Winter Color Selection for Speckled Trout

By CAM Staff writer

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] common question of late is, what color is the right color for catching Speckled trout in the Winter time?

Winter conditions can vary from one extreme to the other; from a bright blue sky with little or no wind and gin clear water, to dark, dreary cold and cloudy weather with a howling wind that dirties up the waters. Many times we forget that trout feed on creatures that are camouflaged to help them survive, and they eat them on a regular basis in water that sometimes looks like chocolate milk. Also, what appears clear from above the surface is that many times it’s a cloudy trout’s world. It is much easier for a fish to see bait that is above them, especially if there’s any discoloration in the water at all. We’ve had the opportunity in the last two or three years while shooting the Finding & Catching Big Speckled Trout DVD and the Redfish DVD, to actually shoot underwater video in different water conditions in the bays that we fish. Even in water that we could not see more than three inches through, a fish could easily make out a profile of a lure several feet directly above it. In dirty water, only as we got close to the lure, could we tell the color accents of the lure, but that could still make a difference. Trout tend to strike by gliding up to a bait and then, within the last several inches, decide to engulf it or stop and watch, only to let it glide away. The general idea for lure color selection is this: dark day = dark bait, bright day = bright bait, clear water = natural colors and dirty water = unnatural colors. Basically on a dark day, in super clear water on both the grass flats and shallow mud and shell areas, colors such as pumpkin seed, watermelon, and motor oil seem to work well. On a bright day in clear water would call for something like Texas Tackle Factory’s liquid shrimp, bone, or bone silver. On the other hand, a dark day in muddy water would lend itself best to black with chartreuse tail, or Texas Roach (black with gold bottom). On bright days in dirty water, we suggest the use of chartreuse or fire tiger and pink or white lures. There are always rule breakers and several colors work very well in multiple conditions. Kelley Wiggler’s Ball Tail Shad in plum chartreuse works well in any water conditions. Others that blur the lines are pumpkinseed, red shad, and black chartreuse. These are just general rules and there is no one perfect way to choose the color for your lure of the day. Something that is very important is that you will fish better and catch more fish with colors you begin to have confidence in. You’ll also gain more confidence with color selection if you focus on being in the fish instead of just fishing anywhere. Good luck and happy fishing!