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Lure Colors and Why They Matter

Updated: May 17

Walking down the fishing aisle, you’ll find hundreds of lures in all kinds of shapes, sizes and colors. And even within your tackle box, you probably have a dozen to choose from. With so many lures available, how do you know which is the “right” one? Here is a quick guide to help you make your lure selection.

Check the Forecast

Believe it or not, weather and water conditions will play a large part in which color lure you should pull out of the box. A general rule to follow for choosing your lure color: light day, light colors; dark day, dark colors.

On bright, sunny days and in clear water conditions, choose lures that are light in color and mimic natural patterns. On cloudy days and in dirty water conditions, choose darker lures and those with non-natural coloration; preferably types that make noise or vibrate as they move through the water. If you want to keep it really simple, know that black lures will always work, regardless of the day.

Silver and Gold

There are a few factors to consider when choosing between silver or gold lures, two common colors. Silver lures are perfect for bright, sunny days. Gold will be your better option on darker, cloudy days. Also consider the water clarity where you are fishing. If the water is clear, then silver would work best. Silver gives off tremendous flash in clear water, especially on a sunny day. Fish will be able to see your lure from a further distance. If the water you are fishing is “tea-stained,” dirty, or cloudy, then the gold lure will be your best choice. Gold has fantastic reflective qualities in these water conditions compared to silver.

Water Depth

If you are fishing 20 feet deep and catching plenty of fish on a particular lure, but suddenly the catches slow and you find the fish have moved deeper, the same lure may not be as effective. This is because as the depth increases, the reflective quality changes and it affects the appearance of the lure. Try changing to a different color lure to account for the conditions at the new depth.

Use these general guides to choose your lure and adjust as needed. It may take some trial and error, but by knowing what doesn’t work, you will find what does!


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