to definitely have a black overtone. And, the second lure needs to be a brown lure like green pumpkin because those two basic colors are what most colors are based on - especially in soft-plastic lures. Then I’ll add some other types of colors off those two basic colors like watermelon-red, green-pumpkin-sapphire, black-blue, and black-neon.

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