The color Red
Red is no stranger to popularity in the spring across the country. But why? Why has red become such a mainstay in anglers tackle boxes? Like every trendy technique or bait it has to start somewhere and just kind of catches on. My first memory of red or as everyone affectionately called it “Rayburn Red” was the 1995 Texas Invitational Jim Bitter won on a red double willow leaf spinnerbait. I’m most certain there were instances before this of the color being a major factor in victories, this is just the first one I recall. Since then red has been a prominent figure in spring time fishing especially in the south. But not only in the south and not only in the spring. I’ve been very successful on red baits in the midwest region in the spring and in the fall. So that brings us back to the question, what makes red so good? When we talk about light colored baits we tend to assume those closely resemble baitfish, same with your green or brown hue baits. I believe chartreuse to just be a brighter version of white and certainly more visible and effective at times. Which brings me to my reasoning for the success of red baits. They look like nothing in the water unless you want to attribute them to red crawfish that do exist in many regions at certain times. I think you could reason that when a bass sees a red bait that’s what they think it is. I would be willing to not argue that point to deeply if presented. But my belief is is simply a visual deal and presents a cat and mouse situation. I believe in a lot of conditions we face, especially in the late fall/winter/spring time frame it’s the most visible thing you can throw. Think about it, that period of the year offers the least amount of light and has the most frontal systems of any time of the year. Certainly a prescription for the need of a highly visible bait. Plus the inherent nature of a bass it be super aggressive and curious. So the combination of the two just give me confidence I am presenting the best color to generate strikes. Now, bass certainly get “off” that color at times, I find that during bright days light days with no wind they do not bite it as well. In that situations I think they see it and track it but don’t commit because they can see it too good. Also later in the spring of the year, especially on highly pressured lakes, red tends to take a back seat to other colors. But by in large whether it’s red hard baits or a red blade on a spinnerbait, the color red give the fish a highly visible target to key on and track down. And more often than not in low light conditions can be what makes the difference between a good day and a great day.