We fished our butts off, did the research, and put together this guide on spring crankbait color choice. Let’s get your spring crankbait and trap colors set for a great season of fishing.
Crawfish Change All Year, Your Crawfish Crankbait Color Choices Should Too.
Crawfish are always red, right? Anybody who’s been to a boil would say yes. Wrong. They change. But you’re in luck! Luckily, your red crawfish patterns are perfect for spring.
During the spring, red-orange is a great color.
What crankbait color you use will vary depending on the water conditions. On a bright sunny day with crystal clear water, you want a natural looking bait. That means a muted red crawfish pattern that is a little darker works well.
If you’re fishing stained or dirty water, you want the opposite. Bright red, orange, and black is a great combo when water visibility is lower. Sometimes red and black with a white or yellow belly will work well if the water is really murky. The white will help to catch their eye, and it’s natural for some crawfish this time of year.
Bright red and orange crawfish crankbaits work well in Spring.
Above all, take a look at the crawfish in your lake and match them whenever possible.
If you look along the bank near the boat ramp you’re bound to find at least one or two (or parts of one). The color stays for a while after they die, so you’ll get a good idea of what they look like this way.
Why is spring a hot time for bass on crawfish lures? The mating season of the spring has the crawfish out and active, and more susceptible to becoming a meal. Then they molt which brings out the red color you see. They’ll be more visible, but they’ll also be hiding more. This presents a great opportunity for your red crawfish crank to come in, get noticed, and get eaten.
If bass were money, Bluegill imitation crankbaits print it in the Spring.
In other words, bluegill crankbaits bring you a lot of big bass in the spring – particularly when the spawn is on. Bass hate bluegill this time of year, especially the big females. Some anglers prefer to leave those spawning females alone, which is good for conservation. I don’t recommend fishing beds, but I’ll leave it at that.
Bluegill this time of year are bright and bold in color.
They’re also mating, so they have their blue, green, and orange colors on display. Choose crankbait colors like chartreuse, blue, pearl, and orange. Adjust the loudness of your colors for water conditions, as normal.
If You Don’t Try Shad, You’ll Wish You S(had).
Especially in reservoir lakes, a shad imitation crankbait is an excellent bait to throw in Spring. In springtime the threadfin shad are mating. They’ll be bigger and more active this time of year, schooling up in bait balls.
For Shad, your colors are pretty consistent all year round, but you want to match the size.
Use a larger shad pattern crankbait, up to 2.5oz will work. Yes, that’s a big bait! Yes, it will work. You’re matching what’s already in the water. The bass are feeding on these large shad, and you want to be one of those large shad. Or, you want your lure to be one of those large shad, that is.
After matching the hatch in size, look to water color and sky clarity.
Water conditions will decide how bold you want to go. You’ll likely be crashing schools near the surface where there’s lots of light. So, a shiny crankbait that looks more natural and translucent is often a good choice. Something translucent with a black back will do this while also providing a nice shadow for the bass to see.
In stained or murky water, try a shad-like crankbait with more color to it. Try a Tropical Shad with some chartreuse and light blue. Later in the spring try The Sneaky Blue Shad or Mellow Yellow Shad are good for these conditions.
Baby Bass in Late Spring Will Get Big Bass Bites
Post-spawn, your baby bass colors work well. Something green and dark with a white belly will show up well in the water and look tasty to hungry male bass. Especially in places with lots of spring runoff, these look great.