Spinnerbaits are one of the most effective lures for covering water quickly and drawing reaction strikes from fish. There are multiple styles and dozens of colors to choose from, making choosing a spinnerbait difficult.
If you've tried fishing spinnerbaits with little success, you were likely using the wrong blade types and colors. Whether you're a novice or avid angler, this guide will help you choose the best spinnerbait color and put more fish in the boat.
Colors Reviewed (clickable)
Weather Conditions and Colors
Color selection is dependent on multiple factors, including sky conditions, water clarity, time of day, wind, and light penetration.
Many anglers have the misconception that bass are color blind (they're not!) While we used to think bass could only see reds and greens, we now know these fish actually have similar vision to people.
What color spinnerbait for cloudy & windy days?
Dark-colored spinnerbaits and baits with color accents are the most effective when fishing cloudy and windy days. Depending on the color of the clouds, your lure will have a different background to contrast with.
During days with white cloud cover, darker spinnerbaits will be more effective. When bass look up at your presentation, black, blue, and brown baits will stand out more against the white clouds.
When there are dark storm clouds in the sky, vibrant colors will help the fish find your bait. Spinnerbaits with chartreuse, red, and orange accents will help fish identify your presentation in low-light conditions.
Wind also makes the water's surface darker, so fish brighter colors during a storm.
What color spinnerbait for clear water?
Natural colors and light-colored spinnerbaits are best for clear water bass fishing. In conditions with more visibility, bass are better at spotting the differences between prey and artificial baits.
Blue glimmer shad, green glimmer shad, translucent and white spinnerbaits are best at mimicking the colors of juvenile baitfish. As with other bass lures, try to match the color of your spinnerbait to the baitfish in your lake or pond.
White spinnerbaits are famous for hammering fish in clear water conditions. Regardless of the conditions, you should play around with a white spinnerbait. Sometimes the fish will surprise you and hammer these baits in darker waters.
What color spinnerbait for muddy water?
Vibrant and darker colored spinnerbaits are best for muddy, dirty, and murky waters. Red, chartreuse, orange, and other bright colors will stand out more in low visibility conditions.
If the fish are timid, it can be effective to switch to darker colors. Even though this will make it harder for the bass to see your lure, visual indicators aren't the only reason bass strike baits. Black, blue, and brown spinnerbaits are great at annoying fish and drawing reaction strikes.
When the water clarity is poor, colorado blade spinnerbaits are better than willow leaf blades. Colorado blades will keep your bait moving slower and produce more vibration in the water. If bass aren't able to see well, they start to rely more on hearing and feeling.
Clear Water Colors
First, we'll review the best spinnerbait colors for clear water fishing. All of these colors are effective in high visibility waters; however, some of them are more versatile and perform well in various conditions.
1. White Spinnerbaits
If I could only fish one color for the rest of my life, I would fish a white spinnerbait. This color works surprisingly well in a variety of water conditions and has become the most popular pattern among bass anglers.
White colors are effective because every baitfish that swims has a white underbelly. This means you don't have to put as much effort into matching the hatch and trying different baits. Bass almost always strike from underneath baits and are used to seeing white colors.
White is also the go-to color for clear waters. It will have better contrast when there's a background of cloud cover in the sky.
Changing the color of the blades will help you get even more strikes. This gives you the opportunity to match the baitfish in your body of water.
Best White Spinnerbait Models
2. Translucent Blue Gizzard
Translucent colored spinnerbaits offer subtle realism in clear waters. Instead of having shocking visuals, this color skirt serves the role of giving fish something to hone in on.
The first thing bass usually notice about a spinnerbait is the flashing blades. When they approach the bait, the skirt serves the purpose of offering them something to strike.
This color serves the purpose of making fish bite the hook rather than the spinners. Translucent baits have an excellent imitation of juvenile baitfish and are realistic enough for clear water fishing.
Best Translucent Spinnerbait Models
3. Lunkerhunt Salt and Pepper
The Lunkerhunt Salt and Pepper Spinnerbait color is great to throw when white spinnerbaits aren't doing the trick. This color has white and black patterning that stands out in all weather conditions.
This color is primarily white, making it ideal for clear water fishing. It's also a great backup pattern to throw when dark colors aren't catching fish.
4. Gold Shiner Spinnerbait
The Gold Shiner spinnerbait is very effective if you're fishing in an area where bass feed on shiners. This is a realistic color pattern that mimics the design of a small baitfish. When the water is clear, and fish have better visibility, this realism can make the difference.
The spinnerbait in the image above is made by the lure manufacturer Booyah. They make some of the most realistic spinnerbaits on the market, with the most intricate skirt designs.
This particular lure also has one Colorado blade and one willow leaf blade. The combination makes this spinnerbait more versatile and keeps it swimming in the strike zone.
Muddy Water Colors
Next, we'll review the darker and brighter colored spinnerbaits. These patterns are best for muddy, dirty, stained, and murky water conditions. The added visibility helps bass find your presentation when there's low visibility and reduced light penetration.
5. Black Spinnerbaits
Black spinnerbaits have a simple design and can be just as versatile as white spinnerbaits. While vibrant colors are usually helpful in murky waters, there have been plenty of days when fish won't bite anything but black lures.
This dark color prompts a reaction strike from fish. The reduced visibility of this bait will actually annoy bass more as it passes by them.
Bass are also used to seeing darker colors in murky water. Even light baitfish appear dark when there's less light penetration.
Best Black Spinnerbait Models
6. Perch Color Spinnerbaits
Perch-colored spinnerbaits are known to feature a combination of every bright color. With shades of yellow, orange, red, and green, this spinnerbait is highly visible in murky waters. This pattern also closely mimics the colors of some baitfish, which helps keep it realistic.
Perch spinnerbaits are most effective in dirty waters and when fish hide in deep waters. When bass look up at your presentation from the depths of a lake, the bright colors in this lure convince them to check it out.
7. White Chartreuse
When ordinary white spinnerbaits aren't doing the trick, a white and chartreuse spinnerbait can turn the day around. This color has the benefits of a white spinnerbait, as it looks like the underside of almost every baitfish. However, the added chartreuse makes it stand out better in murky water.
White and chartreuse spinnerbaits are useful for covering water quickly. When your bait is visible from farther away, it allows you to spread out your casts. This makes searching for bass more efficient and puts you onto fish faster!
Best White Chartreuse Models
8. Sexy Shad Color
Sexy shad spinnerbaits have grown in popularity due to their close resemblance to juvenile bluegill. This bait has a white underbelly, chartreuse sides, and a streak of blue along the top. This spinnerbait will do the trick if the bass are feeding on small panfish, even in dirty waters.
This spinnerbait is best fished in shallower waters, along weed lines, and near grass mats. A trick to know if bluegill are nearby is listening for "popping" noises along the shoreline. Bluegill make these sounds when they feed under grass mats, and where there are bluegill, there are often hungry fish!
9. Lunkerhunt Dark Knight
Blank and blue spinnerbaits are another popular color for fishing dirty waters. The blue streaks along the sides help it stand out from other dark debris. While there are many black and blue spinnerbaits, the Lunkerhunt Dark Knight is my favorite.
Sometimes it's hard to know what colors will work best. This pattern is one I always keep in my tackle box. The Lunkerhunt Dark Knight has put fish in the boat on the slowest days out on the water.
10. Red Crawfish Color
Lastly, red crawfish spinnerbaits are a must-have if you're targeting smallmouth bass. Smallies frequently feed on crayfish and love the red color pattern of this bait. When fish are feeding aggressively, sometimes mild colors just won't get them interested.
While crayfish don't naturally have any gold patterning, I've found gold willow tail blades are most effective on red spinnerbaits. These blades get more attention, and the red skirt has better contrast with gold flashers.