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Choosing The Right Color
Bob R. Myers - Pro Field Editor
April 2002

As a full-time bass fishing guide specializing in smallmouth bass, one of the most common questions asked by my customers is ; does color make a difference when worm fishing?

Fishing a plastic worm is not difficult, however, some anglers are at a complete loss when it comes to determining what color to use for a
particular body of water or don't know what color to go to when conditions change.

Nine times out of ten if you ask another bass fisherman what he
caught his fish on, his reply simply would be "on worms" and most
fishermen are satisfied with the answer. But in reality he has given you only a small portion of the necessary information that you are looking for.

There are a lot of important factors to consider when it comes down
to fishing plastic baits; color, size, rigging, weight size, type of
worm, hook style and size, type of retrieve, depth to fish and which
type of cover or structure is best.

I believe that one of the most important aspects of worm fishing is
finding the color of worm the bass want on a particular day. Don't cast the same color of worm for hours on end, trying to make the bass hit your favorite color. Use various colors switching from light to dark or vice-versa until you establish a color pattern.

Although some anglers mistakenly believe that bass cannot
distinguish color, studies by Dr. Loren Hill inventor of the
Color-C-Lector, have proven fish can distinguish at least 26 different
colors or shades of colors. This helps to understand why some colors
seem to produce when others don't.

Several factors will determine the color to use, i.e., the clarity
of the water, depth, time of day and whether clear or overcast.

One quick way to start an argument among bass fishermen is to say
one color of worm is better than another.

Every bass fisherman seems to have his or her own preference of
color. And for the most part, this has to do with the track record of
that particular color.

I would have to say that the all-time favorite color among the
majority of fishermen is purple or some color close to it. I don't know
if this color is really that good or it's just because so many anglers
use it, but it works.

Second place in a worm color seems to be either black or blue. All
three of these colors are highly productive because they work under a wide variety of water and weather conditions.

There are so many new colors on today's market, it would be
impossible to list them all, but, there are several that should be in
any bass fisherman's tacklebox. Namely, they are watermelon, blue fleck, green pumpkin, black/chartreuse, plum, junebug, pumpkin/chartreuse, and a variety of purples, blacks, and blues.

When I fish for smallmouth in clear water lakes like Murray,
Arbuckle, or Texoma you simply cannot believe how critical selecting the right worm color can be. Because smallmouth can be so finicky, one day they like a particular color and the next day they won't touch it. I like the small hand-poured style finesse worms made by Robo Worm out of California. Their little 4" Sculpin FX worms are my bread and butter bait when fishing for brownies. If you haven't looked at these special effects worms, they are available at Academy Sports & Outdoors or you can contact Robo Worm at< or 1-877-GET-ROBO.

My favorite colors are the Fuschia Thunder, Ayu, Purple Weenie,
and Aaron's Magic. One color that is really effective in the early
spring is the Early Craw.

One day on a guide trip we might catch 25 or 30 smallmouth on the
Purple Weenie color and the next day on the same lake with the same conditions, they won't touch that color. We might have to switch to the Early Craw or the Fuschia Thunder color to catch bass. I think all bass are selective when it comes to biting a particular color of a plastic worm, but none are as finicky as smallmouth.

Selecting the size of a worm is really up to the individual, but my
personal preference in clear water is the 4" size and if the water is
either stained or muddy or when I am targeting big largemouth, I use a 6, 7, or and 8-inch worm. One good practice to follow is to reduce the size of your worm if you're not getting any strikes, or if you seem to be missing fish.

A lot of bass fishermen still prefer to fish their worms Texas
Style, however in recent years, more and more anglers are utilizing the Carolina Rig method, or using the drop-shot technique. Although I use all of the above methods from time to time when fishing a plastic worm, my favorite for smallmouth is a Mojo Rig. I like to use their Slip Shot weights in either the 5/32 oz. or 3/16 oz sizes. The Mojo rig is really the same as a Carolina Rig only on a smaller scale. The Mojo weights are cylinder shaped and will come through the rocks much better than the conventional brass or egg-shaped sinkers.

Worm fishing can be a very complex method of catching bass, yet the fact remains that no other lure in fishing history is as productive as the plastic worm.

There are so many variables when it comes to fishing a plastic
worm, but none is as important as selecting the right color.

Until next time, remember to practice catch-and-release.

Bass regards,

Phyllis (BASNGRL)


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