Colors for Crappies: Bill Dance Offers Advice
Bob McNally 01.23.17
The crappie is primarily a sight-feeder, you can tell that just by looking at their large eyes compared to their body size. Like all fish, crappie see color, and they have well-defined choices of what lure colors they want from one day to the next–sometimes from one minute to the next.
In clear water, using the exact lure color is much more important than in stained or dark water. This is especially true in deep, clear water where sunlight penetrates most. In dark water, crappie must depend more on their lateral sense line, sense of smell, and hearing to locate food. But their eyesight is very keen, and they’re very discerning about color, sometimes so much it’s a little unnerving.
There’s no doubt that subtle differences in lure color make all the difference in catching crappie. How many times has your fishing partner caught four crappie to your one using an identical presentation, except he’s using one color lure, while you’re using another color. Switch to his color and you’re immediately into fish.
To really stay on top of crappie as a day wears on, as you get cloudy or sunny or rainy or really windy conditions, you’ve got to play around with lure colors a lot. You can’t expect to go out there with just one color lure and catch fish under changing conditions.
I’m convinced that in order to be a consistent crappie fisherman you need to arm yourself with an arsenal of lure colors. You’ll need a few jigs of a solid color and other jigs with varying colors.
You need to be armed with lures in a wide array of colors. And keep tying different ones in different combinations until you find the right one that produces. Don’t get lazy. If you’re catching fish on one lure, then things slow down, change to another color.