NC Angler Forums banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys so I have been thinking a lot about crankbait colors lately. Most of the lakes that I fish are stained and sometimes muddy, think like Mackintosh, Randleman, and Graham-mebane. So in muddy water I like to throw cranks that are mostly chart with a contrasting color like blue or black on their backs. However when the water is just stained, and not muddy, but also not clear I seem to struggle with finding a color that I have confidence in. It seems I either pick a crank with a lot of chart on it and then worry that with the water not really being overly muddy the chart maybe to much for the fish, or I pick something that more closely mimics a shad and then I worry that it may not have enough flash or color for the fish to see it. I know size and action is usually considered more important than color, but I still like to have confidence in the color that I am throwing since of course confidence helps.

I have done really well in stained but not muddy water with Chart sexy shad from Strike King. I really like how that is in between being bland and flashy. However I really want to start throwing Rapala Dt's more as I really like the way they break down the different water depths. I have done well throwing the Parrot and Caribbean Shad colors in dirtier water, but I worry those would be almost to bright for the water when it is in that just stained phase. I saw
Helsinki Shad and Pearl Grey Shiner but would you throw something like that in the type of water I am describing? Neither to me really seem like they give off much color or enough flash to help, but then again I have not fished colors like that much as I do not have a lot of confidence in them.

I think really my problem is between picking colors based on water clarity and trying to match the hatch at the same time. For example if I am in brownish stained water where the bass are feeding on shad, I would not be overly confident in normal sexy shad as although its a shad color it is not a bright one. Besides chart sexy shad I have not seen any shad colors I liked for stained water, and I dont really see anything that Rapala has that is similar to chart sexy shad.

The same goes for bluegill. To me the Rapala bluegill color is a clear water color. I always think that is a color that since it is so lifelike would only be good in clear water. If you are familiar with it, would you use that in stained water that does not have a lot of visibility?

I know this is a lot of different questions, haha sorry about that! I have just been trying to figure the answers out to all of these over the last couple of days and have not really felt like I have made much progress. Any advice would be really appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,646 Posts
Muddy Water: Chart/black or blue back, fire tiger, red, parrot

Stained Water: Chart will still work fine. You aren't going to scare a fish away with a crank. This was proven to me earlier this year when a friend crushed me with a bright orange X-rap (it looked like a salmon lure to me). That said, if you are using the Rapala baits then the Helsinki shad and Peal Gray are my favorites. I like the sexy shad type color schemes so on the Pearl Gray I put a chart stripe on it with a spike-it pen. One other I like is the Ike's Old School.

As for the bluegill color, I was on a decent bite on a DT-6 (Pearl Gray) and while smacking it on the water to remove some weeds I split the lure (BTW, don't smack wooden lures on the water - gets expensive). The only other color I had in a DT-6 was bluegill and I contined to catch fish.

Your color choices are fine, IMO. Crankbaits are primarily a sound and vibration lure. If a bass can find a jig or t-rig in muddy water they can hunt down a crank regardless of color.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Muddy Water: Chart/black or blue back, fire tiger, red, parrot

Stained Water: Chart will still work fine. You aren't going to scare a fish away with a crank. This was proven to me earlier this year when a friend crushed me with a bright orange X-rap (it looked like a salmon lure to me). That said, if you are using the Rapala baits then the Helsinki shad and Peal Gray are my favorites. I like the sexy shad type color schemes so on the Pearl Gray I put a chart stripe on it with a spike-it pen. One other I like is the Ike's Old School.

As for the bluegill color, I was on a decent bite on a DT-6 (Pearl Gray) and while smacking it on the water to remove some weeds I split the lure (BTW, don't smack wooden lures on the water - gets expensive). The only other color I had in a DT-6 was bluegill and I contined to catch fish.

Your color choices are fine, IMO. Crankbaits are primarily a sound and vibration lure. If a bass can find a jig or t-rig in muddy water they can hunt down a crank regardless of color.

Thanks I appreciate it! I guess next time Im out I just need to spend some time with Helsinki or Pearl Grey to work on having confidence with them. I actually really like the looks of the bluegill color, I just have never used it in in of the water around here as I was always worried about it not being visible, Ill have to give it a shot as well then. Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,335 Posts
as bleedingblue suggested, another big issue in muddy or very stained water could be sound. in those conditions i like a pattern with chartreuse but also with internal rattles (vs. quiet in clearer water). // joel
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,778 Posts
What these guys said. When it muddy let the fishes latteral line catch them, loud and water movers color is the last thing there.

Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,580 Posts
I believe it is more about where you throw it, I dont put too much emphasis on color myself. Chartruse and citrus colors will work pretty good even in clear waters, I dont switch to natural colors until I can see about 4 ft, which isnt often in NC. My tourny partner has alot of confidence in some natural color stuff and we both catch fish in alot of different water situations.

If the fish has enough time to see the scale pattern details on my crankbait, I probably wont catch him anyways as I am probably passed out on the front deck if the lure is moving that slow ;).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,315 Posts
Rainbow trout finish will outfish most anything from stained to clear in a balsa cranks. If it's muddy you throw spinnerbaits. Rattles are way overrated and likely gonna hurt in most public lakes.

Rattle Trap type baits without rattles in public water shine, Spros are real good.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,233 Posts
For me, I like to use dark colors in muddy water...the darker the water, the darker the crankbait. I think bass see the silhouette of the darker baits better in the muddy water, whether with rattles or not. Browns, blacks and dark greens are my choice for the muddy water.

I like to use the bluegill colors during and right after the spawning season. Bass are still keyed in on those egg stealing pests!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
Also, when fishing a crankbait in muddy water and it runs into rocks, brush etc. give it a second to rebound off of the structure. That's typically when I get most of my strikes. This is also true when fishing a spinnerbait in muddy water...
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top