It can be hard to choose colors for bass fishing soft plastics. Walking down the bass fishing aisle at any sporting goods store can make your head spin in circles. With endless choices at your fingertips, it’s easy to get carried away. Before you know it, you’ve managed to amass a basket full of baits, and your “quick” shopping trip turns into a major and unexpected expense.
This used to happen to me all the time. I was always afraid of missing out on something. What if I only bought green-pumpkin-colored lizards when the bass really wanted green pumpkin with blue flake? Lord knows I wasn’t about to take the chance, so I’d buy three more packs. It was an endless cycle that left my boat cluttered, my wallet skinny and my mind in knots.
To help you avoid this common problem, we’ve put together a simple guide for choosing colors for bass fishing soft plastics based on the conditions. You can absolutely catch bass on other colors, but this will get you started and put you on the right track for making more informed purchasing and rigging decisions in various situations.
It’s important to understand that “clear” is a very relative term in bass fishing. Depending upon geographic location, some anglers consider 30 feet of visibility clear while others believe eight feet of visibility is clear. Remember—it’s just bass fishing, so try not to overcomplicate it. If you think the water is clear, trust your judgment. You can always make adjustments as the day goes on.
When fishing for clear water bass, it’s important to use natural and often translucent colors. These bass are known to spook at the sight of something unnatural, so beginning with some variation of green is an excellent starting point.
As we discussed with clear water, “dirty” water is also relative in bass fishing. If the water has somewhat of a brown hue to it, often evident after recent precipitation, darker soft plastic colors catch a lot of great bass. You know your favorite fishing holes better than anyone, so again, trust your judgment and remain open to experimentation.
In dirty water situations, it’s important to use soft plastic baits that will contrast well with the surrounding environment. Dark colors create a more noticeable silhouette that the bass detect easily, therefore increasing your chances of getting bites.
As you become more comfortable with your soft plastic presentations, you’ll find yourself experimenting with different color combinations. It seems as if every fishery has that “special” regional color the bass can’t seem to resist, and you’ll only crack the code by constant trial and error. This guide, however, hopefully makes a great starting point, grows your confidence and spurs additional, more complex color modifications down the road.