I stopped Kurt Beckstrom in the hallway the other day and uttered a single word as a question: “Color?.” Kurt looked me in the eye before answering: “There are other things to get right first.” Then the editor of North American Fisherman magazine disappeared into his office.
His comment caught me as curious, especially since I knew his lead story for the March issue was a how to select the best color for crappie. Did he not believe what he was printing?
Selecting bait color is an interesting exercise if only because color, at times, makes absolutely no difference in success rates … OR it can make all the difference in the world.
So you can buy your favorite lure in a few colors and risk not having what’s needed for best success on any given day. Or you can get a second mortgage on your house and order three of every available color combination. Which leads me to a pop quiz. How many different color combinations are offered for the venerable Bomber Long A? Answer in a moment.
The problem is there is no billboard on the way to the lake that says “Run a Rapala Clackin Crank in Clown over weed flats in 12-15 feet of water for bass today.” So the second you launch your boat you are immediately faced with three questions:
1. Where to start fishing?;
2. What lure to throw?, and;
3. What color should I use?
Notice the order of the questions as they are sequenced in order of descending importance. Finding active fish is always the toughest challenge and must be your first priority, but once you do things typically get much easier. You base your lure selection on where the fish are. A crank that runs to 15 feet would be a poor choice is fish are holding tight to the bank in a foot of water.
Finally, there is the selection of bait color. Black may be 20 times as good as chartreuse on the day you fish, and gold may out-fish blue three to one, but none of it matters if you are not on fish or using the wrong bait to trigger strike anyway.
So why does Bomber make no less than 55 color combinations on Long As? Because color can make all the difference!
-- Steve Pennaz, NAFC Executive Director