Bright Clothing Colors Scare Off Spawning Bass

Spawn 2019 5.5 lb bass
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Your Bright Clothing Colors Scare Off Spawning Bass.  Really?  Does the Color of Your Clothing Affect Spawning Bass when you are fishing in the Spring? I use to think that idea was a bunch of nonsense.  That is because I wasn’t experienced enough to know better.  The temperatures in my area are starting to warm up and the Large Mouth Bass have begun to spawn. They aren’t moving up onto beds in large numbers but there are enough of them that you can feel pretty good at the end of the day.

Years ago like everyone else at one time would go fishing wearing whatever I grabbed out of the drawer and didn’t think twice about it. I would get to the lake see Bass then watch them move off the beds quickly and almost never come back. At least that’s what it felt like to me.  So I figured they left because of me moving into the area.

I figured they would eventually come back. Some did return to their beds reluctantly but many would keep their distance. Which of course frustrated the heck out of me.

Now I remember listening to other more experienced guys talk about how if you see a Bass leave a bed and not return in X amount of time move on.  During my early days of Bass fishing guys didn’t talk about the fact that your clothing colors can chase away spawning Bass.

How many Spawning Bass have you seen dart off of a bed

Let me ask you something? How many Bass have you seen dart off of a bed with you standing a short distance away?  Just like you can see the Bass, well the Bass can see and feel your presence you too.

I mean seriously, here you have a spawning Bass on a bed at the waters edge.

They have become acclimated to the environment be it some green bushes or brown bare trees on the bank. Maybe a few Green bushes under water next to that old dead tree. And then here you come on the scene with your chartreuse, blue, red, black or whatever colored clothing on up next to their bed.

Too Much Contrast Son

Of course the Bass are gonna move out.  One because of your movement but also because your clothing contrast too much with the surrounding environment.

Now before you get to thinking this dude is tripping pay attention here. We all know guys who catch fish in their sleep and we can’t get a thing to bite. What do they know that we don’t? Hum, what are they using that we need to go buy. What do they know? They know alot more about Bass fishing than you but more importantly. These guys  pay attention to detail.  One more thing they know is  that your clothing colors scare spawning Bass.

Don’t believe me?

Ok let me tell you I was one of the non believers for a while then I heard about the clothing color thing when fishing. And yeah I was like whatever. Then I kept running into Bass each Spring that would leave the beds.  Bass  who seemed like they needed an act from God to come back. I was thinking what is going on?  It didn’t click with me for years the Bass were focused more on me and not on the lures I was tossing onto their beds.

Spring Time Lake setting
“Notice how Green this lake image is”

Don’t get me wrong I caught a lot of bedding Bass.  They just were  not the ones I really wanted at times. That was until I decided to do one simple thing a few years ago near the end of the Bass spawn season. I looked around one day while at the lake to see what colors the trees, bushes and weeds were in the areas I was fishing in.

Then I went shopping

I brought a ugly Pea Green sweat shirt (that’s all the stores had left).  Over the years I had picked up a few different colored baseball caps (tan, black and dark blue).  I picked one to wear and I went fishing. At first I wasn’t sure if the extra effort was worth it.  Then I figured I was gonna wear something to the lake so why not try these things out.

The first day on the lake with my fancy Pea Green sweatshirt I quickly began to notice a few things right away.  One not as many bass were pulling off the beds as before.  Two those that did leave came back faster.  Three I really limited my movements overall in the area.  These 3 things combined seemed to calm the bass down a lot faster unlike during my previous trips. This seemed to cause the Bass to focus less on me personally and more on the lures on their beds.

These few steps have increased my catch ratio the past few years during the spawn while fishing from the bank.

I also began to realize that as the spawning season progressed the weather began to warm up.  So I added a few light weight long sleeve shirts and short sleeve shirts(Green of course) and Tan shorts to my Spring fishing wardrobe. Then I brought only a few other colors (green, gray, burgundy) no black colors because I seem to get hot quickly in black colors.  Here’s the point I want to make.  I have gone from being skeptical to firmly believing that your clothing colors scare off spawning bass.

Bank Fishermen Pay Attention to Spawning Bass

I am repeatedly surprised now at the sheer number of Bass that will come back to their spawning beds quickly.  These Bass are sometimes within 5 feet or less of me when I am standing on the bank next to trees, tall bushes or tall grass.  I have learned to keep my movements limited during my casts.  And I firmly believe these things combined tend to lead to the Bass dropping their guard some.  It’s feel like I blending in with the shoreline environment a little bit.

Whatever they’re thinking I am not sure I just know I find Bass venturing back onto their beds faster.

Sound a little crazy?

It may be but if you are not getting as many Bass as you would like during the Bass spawn.  Maybe just maybe you should start looking at small details like this to improve your catch ratio.  The guys who are rocking it when it comes to fishing pay attention to all kinds of small details.  You should try to wear natural colored clothing like green, brown, gray, tan, etc the next time you go out fishing for spawning Bass.  It may be the edge you have been looking for to get that next or first big Bass.  Deer hunters all match their clothing to the environment it’s time fishermen start doing the same thing more often.

Now you may not look your best in a Pea Green colored sweatshirt or a  Green long sleeve shirt but if your clothing colors scare off spawning Bass. Why not change, after all you went fishing to catch fish not to watch them swim away.  They are swimming away because you were wearing your favorite Bright colored sports teams’ shirt,  jacket etc. 

Whatever it might me  just remember that bright colored clothing suddenly showing up in their environment is is what the were afraid of.  Go natural with your clothing color selection. Decrease your body movement around those Bass beds and you may just start noticing the Bass will shift their focus away from you more and onto your lures.

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10 thoughts on “Bright Clothing Colors Scare Off Spawning Bass”

  1. I have been telling my buddies this for years and they think I’m crazy! Prob because I am…. anyways. I wear dark earthy colors whenever I know I’m going to be fishing shallow. Thanks for the good read keep up the great work.

    • Hey Wes, I can’t tell you how many times I have had giant Bass roll up next to me because they did not get spooked away because I kinda blended in with the background. I now wear only a few colors in spring – light green T-shirts, hoodies and or sweat shirts then transition a forest green color as the trees start getting leaves on them. I wear a tan or camo colored cap and jeans. Shoreline fish just come up or come close to me everytime now. Grab you a few natural colors like these for next spring and you will be surprised at how the fish will react especially if you keep your body (i.e. arm) movements to a minimum and the noise level close to ZERO. Take Care.

    • Hi Konstantin, I use a variety of lures and I am always experimenting. I select my lures based on a couple of things like water color, bait selection in a given location and the time of the year (season). Clear water – use natural colors, baits – try to match size and color of the bait in your area during the spring season. One more thing pay attention to the way the fish react to whatever lures you use, especially if you have clear water. Their behavior will help you to learn if you are using a lure they will react to over and over again year after year and lake after lake. Remember Bass act the same no matter where you fish, we fishermen need to learn their behavior patterns. Once you do your catch ratio will increase. Take care

    • What’s up John, it is kinda crazy but the Bass seem to think I am nuts for wearing bright colors during the spawn. Kinda like a silent alarm only they can see it (i.e) me instead of hear me coming and BAM. They’re heading out. Try messing around with less visible clothing during the spring when fishing it may surprise you.

    • Hey Todd, you will be surprised at how the Bass will react to your presence during the spawn once you start wearing clothing that is not too bright. I have found wearing jeans didn’t make the fish as nervous but they definitely seem to notice the colors in my shirts and jackets more.


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