Does Jig [Head] Color Matter? [How to Pick the Best?]

Does Jig Head Color Matter

Jigging is a great fishing technique for both beginners and experienced anglers! It can be done in saltwater and freshwater, and there are numerous species that you can land by practicing this technique!

Of course, proper choice of equipment, such as rod and reel, plays a major role in your success, but equally important is the jig color.

So, does jig head color matter? The answer is YES, it does! Color should be chosen in accordance with fishing conditions, as well as with targeted species. There are various factors that affect choice of color, and in this article, I will list them all.

In addition to that, I will give you some recommendation for specific species so that you can get the perfect lure for your next fishing trip.

If you are new to all this, don’t worry, I will explain the basics about jig heads too.

To know more about all this and learn some new things, read on!



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What is the Best Color for a Jig Head? [Jigging]

Lure color is one of those things that can make or break your fishing success. In some cases, it is not the most crucial thing to consider, but in some other situations it can be the biggest factor.

If you are completely new here and you don’t know what is jigging fishing, here is a brief explanation. Jigging is a fishing technique where anglers present lures (jiggs) in a jerky motion, mostly vertical.

But let’s get back to colors. There is not one color that can cover all situations. When choosing the best color for your conditions you must consider the following:

Water clarity

These rules here can be applicable to all lure selection, not just jiggs. In murky waters lures are less visible and together with wobbling and fluttering, which are motions made by jiggs, strong color is needed to attract fish. Go for bright ones like chartreuse.

In clear waters, go for natural colors, or even red color, to attract fish. In high visibility you want motion to attract fish and bright colors could make fish become too cautious.

Does Jig Head Color Matter - Water Clarity

Light conditions

Similar principle should be used here as in water clarity. In dark or cloudy days, with less natural light, you can go for more visible colors or with pearl that will reflect any available light, while in bright sun you can go for natural.

Water depth plays a role too, so avoid red in depths over 30 ft. Due to natural wavelength of red, it will disappear and become dull at larger depths.

Targeted species

Various fish react differently to presented colors. This can even vary thorough the year for the same fish species. I will give you more details in the following chapter.

Available natural food

Some overly cautious fish prefer natural looking baits, so choose color that are similar to their usual food sources. If baitfish are silver, go for white or metal jig.

Does Jig Head Color Matter - Targeted Species

Does Jig Head Color Matter for:

There are different types of jigging, and anglers target various species while practicing this technique. This of course, affects the color choice.

So, does jig head color matter for the following fish?


Crappie will notice your lure color, and while choosing the right one, check out the water clarity and follow the guidelines written in the previous chapter.

In clear waters, you should present natural looking, a bit dull, or even translucent jiggs. In murky conditions, go for bright and strong ones, or sometimes even black.

If I had to pick two colors that work best for crappie in all conditions, I would go for white and chartreuse.


Bass is a strong predator so no wonder that anglers choose jigging to land it. Bass will strike hard on a well-chosen jig.

Luckily, this fish is not that picky, so there are color combinations that will always work. You will not go wrong with black and blue for murkier water. If you need to present something like natural prey, go for green pumpkin that imitates bluegill.

Brown is a third option and great for clear water because it looks like crayfish. And lastly, there is white. White is universal color for various places and it can imitate any injured bait.

If you like bass fishing you can also check my detailed article about the best baits for bass fishing ...


Trout live in crystal clear waters and are very cautious fish. Before even choosing the color, make sure to use appropriate size jiggs. Color must be chosen in accordance with water conditions.

Grey or tan are excellent for clear water. You may even have results with white here. Waters where trout feed mostly on baitfish require jiggs that imitate local baitfish color like perch. For clear conditions, choose smaller jiggs.

You will rarely find trout in naturally murky waters, however if you are fishing after rain when clear waters get temporarily murky, go for bright colors and increase in size.


Even black Walleyes are not nearly as picky as the trout are. If you are targeting walleye, and want some generally effective colors go for white, blue or gold. Generally, these fish prefer brighter colors.

If you want to slightly increase your chances of success a bit more, then go for brighter in dark conditions, and more dull colors in clear.

Brown and black can work excellent during season when mayfly are naturally hatching. This is how year time can affect choice of jig color.

When you will choose the jig color then you can read more about the how to catch walleye from shore ...

Does Jig Head Color Matter - Colors


Pike is a serious predator and it doesn’t care about color when hungry. If you compare experiences from various anglers, you will see that although some of them say certain color works better than others, every angler will promote different color!

In my experience, you can’t go wrong with bright colors, in both murky and clear waters. If the water is really clear, maybe don’t get the brightest one.

You will not go wrong with white, silver, blue, black, or green.


And lastly, we have redfish here. This fish likes blingy and flashy lures. White, silver, or gold are almost a certain success in bright and sunny days.

If you don’t have any of those, you can get away with red. That is basically everything you need to know for redfish color preferences.

Sometimes, you could use other strong and bright colors, if the conditions are very dark and fish to dot react on gold and silver.

For Jigging Beginners: What Exactly is Jig Head?

If you read all of this but you are not familiar with jigging and jig heads, here is a brief explanation what are those magnificent and effective lures!

Jig head is the upper part of a lure known as jig. Head is molded from a metal, most frequently into round shape, although it can be tubular, or cone shaped, and it is weighted. Majority are made from lead although in recent years other materials/metals have been used to be more environmentally friendly.

Collar and hook are positioned below the head and are all connected.

Jig body/skirt is a part that that makes this lure attractive to fish, optically bigger and wobbly. Bodies are made from soft plastic. They are sold separately so that you can change the body on the same head.

So, if you are targeting walleyes for example, you can buy suitable weight range of head and change skirts as you wish to create a perfect color and shape combination.

Does Jig Head Color Matter - Gear


Many anglers are wondering does jig head color matter, and the answer is that it mostly does. Some fish are more picky than others, but generally, by following guidelines stated here you will not go wrong.

The “science” behind color choices is almost the same as when choosing other types of lures, and it is good to consider light conditions and water clarity, as well as natural food of targeted fish.

Just keep in mind that in addition to color, you must choose the lure weight in accordance with rod ratings (which are stated by fishing rod brands)!

About Me

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I am Siniša Pintar (friends call me Sina), the guy behind This site is base camp for fishing enthusiasts from all over the world. I love fishing and want to share all my stories, knowledge and my experience with any and all potential anglers. Read more ...

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