The Colors of Fall
article by KENNY COVINGTON
Fall mornings can be majestic. Mother Nature’s masterpieces are on a daily display, and the cool crisp air mixed with an array of colors that creates beauty that can only be described as breathtaking. If you happen to be on one of our area lakes preparing for a day on the water, that makes a day of fishing even better.
One of the major descriptions people will use to describe the fall seasons is colorful. When it comes to fall bass fishing, when it comes to your choice of lure, the color you choose can be just as important. Over the years I have found the fall to be a good time to use particular colors that seem to be more effective this time of year than any other season. The choice of colors for fall bass fishing, while seemingly simple, have proven to be down right effective.
Lure colors have been the subject of debate among fishermen for as long as there has been a choice of favorite lures. I have found all fishermen are peculiar about their color choices but I have also seen particular colors work well on one body of water but won’t do anything but haul water on another lake. While I do believe color choice starts with the anglers own confidence, it’s hard to dispute the effectiveness of these color choices.
While most people consider firetiger to be more of a springtime color scheme, I have found it to be a more effective fall color. When fishing off colored waters such as the Ouachita River or Lake Darbonne, this is my favorite color for a fall crankbait. Every major lure manufacturer has their version of Firetiger but my personal favorite crankbaits are the Model A Bomber, a Bandit, and a Norman Middle N.
Firetiger is also one of my favorite spinnerbait colors to use on overcast or rainy days. Even on clear water lakes such as Lake Claiborne or Caney Lake, I have had extremely good luck when using this color scheme. I believe the lure’s contrast with the darker skies is the main attracting point to the fish, making it easier for them to locate.
Has there ever been a more effective Rat-L-Trap color than chrome/blue in the fall? Sometimes as anglers we are bad about abandoning lures we caught fish on years ago. That goes for colors as well. At one time the ¼ and ½ ounce versions of a chrome/blue Rat-L-Trap could be found in any serious anglers tackle box. The variety of these style of baits are too numerous to list but the #1 color for fall bass fishing is still chrome/blue. One of my favorite fall topwaters is a Pop-R. A basic chrome/blue version or something of a similar color scheme is an excellent choice when fishing shallow cover in the fall in clearer water situations. All of my topwaters that started out with a chrome/blue color finish now are mostly bone colored due to the number of fish they have caught. Also, chrome/blue is also an excellent choice when choosing a jerkbait when fishing on clear lakes as well.
Ask any bass fisherman what the most popular color jig and most will tell you black/blue. I won’t be any different. In the fall of the year it is the only color I throw regardless of where I am fishing;, I have that much confidence in the color. The only thing I do differently than other anglers is I will use a smaller jig like a ⅜ ounce Strike King Bitsy Flip Jig but the color combination always equals out to black/blue. The basic jig color might be black, but I will use a Zoom Jr Swim Chuck in a shade of blue. If the jig itself is black/blue I might match it up with a black/blue craw worm. This color combination is deadly and it makes choosing this particular lure color much easier.
As I explained earlier, I do like throwing a Firetiger colored spinnerbait in the fall but my first choice is always a Blue Shad colored spinnerbait. If I am not making my own, I purchase my spinnerbait skirts from Strike King. When teamed up with a ½ ounce double willow leaf bladed spinnerbait, you have officially tied on a “fish catcher.” This particular color has worked in every lake I have fished this time of year and has probably won more money than any lure color I own.
I didn’t list a specific color for this section for a reason. Oftentimes in the fall, as anglers, we get overly focused on matching the shad color that we forget about crawfish colors. Crawfish imitations are especially effective on the Ouachita River system or any of the other abundance of bayous in our area. I have found crankbaits that have chartreuse as part of the crawfish pattern, especially on the belly, to be good once the water gets into the lower 60’s and high 50’s.
One of the things I want to point out about the previous color choices is the lures, just as the colors, are very basic. I have found in the fall of the year I can choose a handful of lures and apply the right color choices and enjoy good days on the water. These are a handful of choices I use for my own guidelines when trying to decide what might work best for that particular day on the water. Don’t be afraid to experiment, remember, in fishing there are no absolutes!
Lakes have color characteristics as well. Lake Claiborne is a body of water where chartreuse has always been a great color. On lakes that have an overabundance of Cypress trees, shades of dark purple such as Junebug have always been effective fish catchers. One of the more popular color soft plastics to use on Caney Lake is a color called CandyBug. How many times have you seen a chartreuse/white spinnerbait in someone’s boat? Or maybe a watermelon/red soft plastic? The colors are numerous, but the basic ones always seem to shine.
Well, it looks like we have run out of space and time again for another month. I hope we were able to share some information that will help make your next fishing trip more enjoyable and put a few more fish in your livewell. We are right in the middle of hunting season so please be extra careful when you are out enjoying Mother Nature’s world. Be safe and make sure you catch one for me. See you next month!