Loading... Please wait...

Colors Colors Colors!


Ok, obviously my articles are almost always going to have something to do with working rubber micro bait. I am asked a hundred times during ice shows “what colors should I get?”, and it occurred to me that I have a definite pattern that I follow relative to the three seasons of ice fishing. This pattern is a guide line that I have followed, tracked and adjusted during my 25 years of ice fishing journal writing.

First ice

I start with red or white. Red because the fish have not been fed by fishermen for a while and they are usually aggressive. Red also is the color of blood or injury and most fish respond to a wounded or fish with a strike. White is kind of the opposite of red, while red is one of the first colors to disappear in the water table, white can be seen for long distances and can be like ringing a dinner bell under the water. White, pearl, or sliver all appear to be the color of bait fish in the water and if you can match that color attractant with the right presentation and movement it is a deadly combo that will fill your bucket

Mid ice

Mid season can be a tough time to fish, most attribute this to a drop in the fishes metabolism and a drop in oxygen level in the water. Both of the items above are true, but there is a color related effect as well. I attribute most of the mid season blues to the many hatches which create an increased presence of natural forage in the water, the fish may not be biting because they are already full. So, during mid season I switch to natural colors, browns, blacks, motor oils, dark greens, dark purples and deep blood worm red. The whole “match the hatch principle” is a must try during all seasons, and becomes a must do for me during mid ice. Basically anything that a fish throws up during this time I try to match that color and body form and my catch rates go way up even during the “tough” season.

Late\Last ice

Well, at this point the weeds have or are dying or dead. There have been a few melts and run offs/wash ins, the oxygen level is on the rise, and the fish are hunting for what is new in the water from all of the water movement. I like to fish bright colors during this phase. I like chartreuse, yellow, hot pink, bubble gum, glow and lures with a lot of prism flash, gold and silver. Fish can’t reach out and touch stuff with their fins so aside from hunger strikes you can evoke anger and interest strikes during late\last ice and by doing so increase your catch.

This is the guideline that I follow when creating a color plan for the days attack but, we all know to well, our plan is not as important as the fish’s reality. So have a plan, a plan B and a plan C, but in all cases respond to the “lessons from fish”. Document what you have learned that day and then share it with a new fisher or a young person.

Help feed the next generation of fishers!