Bass Fishing Lure Color Selection Chart – What color to use bass fishing!

Video fishing lure color selector

This post is about a bass fishing lure color selection chart because with so many color choices, it’s really hard to narrow things down. Here’s what one Kraken Bass subscriber told me in an email.

“In a nutshell, I think one of my issues is color. I tend to get colors and patterns that seem close to what would be in the area. However, I have also seen fish caught on super strange colors, like pink and purple. What is a good determining factor for color? Does it depend more on the body of water? I’ve never been real sure what to get when there are 30 different colors of one bait.”

When I started out bass fishing I really struggled with picking colors too, but now I feel like I have a decent system that seems to work. Here’s a break down for you of how to choose the best color for any lure or bait in a variety of situations. Let’s dive in and hopefully this information will help you catch more bass when you get out on the water.

Bass Fishing Lure Color Selection Chart

Color is important because it helps bass identify with the lure or bait you are using. I’ve had several instances where one color works better than another. In this post we will break down a fishing lure color selection chart to help you pick the right color to catch more fish. This post will look at the main 4 key factors in determining color selection. They are depth, water clarity, forage, and bottom color. All of these elements are key ingredients in understanding what color will work best for bass fishing. In addition, there are a couple random anomalies to consider. Let’s take a look at how each of these elements works for choosing the right color.

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Bass Fishing Lure Color Selection Chart – Depth

Depth is a critical component for selecting the right bait color for bass fishing. The deeper a fish lives the less light gets down in the water to show off the color of your bait. Bass are predators, and have the ability to change hues of color based on the available light and colors around them. The deeper you catch a bass they appear to be a little more pale, yet shallow clear water bass can have darker green vivid markings. It’s pretty cool how they can adapt to their surroundings.

This knowledge about light peneteration will help you with a simple rule to live by. When there is a lot of light penetration natural greens, browns, or gray’s are the best bet. The deeper you are fishing with less light penetration more contrast is needed to help you bait stand out. Chartreuse, white, or even black and blue darker colors will help get the bass to notice your bait and chomp it down!

Bass Fishing Lure Color Selection Chart – Water Clarity

Water clarity is the number one determining factor of what color to use bass fishing. Just like depth effects light penetration, water clarity also prevents light from illuminating your bait. The dirtier the water the more contrast you will need for your bait to get noticed. In really dirty water you want white, or black then scale your color to more natural patterns the clearer the water becomes. Check out the illustration below to see what I mean for choosing the right color bass fishing.

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Bass Fishing Lure Color Selection Chart – Forage/Feed

A common saying in fly fishing is “Match the Hatch” which referrers to picking a lure that looks like the bugs hatching in the water. The same thing applies for bass fishing. You need to match your bait colors to the type of forage the bass are feeding on. If there are a lot of bluegills in the lake use bluegill colors such as green, blue with some orange or yellow. When the main forage in the lake is crawfish use green pumpkin, brown, with a dash of blue or orange. These are colors bass expect to see in their prey, so matching it in your lure can make a big difference in the number of strikes you get. A little bit of red is always good too since baitfish often bleed red when they are struggling, plus the red flash of the gills in a baitfish gets noticed.

Bass Fishing Lure Color Selection Chart – Bottom Color

Kevin Van Dam one of the top bass fishing pro’s of all time said he determines what color to use by looking at the color of the bottom of the lake. Baitfish and other creatures bass feed on need to blend in with their surroundings to prevent getting preyed upon. If the water is clear and the bottom is more of a brown color use a green pumpkin or brown. If the bottom looks more green use watermelon colors. This rule can help you in clear water situations be more on point with what to use. Use something that will get noticed if you can’t see the bottom.

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Bass Fishing Lure Color Selection Chart – Random Anomalies

Although these general principles for choosing the right color traditional work, sometimes you will have a random color that also works. The random color I’m talking about is pink! For whatever reason in the summertime or post spawn, on a drop shot rig a pink worm will just absolutely work. Also try the Merthiolate color just after the bass spawn. It’s been known to produce some strikes. The bass fishing research out there says that the predominate color bass respond to is red, and that they can’t see color. My theory is these bright colors have the same hue, as other colors in the water thus they become a good attraction for those sometimes finicky bass.

Hopefully, you gleaned a few items form this fishing lure selection chart breakdown, so you can spend less time wondering if you are using the right color and more time catching bass! Thanks again for your support. One more little side note, the links above and below in this post are affiliate links were you can pick up baits, rod’s, reels, line, and anything else I use in selecting the right color for fishing. receives a small percentage of the sales through these links. I only use links to baits, and gear I personally trust and know work. These links are here to be helpful for you, and not for the small amount made on the sale of the products. I hope these products can help you “krak” some bass!

As Always,

Stay Stoked!!

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>