Best colors for catching all species on Red Lake & Parker Lake

Which colors are considered the “hot” colors? We get asked this question all the time. Which makes sense because you want to know what color spoon or jig to buy before your trip.

I have compiled years of data from my fishing logs. Thanks to some help from my much more computer literate friend, Alexander, I have been able to start analyzing some of the many variables related to fishing and made some fascinating finds.

I’ll do a few posts this month highlighting some of the data. I’m just focusing on last season’s results at this point, but will eventually add more seasons into the mix. Keep an open mind with all of the results too. This is a limited sample size and several other variables are at play. Maybe the day we were using one color the wind was perfect. We may have been fishing during a very active bite. I also fished with 50 different people last season so there were a wide variety of skill levels on the other end of the rod.

I love taking new people out and teaching techniques or ways to catch more fish. My boat averaged five fish per hour last season so 50 fish would be an average day without fishing early or late in the day. Hopefully we can use some of the results from this data to improve on our catch rates.

So without further adieu, here were the top five colors from last season that exceeded the average catch rate of five fish per hour.

Yellow & White          9.6 fish per hour

Silver & White           6.0 fish per hour

Chartreuse                 5.6 fish per hour

Silver                          5.6 fish per hour

White                          5.2 fish per hour


The combination colors could be a few different things. Perhaps a striped spoon or a jig of one color and a plastic of another color. Maybe a lindy rig with patterned beads or single color beads and a different color spoon.

The thing that stuck out to me about this list is the lack of flashiness. The top five list is all some version of white, silver, and yellow/chartreuse. I’ve been a victim of getting “caught” by a lure in the store painted with all sorts of bold colors. I may like how it looks, but do the fish?

Keep a couple more things in mind here. This color list encompasses ALL species of fish. I spent several hours muskie fishing last year which is certainly bringing a few color averages down. I will do some posts in the future specific to each species of fish found around Red Lake.

Some people will say why not stock an entire tackle box full of yellow and white baits? While you would certainly enjoy some success, I’m still a big advocate for variety.  This is a limited data set.  There may be a couple days when yellow and white baits just don’t seem to be the ticket. I think a big part of fishing is finding something you enjoy using and can fish confidently and the results will follow.

Tight Lines!

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