Change your attitude about colors

Stephen Headrick

About the author

Stephen Headrick

Stephen Headrick

Stephen Headrick is better known to the bass fishing world as the Smallmouth Guru. He lives in Celina, Tenn., and is the owner of Punisher Lures.

As the owner of Punisher Lures, I know how important it is to make good decisions when you introduce a new lure or lure color. The fishing industry is extremely competitive, and a bad decision can mean the difference between a bait you can't keep on the shelves (because it's so popular) and one that no one wants in his tacklebox.

My best ideas have come when I was trying to solve a problem or fill a need. It's easier to be creative then, and to anticipate any issues. When I try to create something from scratch, it's hard to know where to start.

One day I got to thinking about lure colors and it struck me that we, as bass fishermen, have programmed ourselves to use certain colors with certain baits. Worms are usually green pumpkin, junebug, watermelon or some similar color. Spinnerbaits are white, chartreuse or white and chartreuse. Buzzbaits are white... period.

That kind of thinking can be pretty dangerous because it limits us as fishermen. We have to remember that we don't really know what bass see or want. We have to be ready to do things differently and to experiment.

And that's how my worm-colored spinnerbaits came about. We catch bunches and bunches of bass on green pumpkin worms or junebug worms. Why not use the same colors for spinnerbait skirts? If the water color looks good for a watermelon worm or jig, why not a watermelon spinnerbait?

When I thought about it, it made all the sense in the world. And when I talk about it at seminars, you should see everybody in the audience nod their heads. I suppose it's why my Punisher spinnerbaits in those colors have been so successful. I think they do several things that make them catch bass... and fishermen.

First of all, they're different. Not that many anglers are using worm colors on their spinnerbait skirts, so not that many bass have seen them. It often helps to be new and different. How many times have you seen a hot new bait tear up the bass at a particular lake. Well, these colors are new... at least to spinnerbaits.

Second, these worm colors are a lot more natural looking than the spinnerbait colors most fishermen use. Especially when you're fishing clear water, I think it's a good idea to be as natural as possible — at least until the fish tell you they want something different.

Third, these colors have worked forever, just on other lure types. Watermelon, green pumpkin and junebug have caught bass for decades. I'll bet you've got bags and bags of these colors in your boat right now. And guess what? They work on spinnerbaits, too!

So don't hesitate to experiment with your fishing colors. If it looks good to you, it just might look good to the bass, too.

Until next time, if you have any questions or comments, I'd love to hear from you. Please e-mail me atStephen@thesmallmouthguru.com.

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