Use this bass fishing lure color selection chart as a guide:
- Clear water – natural and subtle colors
- Stained water – brighter, contrasting colors
- Muddy water – dark, bold colors
Adjust colors based on depth, weather, and local forage, and always be prepared to experiment for optimal results.
Table of Contents
|Lure Type||Recommended Colors|
|Crankbaits||Shad, Chartreuse, Crawfish, Bluegill, Firetiger, Ghost Minnow|
|Spinnerbaits||White, Chartreuse, Chartreuse/White, Bluegill, Golden Shiner|
|Jigs||Black/Blue, Green Pumpkin, Brown, Brown/Orange, Watermelon Red|
|Soft Plastic Worms||Green Pumpkin, Watermelon, Junebug, Black, Tequila Sunrise|
|Soft Plastic Swimbaits||Shad, Pearl, Ayu, Bluegill, Rainbow Trout, Herring|
|Topwater Frogs||Natural Green, Black, White, Yellow, Leopard, Bluegill|
|Topwater Poppers||Bone, Chrome, Shad, Baby Bass, Ghost Minnow, Chartreuse|
|Topwater Walking Baits||Bone, Chrome, Shad, Baby Bass, Ghost Minnow, Chartreuse|
|Jerkbaits||Shad, Gold, Silver, Ghost Minnow, Bluegill, Clown|
|Lipless Crankbaits||Chrome, Shad, Red Crawfish, Firetiger, Gold, Bluegill|
|Buzzbaits||Black, White, Chartreuse, Chartreuse/White, Red/Black|
For crankbaits, I lean towards shad, chartreuse, and crawfish colors that imitate common prey.
When using spinnerbaits, white, chartreuse, and bluegill are my go-to choices, as they create a flashy, enticing presentation.
Jigs, on the other hand, benefit from more natural colors like black/blue, green pumpkin, and brown to mimic crawfish or other bottom-dwelling creatures.
Soft plastic worms work best in shades like green pumpkin, watermelon, and Junebug, while soft plastic swimbaits excel in shad, bluegill, and pearl colors that resemble forage fish.
Topwater frogs require natural tones like green or black, whereas topwater poppers and walking baits are effective in bone, chrome, and shad.
Lastly, for jerkbaits and lipless crankbaits, I opt for shad, gold, silver, and ghost minnow colors to mimic baitfish.
|Spring||Shad, Chartreuse, Crawfish, Bluegill, Green Pumpkin, Junebug|
|Summer||Green Pumpkin, Watermelon, Bluegill, Pearl, Black/Blue, Tequila Sunrise|
|Fall||Shad, Chartreuse, Crawfish, Firetiger, Bluegill, Golden Shiner|
|Winter||Natural, Ghost Minnow, Brown, Black, Black/Blue, Silver|
Bass behavior changes significantly throughout the year as they spawn, bed, and recover.
In spring, bass tend to target shad, crawfish, and bluegill, making those colors more effective.
In summer, natural and subtle colors like green pumpkin and watermelon are popular in summer.
Fall sees a resurgence of shad and crawfish colors and brighter options like firetiger.
Winter requires more natural and subtle colors, with an emphasis on darker and metallic options.
|Weather Condition||Recommended Colors|
|Sunny/Clear Skies||Natural, Ghost Minnow, Green Pumpkin, Watermelon, Pearl|
|Overcast/Cloudy Skies||Shad, Chartreuse, Crawfish, Bluegill, Firetiger|
|Low Light (Dawn/Dusk)||Chrome, Gold, Black, Black/Blue, Chartreuse/White|
|Rainy/Foggy||Darker Colors (Black, Brown), Chartreuse, Junebug, Bluegill|
I’ve discovered that adapting my lure colors to the prevailing weather conditions is essential for a productive day on the water.
During sunny and clear skies, I opt for natural and subtle colors like ghost minnow, green pumpkin, watermelon, and pearl, which mimic the local forage and blend in with the surroundings.
In overcast or cloudy conditions, I’ve found that shad, chartreuse, crawfish, bluegill, and firetiger work well, as these brighter and more contrasting colors capture the attention of the bass.
In low light situations, such as at dawn or dusk, I choose reflective colors like chrome, gold, or dark colors like black and black/blue, which provide better visibility.
For rainy or foggy conditions, I gravitate toward darker colors like black and brown or contrasting colors like chartreuse to ensure my lure stands out.
|Barometric Pressure||Recommended Colors|
|High Pressure/Stable||Natural, Ghost Minnow, Green Pumpkin, Watermelon, Pearl|
|Falling Pressure||Shad, Chartreuse, Crawfish, Bluegill, Firetiger|
|Low Pressure/Unstable||Darker Colors (Black, Black/Blue), Chrome, Gold, Junebug|
I believe in using changing barometric pressure to help you decide where to fish, and which lure to choose.
Brighter and more contrasting colors are more effective when the pressure is falling, as bass tend to be more aggressive.
In low pressure or unstable conditions, darker colors and metallic finishes can provide better visibility and attract bass.
|Water Clarity||Recommended Colors|
|Clear Water||Natural, Ghost Minnow, Green Pumpkin, Watermelon, Pearl|
|Stained Water||Chartreuse, Firetiger, Junebug, Crawfish, Bluegill|
|Muddy Water||Black, Black/Blue, Chartreuse, Red Crawfish, Chartreuse/White|
I’ve learned that choosing the appropriate lure colors based on water clarity is key to increasing my catch rate.
In clear water, I rely on natural, subtle colors like ghost minnow, green pumpkin, watermelon, and pearl to blend in seamlessly with the environment.
For stained water, I switch to brighter and more contrasting colors like chartreuse, firetiger, Junebug, and crawfish, which stand out and draw the attention of the bass.
In muddy water, I’ve found that dark and bold colors, such as black, black/blue, and chartreuse/white, are the most effective.
|Water Depth||Recommended Colors|
|Shallow Water (0-6 ft)||Natural, Green Pumpkin, Watermelon, Bluegill, Chartreuse/White|
|Mid-depth (6-12 ft)||Shad, Crawfish, Junebug, Chartreuse, Firetiger|
|Deep Water (12+ ft)||Darker Colors (Black, Black/Blue), Chrome, Gold, Plum, Brown|
I’ve found that selecting the right lure colors based on the target depth is crucial for success.
In shallow waters (0-6 ft), I prefer using natural and subtle colors like green pumpkin, watermelon, and bluegill to imitate the local forage.
When targeting mid-depth ranges (6-12 ft), I switch to brighter and more contrasting colors such as shad, chartreuse, and firetiger to grab the attention of the bass.
For deep water (12+ ft), I opt for darker colors like black, black/blue, and brown, as they create a better silhouette against the light above.