Best Crankbait Colors to use for fishing

by | Nov 8, 2018 | Best Fishing Tackle, Lures | 0 comments


Have you ever headed into a tackle shop or even started browsing online because you were looking for one specific bait? If you’re like me, you probably ended up buying about a dozen exciting new lures three hours later! It’s true – ice anglers have more options than ever, from hard and soft bait, shapes, paint designs, and, of course, every color of the rainbow (and then some).

The assortment of lures and bait available have exploded over the last few years with modern molding techniques and technology mixed with a revival in the best past time on ice. If you have unlimited time to shop for them and a wallet that’s so fat it tips your boat over, then you’re in bait shoppers paradise. But for the rest of us, we have to make some hard choices when it comes to picking out the right lure, particularly with crankbait colors.

To give you a hand, I thought I’d write down some thoughts on which colors are best for the different conditions and uses for both clear water and stained or dirty water crankbait.


crankbait color chart

Tackleunlimited has a great crankbait color chart.

Clear Water Crankbait Fishing

  1. Ghost Shad

These are perfect for when the water is clear, with the shimmering the ghost shad gives off catching the eye of a bass without scaring them off.

  1. Sexy Shad

If the clear water gets just a touch murkier, it’s time to get sexy – Sexy Shad, that is. In fact, this lure is a favorite at tournaments among prize winners, and even I catch myself staring at it for a while!

  1. Natural Bluegill

When we’re angling for bass that love snacking on bluegill, it’s time to get ugly, and there are plenty of lures that emulate natural bluegill. You’ll have luck with these fishing on northern lakes where bluegills forage all year.

  1. Natural Crawfish

Every time I look at this crankbait, I’m pretty impressed by the molding and perfect natural coloration of these crawfish. And when it’s springtime on the lake and the water is clear, crawfish are the way to go.


Stained/Dirty Water Crankbait Color Selection

  1. Chartreuse/blue back

Touring pros and seasoned anglers love this bait for stained water, and they’ve had the bass to prove it. In dirty water, the chartreuse pops just enough and the fish come calling.

  1. Citrus Shad

On some lakes, Citrus Shad are incredibly effective, and I don’t think there’s a better bait under those conditions. Its belly is white like a shad, but its back also blends from blue to chartreuse – a great influence of the sexy shad.

  1. Homer

If you’ve been fishing for a while then you probably know about Homer, a big prize winning color in the 80s and 90s that’s undergone a name change recently for some. But it’s still just as good for crankers, with a rich blue on its back,a easy to spot belly, and sides with chartreuse.

  1. Fire Tiger

When the water gets dirtier and dirtier, especially up north, the Fire Tiger is one of the best lures for getting fish’s attention. It looks similar to Homer but also adds some mottled black striping on the sides, giving just enough contrast to get the big ones chasing!