Travis' Tips For Choosing The Best Crank Bait Colors

Choosing the perfect crank bait is one of the most important decisions that will likely determine how many fish you land the next time you're throwing them.  We decided to have Travis Manson a.k.a. SmallmouthCrush walk you through how he chooses his crank bait colors.  And who better than Travis to lay down this knowledge? I mean did you see all the trophies in the background.  

Video transcript:  Hello, it's Smallmouth Crush. On on behalf of Monster Bass, I wanted to make a quick video to talk about how I select my favorite crankbait colors. It can get overwhelming. There's so many different color choices out there. Some are super extreme and some are just real minor details in each different, you know, color pattern, that sometimes they can get pretty overwhelming. So I'm going to try to break it down and give you guys some tips on how I'm going to choose the perfect color, when it comes to selecting what type of color crankbait I'm going to throw.

So if you're just starting out fishing or if you've been at it for a while, chances are, at some point in time, you've been a little bit overwhelmed by all the different color choices. I know I have. When it comes to hard baits, heck, even soft plastic baits, where do you begin? I try to keep things real simple. And so in front of me, I actually have seven different colors that I have pretty good confidence in, that I'll throw. And then I'm going to share with you guys a couple key colors that I must have when I go out to a new body of water. Or a body of water that I have some history with, I know what colors are the go-to colors for me.

So the main purpose of a crankbait is to get that reaction strike. To have that bait moving along so quickly that that fish can't resist it and must go after it. Trying to get their instincts to kick in and grab the bait. I feel that that last split second decision, whether that fish is going to commit to that bait or not, has a lot to do with color. Now there's a lot more that goes into crankbait than just color.

As far as the type of crankbait, whether it be a flat side, a round bill, a coffin bill, a deep diver, a shallow diver or a square bill, there's a lot that goes into the specifics. But in today's video, just talking color, I think it's important because I think that's probably the last thing besides, you know, it's going to feel the vibration, it's going to see the shape, the silhouette of that crankbait, and when it gets right up to it, it's really going to shine, you know, the color choice that you have.

Hopefully, you made the correct choice and that fish actually commits to it. So all in front of me, I laid out seven different crankbaits. Now these are the Rapala DT 10. So the DT series crankbaits, which are great, great crankbait, they come in a variety of colors, a lot more colors than what you're seeing here. Some custom colors as well. And again, I'm trying to keep things as simple as possible. So let me go through that.

Man, if I had to choose just one color and one color only to go with, I'm going to pick some type of shad color because more often than not, I'm trying to imitate bait fish. And oftentimes it's a shad that I'm trying to imitate. So this color here is called Helsinki and it is by far my number one favorite color. Now they actually make a lot of different variety of shad colors and there's a lot of different variations. I just have extreme confidence in this color. And so that's what I'm going to throw more oftentimes than not when I'm trying to imitate shad. And it is a color that I'll want to have in my box all over the country, whether it be semi, you know, clear water to crystal clear water. This crankbait color is going to get me the most confidence. And I've seen it firsthand, it definitely puts some fish in the boat for me.

So oftentimes you might find yourself fishing around some stained water, some water that's a little bit more dirty and you want something that's going to stand out just a little bit, but you still want to stick with a shad pattern. I would suggest going with this hot mustard color, it's still has a shad pattern to it, but it has some real good accents of chartreuse. And the actual base by the lip is a little bit of orange in it and I think that helps stand out, especially in that dirtier water. So if you're faced with those This transcript was exported on May 24, 2019 - view latest version here. TIPS for Choosing CRANKBAIT Colors (Completed 05/24/19) Transcript by Rev.com Page 2 of 3 conditions, you might want to think about going with something that's just a little bit more brighter, if that's the case.

As we get into some really, really dirty water or instances where there's a lot of yellow perch, one of my favorite colors, of course, I mean every crankbait manufacturer pretty much makes this color, and that's firetiger. It just works. It flat out works, but it really excels for me when there's, you know, instances where that water's a little bit dirty and you may not feel comfortable throwing the crankbait in those situations, because you know those fish are having a hard time seeing that bait. And there might be some other baits that you'd want to throw before you, you know, before you commit to a crankbait. If that's the case and you still want to throw a crankbait because it still is very effective, I would pick up a firetiger crankbait and give that a shot, before you give up on crankbaits all together for that particular situation.

All right, here's another great color, a crayfish, crawfish patterns, right? We have a dark brown crawdad and then, of course, we have the red crawdad color. Both are great. They also work good in stained water as well. And I don't know, if necessarily, you're using this to imitate a crayfish, although it does have the crayfish pattern and fish do feed on crayfish. No doubt, it certainly does, but at times I think bass are just, you know, they're opportunist feeders. They're looking for an opportunity. When they see something like this go by, maybe they're keying in on shad and all of a sudden they see a pattern and a color like this, they're going to go and grab it. It's going to help with that reaction strike. I think that's the main thing. And, you know, bright red's, a great color all over the country. And this dark brown works really well for me in a lot of the lakes that I fish here in the northeast. And it really, I mean you can fish it in crystal clear water, all the way down to some pretty murky water as well. And these baits are going to excel for you, that color palette.

A lot of panfish in the lakes, and sometimes those fish key in on a panfish over shad as the bait fish of choice. So that could be crappie, that could be sunfish, bluegills, perch, brim, whatever you want to call it. And so I'm going to have some colors that are going to resemble that as well. So I'm going to have a bluegill color and I'm also going to have a perch color. These things really have a time and place and you can really see a difference whether it be a lake full of perch, for instance, if you throw this and they key in and feed on perch on a regular basis, this color is going to help you catch more fish for sure.

So it's really like the term match the hatch. That's what you're doing with these specific colors, with the bluegill, with the perch. You know. the Helsinki really does look like a shad. And I really think that this dark brown crawdad color is resembling a crayfish. TheseSo I want to leave you guys with my top favorite colors of all time, colors that I'm going to make sure I have them with me when I'm going out to a new body of water or fishing on a body of water that I fish on a regular basis.

These are really the colors that I throw, it's these three right here. Of course, I want some type of shad colored crankbait. If it's got a little bit of chartreuse in it, even better. The brown crawdad is going to be great all over the country and especially good up here in the northeast. And then, of course, firetiger. Whether you're fishing dirtier water and you want your bait to stand out a little bit or perhaps you've got some yellow perch swimming around and that's the forage of choice for these fish, I don't think you can go wrong with firetiger. So those three are my top choices when it comes to color, choosing colors for crankbaits.


Leave a comment