The late great pro bass angler Guido Hibdon once told me he had a lot of success on a dark bait with a tint of blue on it when he fished Ozark lakes in the fall. When I fished with Major League Fishing Pro Mark Davis on Kentucky Lake one fall, I witnessed Davis catching bass on a black squarebill crankbait he threw along a rock riprap bank.
Black and blue is one of the best color combinations for a bass jig, but the color combo has never really caught on with lure manufacturers of crankbaits. However, I have discovered the touring pros have been using all black or black-and-blue crankbaits to catch bass in certain situations throughout the years.
The Bubonic Crankbait In Black And Blue
While researching crawfish color changes, I discovered Hibdon and Davis caught bass on those colors because some crawfish turn dark brown, dark blue or black when the water cools off in autumn.
I didn’t have any black-and-blue crankbaits in my stockpile of lures so I had Table Rock Lake guide and renowned lure painter Tim Hughes paint one of my Storm Lures Wiggle Wart crankbaits with a black back and blue belly. I have had moderate success fishing the crankbait in the clear waters of Lake of the Ozarks during the fall. I have also caught some bass at night during the summer on a dark Norman Lures DD22 crankbait.
Black And Blue Crankbaits: Water Clarity Is KEY
Water color and a crawfish’s diet are a couple of other factors to consider for fishing a darker crankbait. Crawfish living in muddy water and low light conditions are generally darker in color. Clear water crawfish are usually lighter in color, which explains why I have had limited success on these colored baits in the clearer water I fish a Lake of the Ozarks.
I also found out in researching crawfish colors that mudbugs feeding on decaying plant material tend to be darker colored, while those eating zooplankton and living plant material are often more orange. In that case, black-and-blue crankbaits are more effective in the fall on lakes filled with dying vegetation and backwater areas of rivers where there are decaying lily pads and other brown weeds.