A Bandit 200 comes in 83 colors. That’s good news because it gives you excellent options for a huge range of situations. That said, having so many choices can add challenge when you’re in the tackle shop or out on the water and trying to decide which Bandit to use. Thinking through a handful of basic considerations can simplify the decision process.


“Matching the hatch” isn’t always the main consideration, but bass definitely relate to the look of things they have been feeding on, so it’s important to consider whether bluegills, shad, crawfish, crappie or something else are the most likely primary forage for the bass you plan to target. Often it pays to be rigged with couple of colors, such as a shad pattern for fishing main-lake structure and a bluegill-imitating pattern for fishing farther back in coves. Whatever the fish are eating, chances are good that several Bandit colors suggest that kind of food.


The color of the water, of course, impacts lure visibility, but it also impacts the mood of the fish, which also helps dictate the best type of lure color pattern. Clear water, generally speaking calls for subtlety and the most natural colors to match forage. Added stain in the water makes the most subtle colors harder to see, but it also make the fish more aggressive and more likely to react to bolder color schemes. When “stained” turns to “genuinely muddy,” the fish often will bite if they can see a lure, but many colors disappear pretty quickly. Very dark colors – even black – are important for fishing muddy water, as are extra bold colors patterns that feature bright colors like red and chartreuse.


Weather conditions, much like water color, can affect both visibility and the mood of the fish. Bright skies and calm wind tend to leave fish more cautious, suggesting more natural patterns. Cloud cover, wind and rain all reduce visibility, calling for bolder tones, and the same conditions prompt greater aggressiveness. In river settings, significant current can have a similar effect.


Often the main reason to choose a particular color is because of a report from a friend or past success in the same waters or under similar circumstances. Other times, it’s the byproduct of good results that very day. What the fish want doesn’t always line up with what they “should want.” That’s OK. Believe the fish.


Confidence is a final important factor that shouldn’t be underestimated. If you’re confident in a color, you tend to fish it more effectively because you can focus on figuring out spots and locations. Plus, you’ll generally stick with what you are doing longer if you are confident. Plus, confidence in a color usually stems from the success we just talked about. Even if that was success in a different situation, a color that works well one day often will work on another day.