There are a seemingly endless number of senko colors out there, but it’s pretty clear that some colors simply perform better than others. So, which senko colors are the best performers? The truth is, there is no one “best senko color” or “best chatterbait color“. Many different colors can work great depending on the situation!
Knowing what color senko to use for bass fishing, or any kind of fishing for that matter, means taking into account many different factors during your fishing trip. You should pay special attention to the water clarity, the depth at which you are fishing, the weather conditions, and forage which fish are feeding on in the area. We already did another article “best color worms for bass” which touched on this previously if you’re interested.
(PS. Don’t forget to download our lure color chart to know when to use each color!)
Green pumpkin is simply the OG lure color, especially when it comes to bass fishing. It’s one of the most in-demand colors from fishermen and pretty much every lure comes in this color. Know why? Because it works!
The reason this is such a popular color in bass fishing is because the colors of this lure closely match a lot of the food which large mouth bass are accustom to eating, and throwing out something which is familiar is a great way to get more strikes. Would you eat food which looked weird and nothing like what you’d normally eat? You’d definitely be hesitant and so are bass!
Game fish are predators. So, take a minute and think about what the bait fish which your target species is chasing look like. If the answer is something like bluegill, various panfish, or crayfish – then green pumpkin could be a great choice depending on what your water clarity looks like.
Similar to green pumpkin, the baby bass color can also perform really well when used correctly. This color, as its name implies, mimics the look of a baby bass darting through the grasses under the water. The idea, of course, is to play with it and make it look like an injured fish which a larger bass could easily turn into a tasty snack.
Again though, situation and behavior is everything. Pros like to use this color at the end of the spawning season, because that’s when larger bass are likely feeding on the offspring of their neighbors. Putting a bait which is familiar makes it easier to convince a wary fish that it’s a good idea to strike before their meal gets away, and that’s when you hook ’em.
You may have noticed that all of our picks so far use green hues, well that goes back to our “match the hatch” guidelines – which points us to use the same colors which bass would see in nature. However, this colorway has a little trick! The watermelon red colorway has a green base, but it contains red sparkle flakes in it.
These little sparkles can be a great way to get attention if you’re having trouble getting bites. It offers the familiar green color, but the light catches a little red flash – which bass see really, really well in the water. In a study, researchers in New York and Illinois found that bass respond most readily to red and green and that their vision is more limited for other colors.https://www.gameandfishmag.com/editorial/what-colors-do-bass-see/372341
Okay, so we’ve established that bass see green and red most readily, so does that mean we should only use those colors? Nope! While the study did confirm that the more identify with red and green, they also hit on other colors plenty. In fact, sometimes combining some different colors can produce great results.
Okeechobee craw is a more unusual pick, but it can be very effective. This color mimics the color patterns of a fast moving bluegill, and if you’d like to try this color out in dingy water around grasses for the best effect. Using it to lure large bass out of the waiting shadows can be a great strategy.
Another important factor in lure selection is contrast. While they may not see the colors quite as well, sometimes even just making out the shape of food is enough to trigger a strike, particularly in conditions where visibility is low. For this reason, June bug is a really popular bass fishing color.
June bug also comes with some great green sparkle flake colors in there, which we already know bass see well. When this hits the light it gives a great flash which helps cement the fact that this is something bass want to eat. If you want to test out this color, try it out night fishing or when the water is dark.
Pearl is my absolute favorite lure color. It worked really well for me, and I honestly didn’t even know why, but I later learned it was because the waters where I fished where quite dark, and the white color was easily recognizable to many fish, giving me great strikes in areas where my friends were struggling.
White is also a great color for dragging through spawning beds, and I’ve used it successfully to bait aggressive, invasive tilapia into biting where other fishermen complain that they can’t be caught on lures. However, this lure will work great in dark waters at a variety of depths and for multiple species of fish.
Okay, so what about the super bright lures, when should you use those? Opinions on these will vary, but many anglers use these during spawning seasons. Dragging a brightly colored lure through a bass bed is sure to get them fired up, and it’ll get you a lot of strikes for your efforts.
However, large mouth bass can also be caught in deeper water on these, and they tend to respond differently depending on the time of year. Small mouth bass however, seem to hit on these colors very frequently for whatever reason, so if that’s your target species, don’t be afraid to toss it out and test things! Though if you don’t want to go full chartreuse there are plenty of other colors which feature chartreuse tails to give some flash while remaining true to the main color.
Similar to chartreuse, pink is an attention getting color which can work well in certain situations. If you’ve tried the normal colors without much luck, then give this one a try. This is an especially good color if you are fishing in deeper water, because it’s highly visible. And, as I said before, small mouth bass love bright colored lures, and a lot of professional fishing absolutely slay them tossing out this gaudy, bright colored lures like this.
Bubblegum is one of the most popular colorways in this spectrum, but there are plenty more! Another popular one with pros is Morning Dawn if you’d like something that’s even brighter than the bubble gum color.
Anglers love this color in clear, shallower water. This is because it’s kind of translucent and allows for really good use of lighting, which attracts the attention of the fish. There are a ton of different varieties of this color out there, mixed with different hues like blue, purple, black or red too that you can experiment.
Looking for something with even more flash? Try picking up a smoke senko which has red flakes in it. These little sparkles will catch the light and draw more attention to your lure, bringing the fish in. While some fishermen claim to have trouble using this color successfully, others say using it in shallow waters after the spawn is their go-to strategy.
Another darker color which is great for deep, dark waters. This color provides contrast which helps your bait to stand out, and if you pick up the blue flake version, it will also have that eye catching sparkle when the light hits it. Most fishermen keep this color as a staple in their tackle boxes for different situations. Anglers prefer this color in deep or dark waters, night fishing, during the fall, on cloudy days – or any other time where visibility is limited. It’s one of the best lure colors for muddy water!