What Color Lures Are Best For Crappie Fishing?

The right color for lures is something people disagree about. Some think it’s completely irrelevant while others will tell you that it can make the difference between a successful day’s fishing and one which sees you bringing in little to no fish.

Choose the color of your lure depending on the weather and how clear the water is. The light the fish have available to them determines how the color of a lure will perform on a given day. On an overcast day, there is little light below the surface while a sunny day and clear water is quite the opposite.

When fishing clear waters, you’ll want to match your lure to the colors of the natural prey of the fish you’re trying to catch. Lures which mimic the light, translucent colors of baitfish in silvery white hues generally work well for crappie fishing; if you’re going after bottom feeders, then shades of green and brown are the way to go.

In murkier waters, then the important thing is that your lure be visible to fish. You can use lures which vibrate so that fish can find it that way, but what you really want is brightly colored lures which will be easy to see in low light conditions. The darker the water, the brighter the color is a good rule; try orange, white and yellow. In extremely low visibility (2-4’), you’ll want to go with bright fluorescent colors like hot pink, hi-vis blue, lime green or chartreuse. With brown or dark green water, try combinations like black with chartreuse, pink with yellow or even something glittery.

Muddy water calls for live bait. Under these conditions, crappie use odor, sound and vibration to find food more so than visual cues. With live bait, they can follow the scent of the bait. If you’re using jigs in muddy water try attractants like Kodiak paste or Berkley Crappie Nibbles. Colors to try include dark blue, dark red, brown, black or yellow/white combos.

Check the weather before you head out and decide which colors of lure to bring with you. You’ll generally do the best on sunny days with chartreuse, silver or sparkly lures. These lures will catch the sunlight and draw crappie. Cloudy days are more of a challenge, but lures which combine light colors with darker ones are a safe bet. This contrast seems to work well to get the attention of crappie and get them on the hook.