Anglers around the world enjoy fishing ChatterBaits because of their unique character and exciting style. It sure is a rush to watch a monster bass slam the buzzing ChatterBait that you're ripping along the surface.
Fishermen use ChatterBaits for numerous reasons. An example is when fishing conditions aren't ideal; such as high winds, a ChatterBait can be just what you need to get the job done.
There are hundreds of color options and combinations to choose from, which has caused frustration and confusion among beginners and advanced anglers alike.
In this guide, we'll uncover the surprisingly simple strategies for picking colors and outline the best ChatterBait colors for every situation. Check out our guide to the best ChatterBait Rods for equipment suggestions.
White ChatterBait & White Trailer
A solid white ChatterBait with a white trailer is a combination all anglers should be carrying with them. This is especially true when targeting bass that are mainly hunting baitfish species. These can include Shad, Creek Minnows, or Juvenile Game Fish.
The entirely white presentation is extremely versatile and arguable the most popular combination. It's a sure-fire bet in dirty water conditions but will also perform surprisingly well in clear waters.
Obviously, this ChatterBait color hammers bass, but it's important to note that it's the only color that pike fishermen need. Pike can't get enough of all white ChatterBait presentations, and there's no need to look any further than this combination.
Our favorite white ChatterBait is the Z-Man Jack Hammer Clearwater Shad because of its matte finish and ability to cast a large shadow. We discuss this model in further depth at the end of this guide.
While everyone fishes differently, we have a few favorite trailers for a white/white presentation. We'll only use a white Rage Craw, Swimbait, or Bandito bug for this setup. Specifically, when it comes to Swimbaits, the Strike King KVD Swim'n Pearl Caffeine Shad dominates year-round.
Green Pumpkin ChatterBaits
If you find yourself in an area with a large panfish population, a Green Pumpkin ChatterBait is a great option. Bass that are feeding on Panfish such as Bluegill and Sunfish absolutely destroy these baits. You'll get the best action casting in shallow waters, along the bank, and especially under matted vegetation where panfish feed.
We don't want it to seem like Green Pumpkin ChatterBaits have only one application. This color is phenomenal year-round and will generally always be able to produce bites. When in doubt, the natural patterning of Green Pumpkin is usually the safest bet.
In most conditions, but especially in clear waters, a Rage Craw is the best trailer to combine with your ChatterBait. Make sure to match the two colors and use a Green Pumpkin Rage Tail Craw for the best results.
Black and Blue ChatterBaits
A ChatterBait with a black and blue skirt is a great backup for when the fishing gets tough. While it's a standard design that many anglers use as their main color, it's better as a runner-up. This is because it doesn't specifically mimic any prey.
With a Black and Blue ChatterBait, it's safe to assume you won't quite as many bites, but you can rely on a consistent amount of strikes day-to-day. As we mentioned, this is a great pattern for less ideal conditions such as bad or overcast weather. The darker colors will cast a better shadow, making it easier for bass to track down your ChatterBait.
The Black and Blue combination is also great for triggering intense reaction strikes from fish. If the fish aren't aggressively feeding, you can always throw this colored ChatterBait on their heads to catch them anyway.
A crawfish-colored ChatterBait is another color that every angler should have in their tackle arsenal. The prime time to throw a craw-colored ChatterBait is in the spring or the fall, but they're certainly not seasonally limited.
Our favorite crawdad ChatterBait is Z-Man's Fire Craw Jack Hammer. It has just the right amount of red and brown colors to lure in huge largemouth bass.
Craw-colored ChatterBaits will get bit year-round if you have the right setup. If possible, get yourself a Spring Craw or Fire Craw to use as a trailer. These gold and orange soft plastics perfectly match the Craw ChatterBait presentation. They also add much-needed reflection and "flare," making your crawfish imitation appear alive and in distress.
Bluegill Color Patterns
Towards the end of August and the beginning of September (late summer), we've all seen how the bluegill and swimjig bite can really turn on. This is the perfect time to start throwing a Bluegill Colored ChatterBait and get to rippin' some lips!
There are two combinations that we absolutely love this time of year.
The first is a Strike King Thunder Cricket with a Green Pumpkin purple and gold trailer. The second is a Z-Man Bluegill with a Rage Tail PB&J Trailer.
Both of these trailers have the right amount of purple and brown to match the ChatterBait skirt colors.
A tip we have for more advanced anglers is to remove the skirt under certain conditions. In super clear waters, many professional anglers will remove the skirt from the ChatterBait and attach a swimbait trailer. This allows you to imitate a wounded panfish better and avoid spooking any shallow-water fish.
The five best colors above (White, Green Pumpkin, Black and Blue, Crawdad, and Bluegill) are all you need to get started ChatterBait fishing. They're the basic color combinations that many anglers stick to and have great success.
Our guide to the best ChatterBait colors wouldn't be complete without a few honorable mentions. These combinations and patterns aren't as necessary and widely-used as the others on this list, but they sure do catch fish.
Spot Remover ChatterBait & Smokey Shad Trailer
This presentation requires the Z-Man Jack Hammer Spot Remover ChatterBait and a Smokey Shad Razor ShadZ Trailer. Some near record-breaking fish have been caught with this setup.
It's ideal on clear days with sunny skies, as the flakes need sunlight to produce a reflective effect. The combination draws bass in from long distances, especially if they're feeding on baitfish in clearer waters.