The Best Colors for Fall Bass Fishing

The fall is one of my favorite times of the year to go bass fishing. The bass are aggressively feeding up for winter which can make for some fast fishing action and some great days out on the water.

One of the keys to fall bass fishing success is fishing with the right colors and patterns to best mimic the natural forage found at your lake during the fall fishing season.

So what are the best colors to use for bass fishing in the fall? The best colors for fall bass fishing are: brown, green pumpkin, white, ghost patterns, purple and any natural color that imitates either a crawdad or bait fish.

However, there is more to the story than just simply selecting one of these colors and having success in the fall. In this fall lure color guide you’ll learn everything you need to know about selecting the best fall bass fishing colors based on the different conditions you’ll face. Which will end up saving you time, money and most of all help you catch more fish.

If you would like to learn more about the best fall bass fishing colors continue reading. Also make sure to check out are our Fall Bass Fishing Guide where we share everything you need to know about bass fishing in the fall.

Make sure to check out My Recommended Bass Fishing Gear and Tackle Guide to ensure you have the right gear for your next fishing adventure.

How to Choose the Best Fall Bass Fishing Colors

In the fall bass are typically keying in on two main prey. Baitfish and crayfish. Choose colors that will best resemble bass forage and you will have a lot of success.

Let’s take a look at each of these and discuss what colors will to use to best imitate these two:

Baitfish – Shad is a major player in the majority of the bass fishing lakes across the United States. If you can find the shad, and imitate shad you’ll have some awesome fishing days. White/silver lures such as spinnerbaits, soft plastics, jerkbaits are all great shad imitators. If you fish in lakes where there aren’t’ any shad, like the majority of lakes by me than you’ll have to figure what other baits fish are available and match the hatch accordingly.

Crayfish – In general the best craw colors are brown, green pumpkin, or bright orange and red. However, there are hundreds for different crawfish sub-species and each look a little different.  So the best way to pick the exact color is to catch one in your area, but if you don’t have the time or energy stick with these colors.

However, water clarity and light penetration are also two important factors that can help you determine the right color to use on a given day. Let’s discuss each of these.

Water Clarity – The clarity of the water you are fishing at can play a big role on what color of bait or lure is going to be the most effective. In clear water with high visibility, natural colors such as brown and green tend to work best. In stained or muddy waters chrome, chartreuse and flashy/bold colors are the way to go.

Sun – The sun or lack thereof can also have a big impact on what color of lures/baits you should be tossing. When the sun is high with no clouds chrome and lures that have some flash are ideal. The sun will reflect off these colors and grab the attention of any nearby bass. On the other hand, on cloudy days’ natural colors like ghost, green pumpkin and white are a great option.

Here is a basic chart that breaks down how to select lure/bait color based on the condition.

Fall Bass Bait Color Chart

Best Fall Bass Fishing Colors

With hundreds of different color options out there we tend to over complicate things and become overwhelmed. Choosing the right color is simple if you use the different categories and apply them to your lure and bait selection process.

Here is a breakdown of the best and most popular fall bass fishing colors and some information about when to fish each one. I’ve divided the different colors into categories to make the color selection process easy and simple.    

Ghost Colors 

The Ghost colors are the transparent/see through style baits that are perfect for clear water situations with high visibility. This color pattern will look the most natural in the water and will be the best imitation of bass forge in clear conditions. This is a great color option in the fall when the bass are out chasing shad and other baitfish.

Chrome & Flashy Colors

Chrome and metallic style of colors are ideal for sunny days. As the sun penetrates through the water and hits your lure it will reflect and cause a flash. Fish are used to seeing this because the light will also reflect off the scales of other fish. That’s why flashy or reflective style of lures are a great way to trigger bass into biting.


In my opinion the white and chartreuse category works best when you are fishing in stained and muddy water or on dark and gloomy days. In these conditions you want a color that stands out and allows the bass to easily locate your lure.

Black & Blue

Black and blue is a popular color combination and it really shines in super stained and murky waters. Dark colors like the black and blue provide a contrast in the water that really makes them stand out in low light conditions. It’s also a good color to use if you are fishing at night.

For more in-depth information, on the different bass fishing colors and when to use what check out our article: How to Choose the Right Bass Fishing Colors

Where Do Bass Go in the Fall

In the fall there are two important things that trigger bass to start moving from their summer haunts into the fall transition. Length of day and night temperatures. Once these two things start to change and begin to shorten and drop, bass will begin transitioning from their summer patterns and head toward the fall transition.

Perhaps the number one focus anglers should have and be thinking about is what are the baitfish doing at this time of year. A common rule among bass anglers in the fall is: find the baitfish, find the bass. The best fall bass fishing’s spots are going to be areas where bass can pin baitfish and keep them there.

Here are some high percentage areas to target in the fall:

Key  Fall Areas to Target
  • Transition areas
  • Back of creeks
  • Ledges
  • Flats
  • Coves with current
  • Points
  • Channel swings
  • Grass lines

No matter where you live, the fall season is one of the best times of the year to target largemouth and smallmouth bass. During this season the bass will heavily feed in preparation for the winter months.

Best Fall Bass Fishing Lures

One of the best ways to catch bass in the fall is by power fishing. Power fishing is basically fishing fast with lures that allow you to cover a lot of water quickly. You want to fish with lures that will get the bass to react and show themselves and from there you can start to develop a pattern.

In the fall weather conditions, temperatures and are constantly changing and bass are on the move making an ideal to power fish.

Here are some of the best lures and baits for bass fishing in the fall

  • Lipless Crankbait
  • Spinnerbaits
  • Jerkbaits
  • Jigs
  • Glide Baits
  • Squarebill Crankbaits
  • Chatterbait
  • Underspin’s

For more information about catching bass in the fall check out the 5 Simple Ways to Catch Fall Bass by Wire2Fish.

Other Bass Fishing Resources

Final Thoughts

Bass fishing in the fall can be one of the best times of year to catch some nice bass. Having the right color of bait tied on in the right conditions will help you get more bites and catch more fish. Now go out and give these fall bass fishing colors a try, they won’t disappoint.  

Aaron Warner

Aaron Warner is an avid angler with over 15 years of experience. He has participated and won fishing tournaments all over the country and enjoys fishing for bass, trout, walleye and other species.

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