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3792 Views 29 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  joe
Went fishing Sun. The weather was about 50 degrees, with north winds between 15-25 mph. Water is about 8', 3-5' of visibilty, submerged grass beds. Two weeks ago Landon, my son, and I went fishing and caught 16 fish. Weather conditions were about the same as Sunday. We tore them up on black and white crankbaits. Here's the question: I had only one black and white crank, so I gave it to the boy and a tied on a Norman Chartruese and Brown. They would not touch his crank but were all over mine. He changed to a chartruese and black and joined in on the hot action. Everywhere I go, shad are the same color. Silver sides with black back so why were they ignoring the black and white and hitting to chartruese when they wouldn't touch it before. I thought about it maybe being the wobble of the crank, but they were the same brand and style just different colors. Any ideas. We caught 18 with the biggest being 7lbs. Landon caught one that was probably bigger than that but he caught it close to the boat and tried to horse it in instead of letting it make its big run and lost it. Great day!!!!!
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I wish I could give you an answer , but it may be one of those things that make you go HMMMMMMMMM. Bass can sure be ' finikie' at times. ( I reckon that is why the bait monkey hits us hard lol ) One minute they are killing Junebug color, then the next it is watermellon/red .

I have seen when the sun is out from clouds they shut off, then soon as the clouds cover it up the bite was on again. ( and vise verse with the sun and clouds )
I dont know about your particular situation but I find that if it's cloudier outside, chartreuse seems to work better. As the sun comes out I switch up to natural colors.

Otherwise, who knows. Maybe the one day they were feeding and the next time you were just getting reaction strikes. "There are no rules to fishing" as they like to put it.

Either way, great work. Sounds like a good day.
Arkie will eat this one up. Here is my $0.02 worth. I think that like Rich outside conditions dictate a color scheme and water color is real important as well as the depth that the fish are holding. Fish see certain colors better at certain depths. Now does that make them bite because they see it I don't think so but if they can see it I think they are more likely to chase it. Water color may look the same to our naked eye but there are all different hues of colors at any given time in any body of water. Drew
Thanks for the input guys. Like you, I am waiting on Jim to take off with this one. I want to say the conditions were exactly the same but we're talking a 3 week span so I know that it wasn't exactly the same. I think you guys hit it though, it was cloudier Sunday. Anyways, there was something really funny that happened before the trip even started. I am going to post in under the front porch- Soaking wet will be the topic. Thanks for the input!!! This is why I am proud to be a BASSHOLE!!!
I read the 'soaking wet" story- pretty good! As for the chartreuse and brown crank, I don't know. I've seen fish nail firetiger cranks and nothing else before, in crystal clear water with the sun shining. ???I don't know what those little green fish are thinking most of the time.
I have never caught a fish on a red crank. I have 3 different ones! Go figure.
A black and white crankbait does not necessarily represent shad, it is however the maximum contrast color combination in poor light conditions, like night. What you may have experienced was a hot reaction bite and you may not have tried other high contrasting colors. Chartruse and brown are both in hot color range, brown is close to red and chatruse is close to yellow/green. Think of primary colors; red, yellow and blue, everything is a mix of those colors. Chartruse/brown can be a crawdad color in off color water or a sunfish color. Shad colors are silver with purple/chartruse, therefor black/white maybe  closer to a shad, under poor light. Blue/chartruse may have been the ticket if sunfish were the prey or silver/purple for shad, only the bass knew and you had a couple of very good days on the water.
Tom is on it with the word "contrast", but I'll add another element, "camoflauge". It's probably impossible to explain that fully with other than a theory. We're still a long way from figuring out bass behavior. When you look down into the water how easy is it to spot one shad that's not moving? Well, I've been studying baitfish for decades, and still can't see them suspended. Maybe it's my eyes, but until they swim an inch I don't see them. Out of the water, sure, I see the individual colors. But in the water they can adjust like a black bass can change it's colors to blend in. They do that to survive.

Our crankbaits can't blend in naturally. We have to choose a color scheme that works with high/low light conditions, water clarity, surface reflections, and color filtration with depth. Since they can't self adjust, crankbaits will remain much easier for a bass to spot. If too unnatural and easy, a wise bass might pass on it. If camoflauged and appearing to be hiding, it might appeal to a bass. If it were not for the keen senses of a bass, hearing, sensing vibrations, etc. as well as acute eyesight, it would starve. It depends on movement of its prey unless not hidden from sight.

IMHO black & white might have been too much for those water conditions. That might be best in darkly stained water.

The wild card here is "reaction" bites, though, sometimes making no sense at all. They might ignore everything tomorrow, biting only a bone white worm ???

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Jim, At least I managed to post something on this board! In regards to crank baits, camo can be detrimental at times and blend into the environment so well that an active bass may pass on the lure and go after an easier injured real bait fish. Years ago we used cranks with vertical strips in cover and horizontal strips and spots or dots in open water. Adding small dark dots like blue to a chartruse back crank or black dots to green back swimbait seems to trigger bites in clear water situations. Sometimes these small modification can make the day.
and then it might not be the color at all. i fish specs alot in a crowd and sometimes they only want a certain color. other times just a single lure out of the crowd. same color model and all. "identical" set ups 10 feet apart and one guy gets them all. there must be some subtle vibe difference. i understand the bass pros may go through dozens of a certain model and color until they find a couple that have "it". then again some days they hit the bobber.

Besides, all the animals that got figured out are extinct.
Color can be deep topic related to fishing and specifically bass fishing. Loren Hill's research to develop the color C-Lector is not generally accepted by the science community. My personell beliefs on this subject vary and conflict with experiences. Some years ago there was a study project done to determine if bill fish could determine colors, there is lots of money behind bill fishing! The results were that bill fish are color blind as we know colors and all predator fish in general are color blind, as hard as that is to believe. What may be close to the truth is fish see the ultra violet color spectrum in lieu of mixes of primary colors like we see. Several years ago I was catching bass on the Colorado river lakes using a dark red with purple blood line vain worm, then they stopped biting the worm. The bass would bite the original hand pored lot and not the new batch. the only difference was the dark red dye had been changed by the manufacturer. I contacted the mfr and asked if they had any of the original dye lot, the had some at a distributor and I bought it. The dark red worms came back to life and I was back into catching bass again on that worm. A similar thing happened to he Lew Eppinger company with their red and white striped spoons. Eppinger's paint supplier changed dye suppliers and the red / white spoon sales dropped off dramatically, until Eppinger discovered the problem. The human eye apparently sees colors differently than fish. Maybe someday we will know what they see, but until then we need to keep an open mind on the color subject.
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Specks, now thats a whole other ball of worms. They do what they want when they want for no appearent reason what so ever!!
A classic experiment exists that proved color does come into play for bass, but they didn't rule out transparency/translucency/opaqueness. Several colors of lines were baited with live bait. it was noted bass followed the line down to the bait. Wella, they do see line, but that didn't deter them. Some lines were then left baitless until only one color line held bait. Then when all lines were put out with that one color line baited, the bass would only follow that line down. Some colors were better than others in regards to how quickly a bass learned which line held bait.

I've had bass come up to the boat, then follow the line back down to the bait. Walleye will do that too. All that explained to me why as a teenager I caught all available species of fish on a ragged hand-me-down spool of braid probably made around 1955. It had to be hung out between trees to dry to prevent mildewing. Thick as yarn and darker colored than any you'll find today.

Any color will look different under water and certainly comparing full sun to cloudy sky conditions. Most colors mellow out, sort of "cream up", blur, or become otherwise more natural, blending in. We see a lure diving and apparently not changing color, but that's because there's only a few feet of water involved. But to a fish 20 feet away from it the colors are dimmed considerably due to water filtration, refraction, and reduced reflection. Light gets scattered in water. When diving the first and most lasting impression I had was the drab colored world there. It was like a scene you might expect off a printer having only shades of black and green, and silver for the surface seen from below. All fish appeared to be nearly invisible until very close, all very close to the same color scheme until very close. You'd have to learn fish shapes very well to identify them 50 feet away. Out there you won't see a green with brown splotched fish saying its a bass. You examine fins and body shape compared to other fish. Down there the fins are all fluffed out, unlike a bass in your hands, fins folded down. A way different world. While there I was most interested in watching the fish instead of looking over a submerged town's remains. Bass drift slowly around or remain locked on a spot. Barely in view way off in the dim I once saw a school of probably baitfish. The instant I saw them the bass took off in their direction. Any color? No. Just what looked like a black swarm of bees. Since then I've seen baitfish down there diving, very close by, the only color being a bright silver wall of shad when they turned just right to let sunlight reflect off their scales. Until then they are individually "invisible", seeing only motion in mass. But out of the water they are white, chartreuse sided, black backed, and faint glimmers of other colors.

That's why I think the most important factor isn't color, but contrast before color, and motion. Does it swim like something the bass likes to eat? If something moves down there and a bass is looking that way, it will see the movement. It's kind of like hunting squirrels or deer. If you are still you patiently wait to see motion, then you study what moved. Animals do the same. A deer might be looking straight at you, but until you move in its view, or your scent drifts to it, you remain "unseen" though plainly in view, even wearing orange.

I believe various crankbait paints and worm colors simply reflect and refract colors that barely compete with the drabness down under. The colors simply help a bass see the motion, or pick out the contrast, like seeing a blue worm deadsticked on a black shale bottom. Any contrast at all shows up regardless of colors. It's easy to spot a silt covered tacklebox because of the way the shape is still there, something unnaturally square-sided, and too evenly surfaced. There will be litter all around the box. No rocks will be on it, but it'll be the same color as the bottom it sits on. In that case the contrast is shape and texture.

Well, we've all been out there only to find after loading up watermelon green with red flake was THE color that loaded several livewells. "Oh, WHY didn't we try that? Kick me." So the next day you return with 300 of those, and by day's end, fishless, you find out 5 guys limited out on the new color of the day, plum-apple with green flake.

Tom, you probably remember when Creme worms became the rage. Remember those plain Jane colors? They caught bass no matter how you rigged or fished them. Then came those fancy colors and the bite became less predictable. It became a chore finding those original basic colors, which Creme finally resumed making. I still rely on those a lot. It's easier to find a biting color in those than going through 30 combos of mixed colors like "plum-apple" and Junebug flakes. But from too many times of learning about a hot color at day's end, I carry probably a hundred varieties of colors, tail shapes, lengths, transparent, translucent, opaque, floating, salted to sink, scented, and even eyes with rotating pupils. The bait monkey put me in his cage.  :eek:

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I thought only western bass fisherman were crazy enough to own every color combination worm ever made. Yes, the very first Creame worms were night crawler brown. Black, purple and brown worms ruled for the first decade or so, then 1970's Creame came out with the Scoundrel color plus, a brown that turned purple under water. Blood lines followed, then hand pored salt & pepper flakes, neon, etc. etc.
Aaron Martens may be the best worm fisherman on the tour and he is color blind! Aaron only fishes 3 colors; shad w/ translucent purple, Aaron's magic a green/blue/brown combo and People worms a cinnamon/blue-purple combo. Aaron can't see the flakes and could care less what they are. Maybe we should re evaluate what we are doing, although it would take all the fun out of looking for the flavor of the day. I agree with the contrast statement and is the reason my most product hair jig over a 30 year period has been a combination of black back, purple mid section and brown belly. Never have seen a crawdad that color, however those giant bass love it. All I need to do is determine through trial & error what color trailer to use; brown, purple or black...sound familiar?  like the original Creame worm colors.
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:clap: :clap: That made for some interesting reading. It would take me a day and a half to type all that, and about a decade to actually absorb all that info. Ouachita and old school, ya'll feel free to do that more often. I might mess up and learn something. ;D
That is the main reason I do not partake in the green leafy substance :eek:
:rofl1: :rofl2: :rofl1: :rofl2: It's been a year or three for me, too, but those were the good old days before I knew better.
For the record, I have never seen anything living in the water that was bubblegum pink swimming around either - I can only assume that matching the hatch isn't always the best thing to do. Maybe the color difference - the deviation from the norm - created a strike response in the fish you were catching...
I have a killer bubble gum lizzard patern in the spring. You swim it weightless, walk the dog about a foot deep oh god you talk about a heart attack watch them eat it without setting the hook. :fish: :boing:
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