Jig Color Considerations
You've got to pick just one
Some anglers say color doesn't matter much. They say you can get by with black blue jigs, green pumpkin soft baits and chartreuse white spinnerbaits are all they ever need. I'm not one of them.
I've seen color matter too many times. While I don't want to overplay the importance of color, I don't want to discount it either.
The biggest tip I can give you when it comes to color is to keep an open mind, meaning don't get married to any favorites and don't cotton to "go to" colors. That's the best attitude - unattached and indifferent - to have toward color. In time, it is true you will get settled down into your usual or standard colors you use. Just don't get emotionally attached to them. Keep looking for what color the fish want - not what you want.
Bottom line, you've got to pick just one color - meaning you can only tie one color jig on the end of your line. You can only present one color on a cast. The color you have tied on will influence how many fish you catch. So keep an open mind and make the color you cast count.
In paging through this article, you'll notice a number of different jig skirt colors. In assessing so many colors, almost everyone forms the same questions at first along these lines:
- "Why are there so many different colors?"
- "Which color do you use where or when?"
- "Can one angler really even use - or need - so many colors?"
- "How can one possibly cope with or manage so many colors?"
- "When all is said and done, what are the very best jig colors?"
So that's why I'd like to first summarize for you some of the feedback I have gotten from anglers who use skirted jigs worldwide. This may help to narrow down some of the most popular and productive jig colors for you.
First, let's sidestep down nostalgia lane. Historically, black or brown jigs (with various accent colors such as a thin swatch of blue or purple) seem most popular. This may be because originally, latex rubber jigs (also called "living rubber") were really only available in black or brown rubber (with accents of red, blue, orange or purple rubber). There weren't many other color options for latex rubber jigs.
Nowadays, most jigs are silicone, not latex rubber. There are many more color options today with silicone. Nevertheless, the black, black blue, black red, brown and brown purple colors still rank among the most popular, no doubt due in part to their long legacy as limited colors of living rubber.
Various good green color skirts, never really possible in living rubber, are nowadays gaining popularity as silicone skirts.
The "Dark Green Pumpkin" and the "Green Pumpkin Blend" are popular jig colors today. They have been used in a handful of tournament wins made by anglers.
The "Green Sunfish" color always seems to get mentioned as a good producer by anglers, especially on weedy lakes.
Another that always gets good feedback is the "June Bug Bluegill" used on jigs in murky water like deltas, muddy rivers and such.
A short list of other skirt colors that anglers tend to write me about most often to say they've done quite well with these colors on jigs include:
- Black Blue
- Black Blue Flash
- Black Brown Craw
- Olive Pumpkin
- Green Pumpkin Olive
- Brown Purple
- PBJ Flash
- Peanut Butter Jelly
A number of other colors certainly produce well too. I could mention another 6 or 8 good jig colors but I don't want to water down the list here. Just note that there are some other very good skirt colors - but the ones already listed above are the most popular color jig skirts cited by anglers who have done well worldwide. So that's the short list of what seems to be the top jig colors used by anglers.
Additionally, in Europe, anglers show a lot of confidence in the rusty red craw and black neon jig colors.
Across North America, are there regional differences reported in terms of jig colors? No. Dramatic differences are not reported from anglers in different regions across North America, including the USA, Canada and Mexico.
Where differences do exist, they seem to stem from water clarity, depth and whether weedy or rocky cover.
- Anglers who fish areas with overall shallower, darker water tend to report success on the various black blues, black reds, june bug bluegill and other darker-than-average colors.
- Anglers who fish areas with overall deeper, clearer impoundments (usually = rocky) tend more toward various browns, especially brown purples or peanut butter jelly colors.
- Anglers who fish areas with overall shallower, clearer water (usually = weedy) tend to rely more on various greens - green pumpkin, watermelon and olive jig colors.
Those are the major differences I hear from anglers about what jig colors seem best where.
In terms of jig styles (flipping, football, Arkey power, Arkey finesse, etc.) there does not seem to be differences in colors based on different jig styles, except where the differences are because of what is already reported above. What I mean is, more blacks, black blues, black reds get favored on flipping jigs because flipping tends to be done in shallower, often murkier areas. Conversely, more browns are used on football jigs because they are used in deeper areas. So the differences are not because of the jig styles, but where they're used (shallow vs. deep, murky vs. clear, weedy vs. rocky for example).
One jig style that does vary from the others, however, is the Wisconsin style swimming jig. It is often used in baitfish color skirt patterns such as chartreuse shad, white shad and gold shiner for example. The other jig styles (football, flipping, Arkey, etc.) are not used as much in such baitfish colors.
In terms of the two most popular freshwater bass species:
- Largemouth anglers tend toward black-based and darker colors.
- Smallmouth anglers tend toward brown-based colors.
As you may realize by now, this is most likely since largemouth tend to be caught in relatively shallower, darker water. Smallmouth are more often caught in relatively deeper, clearer water.
Lastly, are there any "undiscovered stars" among the jig skirt colors in the store that anglers aren't using - but should be?
Well, among the other jig skirt colors, the assorted watermelon varieties, watermelon candies and others, are being used by anglers with good, steady success.
There are a few, however, that I am surprised that anglers do not use more. The brown oranges such as the Brown Sunfish, Brown Sunfish #2 and Green Craw. Always a good jig color combo, brown orange has been around since the beginning since it was one of the few colors possible in living rubber. With a watermelon trailer, brown orange jigs can be incredibly productive. Yet it surprises me that anglers do not seem to use brown oranges as much as I do.
Also, the green reds - Dark Watermelon Red Pepper, Dark Watermelon Red Belly and Rusty Green Craw - are steady producers that anglers should try more. And Green Monkey Shine and Dark Green Monkey Shine are admittedly unfamiliar yet awesome jig colors. A few anglers who have tried the Monkey Shines have reported outstanding results.
Practically all the jig skirt colors have been mentioned above - either by name or by generic color category. The few that haven't been mentioned yet are Rain Frog (a weird weedy color that defies classification), Natural Frog (with its chartreuse belly that's visible even in very heavy cover) and the combined brown greens like Warmouth Sunfish, Olive Brown Craw and Olive Cinnamon that combine both brown and green in the same skirt.
That's just about all the jig skirt colors now, and they're all good. Please enjoy and use them with confidence.
True, it does seem at first like there are so many colors, and it may seem daunting how to possibly manage them all. But in time, it's really not hard to get a handle on them. All you have to do is try, and you may find the pieces of the puzzle all fall into place.
A really big step, in fact a leap, that few anglers ever make - is to realize that all these jig colors also work on spinnerbaits. After all, a spinnerbait is just a punk rock version of a jig with its nose pierced and a pair of flashy earrings dangling overhead.
An easier step is to realize all these jig colors equally apply to soft plastic lures. The only difference is the addition of smoke-based colors in soft plastics. But all the blacks, black reds, black blues, browns, brown purples, watermelons, green pumpkins and everything else about jig colors equally and fully applies to soft plastic lure colors too.
So when you master jig colors, you're also mastering soft plastic lure colors at the same time, and don't hesitate to apply the same colors to spinnerbaits also. You'll be pleased with the results.
Source : http://www.bassdozer.com/articles/jig-fishing.shtml