Lure color change is the most obvious thing we inshore anglers look for. While other things are more important, dialing in the right color can make a big difference in several ways.
Not long ago I went fishing in Lake Pontchartrain, and why wouldn't I?
Speckled trout are usually running this time of year, plus there was an awesome report for the area, and the wind was laying down.
Lure Color Change For Speckled Trout
Launching the boat for a Fishing Trip Review to benefit members of LAFB Elite was a no-brainer!
Not that I'm the greatest inshore angler ever, but I do consistently catch good fish and feel strongly that the knowledge used to do it helps other anglers get similar results.
Besides, Fishing Trip Reviews are great, because they are unedited and anglers get to see real-world examples of fishing knowledge and skill at work, and how decisions are made based on changes in conditions.
One of the decisions made on this trip was the decision to change color, and it was made more than once.
How come? That's what we jump into next but, real quick, let's not overlook the important stuff.
What's More Important Than A Lure Color Change?
Before we go any further, it's important to point out that lure color is often given a higher priority than other things that aren't as sexy, but certainly more effective:
Anyway, I had these things dialed in and the finishing touch was this specific lure color change.
See, at the time Lake Pontchartrain was pretty dirty due to the opening of the Bonnet Carré Spillway, but this small vein of water was cleaning up and the sun shining bright.
General Rules on Lure Color
Without going into a diatribe about every lure color and what they're useful for, it's a general rule that:
- brighter, contrasting colors are used in dirty water
- softer, more natural colors are used in cleaner water
So with that in mind, and given the prevailing conditions, it made sense to try out a more natural color.
Which Color Was Picked?
Smokin' Mullett on a Slayer, Inc. Sinister Swim Tail (S.S.T.)
As you can see, it's a traditional 3" soft plastic featuring a slightly larger paddle tail.
Why pick this color?
This color was chosen for a couple reasons:
- I've caught fish on it before
- I felt it resembled nearby forage
The first reason is the most obvious, but I did note a number of bay anchovies and gulf menhaden (or pogies) traveling the tideline trout were being caught on.
The common color scheme between the two of them is a light green back and silvery sides.
The green back and fine glitter of Smokin Mullett seemed to match this well, even though pogies may have a darker colored back at times.
Don't look into it too much!
I'm not telling you that throwing a lure that looks exactly like what fish are eating is the golden ticket to catching.
I just thought "that could be a good choice", slipped it over the jighead and began casting.
If it didn't work, then I'd take it off and go back to what I was using before, or try something else.
Seriously, there's no magical formula here that guarantees anything, it's simply trying and applying 3% Theory.
Besides, experimenting with a lure color change is absolutely pointless without knocking out the far more important things listed first.
Was the lure color change effective?
I feel that it was.
Fish were committing to the lure, I began catching more, and the fish were quality.
In fact, this lure color accounted for 12 of the 16 specks landed that afternoon (22 for the day total).
I feel other colors could have worked well, it's just that Smokin' Mullett is the one I picked and caught trout on.
Or maybe the trout just turned on that much more, I cannot say for certain.
It's difficult to scientifically test variables on the water due to time constraints and the fact that conditions are always changing.
But, I feel it's safe to say that the lure color change was a winning factor here, especially considering that few boats in the vicinity, if any at all, landed comparable catches, even those using live shrimp.
Lure colors are fun, and so is experimenting with them.
If you're interested in learning more, then you should read these blog posts:
And there's more!
You can preview the Fishing Trip Review this blog post is based on, or join LAFB Elite to gain instant access to the entire library of members-only fishing knowledge.
In fact, you can use code LURECOLOR to get started with a 14-day free trial!