Does color really matter when you’re choosing lures? Well, that’s really the million dollar question, now isn’t it. Many accomplished anglers will say that lure color is unimportant and that bait profile, presentation speed and depth level are much more prevalent.
Others will argue that lure color is critically important in several different situations.
Many swear by the old adage: bright colors in dark water and natural colors in clear water. The idea is that clear water allows the fish to examine the bait. If the color patterns are unrealistic, the fish will be weary to bite. On the other hand, if water clarity is low, bright colors paired with sound and vibration can help fish find your bait in even the darkest of conditions. This helps explain the latest UV craze going on right now in the world of ice fishing.
While those are good rules of thumb to keep in mind, there are some notable anglers who prefer the “do the opposite” approach. Al Lindner, for example, loves fishing brightly colored X-Raps in the clearwater lakes of the Upper Midwest. Top professional walleye pro Keith Kavajecz trolls brightly colored crankbaits in the Great Lakes environments when all of his competitors are trying to match the hatch.
While there is merit to all of these arguments, it’s important to remember that no one suggestion will work for all anglers. It’s up to you to put in the time on the water, experimenting with different lure colors and presentations to figure out what works best on your favorite body of water.
Referring to the video above: When James Lindner and Jeremy Smith hit the water early that morning, they didn’t know what the key to success would be on that particular day. As Jeremy said, lure color isn’t typically something he’s overly concerned with, but on that day, it ended up being a critical factor.