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Color catches fish (sometimes)

Consider color strongly when you're choosing a lure and you'll increase the odds of catching a lunker like this one.

Color is an important consideration when you're trying to select a lure. There are times when color is more critical than other times, but most successful anglers will agree that color is an important factor for catching fish.

I've worked with a lot of anglers of various skill levels through the years. There seems to be an evolution of how those anglers select baits, and it's kind of an interesting.

It seems like when an angler is just getting interested in fishing, color is their primary concern. When they visit the tackle-shop and are looking for new lures, the first question often is "What color is best?"

As the angler fishes more and becomes more successful, they start considering other very important factors. The angler realizes that lure shape is also very important: Walleyes usually like longer, thinner baits, largemouth bass prefer shorter fatter ones.

Lure size becomes a very strong consideration: Early in the year smaller baits are often best. As the water warms, bigger baits are better.

As the angler's fishing knowledge increases, that angler figures out that line selection is very important. They realize that FireLine is outstanding for pulling crankbaits, while Trilene Sensation is really good for throwing jigs. Selecting the proper line can be very important.

So, now our angler has been fishing for several years and has become very accomplished. He or she can go to a new body of water and catch fish with consistency. When they hit the water and go through the factors concerning their lure selection, they decide on a size and shape of bait to use, they know how fast they're going to troll or retrieve the bait, they know which rod and line will enable the bait to work best. They have just one last question as far as lure selection: "What color should I use." When they were a beginning angler, that was the first question asked. Now that they're a pretty accomplished fisherman, it's the last question asked.

There are some general guidelines for selecting lure color. Usually, in clear water, natural colors will be better.

Over rocks and sand, a crawfish pattern will be a good starting point.

In stained water, something bright, like chartreuse or orange will be good. However, black or gold can be good stained waters also.

If walleyes are the target, Firetiger is a good starting point in many waters regardless of water clarity.

There are other color issues that we'll talk about sometime, but for now, just be aware that, spring, summer, winter, or fall, lure color can be a very important consideration when you're selecting a lure.

(For more fish-catching information, visit