If you’re looking to choose a lure color for clear water, it’s best to go natural! As we mentioned in our “best color crankbait for bass” article, using something too bright like chartreuse in clear waters can be off-putting to fish. So, save those brightly colored lures for murky water or deep water fishing, and instead, test the waters with one of these colors!
The number one color for clear water bass fishing is – green pumpkin! It’s one of the most requested colors by anglers and pretty much every single bait comes in this color because it just works. This color works so well because it mimics what the big bass are eating by borrowing colors from bluegill, crayfish, and panfish species.
The base color works well by itself but if you wanna get fancy there are always variations! For starters, you can pick up a mix which throws in some sparkle flakes if you need a little flash in there to grab attention. Copper flakes are a popular choice here but there are tons and tons of different takes on this OG lure color.
Watermelon, while similar to green pumpkin, has a trick up its sleeve! It’s got some great flakes in there like we just talked about. If you go for watermelon red, which is the most popular variant, then you’ll get some great red sparkle in there to tempt the bass your way. Red and green are a great color combo because bass can see both of these colors really well.
BUT, you can also try some other variants. Watermelon seed is also a popular choice in this category, and it features both black and red flakes in it. Though there are plenty more mixes around to try if you’d like to experiment. Uh oh, you’re gonna need a bigger tackle box.
You may have noticed that there’s a lot of green on this list. That’s because when the water is clear, it’s time for natural colors, and there’s nothing more natural right after the spawning season than baby bass. This color, as its name implies, mimics the scale color of the numerous babies which larger bass will be looking to make a meal of at the end of the spawning season.
A baby bass colored lure darting through the grasses underwater looks natural enough for the larger fish to come out for a snack. This is a good color for senkos, worms, etc. but if you’re looking for a good crankbait color, then going for a natural bluegill or perch pattern is the way to go.
When the water clarity is good and light transmission is high, it’s time to go for translucent lures! Choosing something more translucent, which also has a bit of sparkle flake in there helps to take full advantage of your weather conditions. There are tons of different types of this lure style out there, but smoke with sparkle flakes in colors like black, silver, or gold are very popular.
This is a great shallow water fishing bait color, because it looks just like the minnows which are hanging out in the shallows. Playing with one of these translucent lures right on the edge of the darker water could help you to lure out a big bass that’s waiting to grab himself a snack.
PS. If you’re interested in learning more about lure color selection make sure to download our free lure color reference chart! It tells you when to pick lures based on weather conditions, depth, water quality, etc.