Four colors for all four seasons

Keep bass fishing simple with four basic colors

By Darlene McCormick Sanchez

Photo from James Niggemeyer

There’s room for debate, but most anglers would agree that when it comes to fishing lure color there are some basics.

After 10 years of competing on the BASS Elite Series tournament trail, James Niggemeyer, who is also a Lake Fork guide, put out a YouTube video sharing some inside information on what colors largemouth bass like regardless of season or location anywhere in the country.

“The video was done because all anglers can get carried away with color,” Niggemeyer said. “You can just sit there and stare at your tackle forever.”

So what are his go-to colors? Black-blue, junebug, green-pumpkin, watermelon-red.

Niggemeyer said that for many anglers, and especially those just getting started, sifting through a myriad of colors can be a daunting task. In his video, Niggemeyer explained that having those four basic colors on a boat would prepare anglers for anything.

Black-blue, for example, is great for overcast days or even muddy water because it shows up as a silhouette. Junebug’s purplish hue is another favorite when anglers with a little more color but still need a dark lure. Green pumpkin works across the board and can be used for anything from stained water to clear water. Watermelon red is great for clear water.

So why are there so many colors on the market? Niggemeyer said that 90 percent of them will work in a particular fishing situation, but narrowing down the lures allows him to keep it simple.

Angler Dan Phifer, of Grapevine, who regularly fishes tournaments such as Bass Champs, agreed with Niggemeyer.

“I think that’s a good place to start,” he said. “We get a little carried away with our soft plastic buying.”

Phifer said his favorites are green pumpkin, black-blue and watermelon. But he’s really a fan of green pumpkin and watermelon laminated together.

Mike Casanova, of Frisco, who frequently fishes club tournaments, pretty much agreed with the basic four Niggemeyer suggested.

“If you want to keep it basic, I can’t argue with that,” he said. “They pile up. We make it a lot more complex.”

Casanova’s favorites are watermelon and green pumpkin. But he’s not a fan of the flashy colors.

“I do believe a lot of those catch fishermen more than fish,” he said.