The top 5 custom crankbait colors

Top 5 custom crankbait colors

I have been asked many times what color should I get my baits painted in. Sometimes the answer requires a lot of details to arrive at a perfect color for them, depending on where they live, what color water they are going to be fishing, and other factors. On the other hand sometimes people just want to know what colors we paint that, while still being custom, are our most popular colors. This list is my top 5 based on my personal preference, and the top selling patterns from Bait Werks. If someone put me on a mystery lake anywhere in the country these are the patterns I would like to have in my box.

No. 1

   Batey Shad 2


This is by far my favorite color, I would estimate that 75% of my personal crankbaits and topwaters are painted in this pattern. This is also the best selling pattern that I paint for customers also. It is one of those patterns that I based on a photograph of a threadfin, but Batey Shad 2as with most patterns it is not just meant to be a perfect copy. Over the years, through fishing my own patterns, I have realized that it’s not always a perfect match that works. I’ve never had great success with the baits that have an actual picture of the baitfish posted on the side of them. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why. You would think that they would be the best possible baits. Yet time and time again fish would prefer something like a Fire Tiger color over them. Through years of observation and testing I realized that one of the biggest factors on a moving bait is the contrast between the colors, and the way they are viewed as the bait moves. So while I do paint to a certain level of realism, I also really put a lot of thought into the contrast between the colors, and even exaggerating some of the colors from time to time. I want a bait that looks natural while still standing out from the natural forage.

No. 2

Reehm Gill

This is another one of our most popular patterns. It is based on a bluegill, but is exaggerated and simplified to take into account theReehm Gill way fish see moving baits. There is a little more contrast than on a real bluegill, though the basic color pattern, with it’s dark greens, oranges and blues are all there. This pattern really shines during the time of year when bluegill and other sunfish are spawning, but is definitely not limited to use during those times. I have caught fish at all times of year on this pattern, as I am sure that there is no time of year when a bass will not eat a tasty bluegill when given the opportunity.

No. 3

Baby Bass

The next color is one that many people just don’t fish that often, Baby Bass. I must admit I personally don’t have that many baits painted in this color, though I have caught my share of fish on it. It just doesn’t come to mind very often for me when I’m picking baits to paint for myself or to throw, but I paint it all of the time for customers. I’m sure that to some extent this is because of the highly detailed pattern catching the customers eye, but I also get a lot of positive feedback in the form of happy customers who are catching fish on it. Whatever reason they choose this color for painting, it works, and is one of my Baby Bassmost popular patterns to paint for people. It is also one of the most fun to paint, there is a lot of art involved, and each one is unique, as the lateral line markings are all airbrushed freehand.



No. 4

Faded Citrus Candy

This is one of my favorite deep water colors, though it’s also good for shallow crankbaits as well. I basically wanted to mimic what anglers in the know have been doing for years. Taking a bait and letting the sun fade out the colors. Long ago this was easy to do, as most baits were wooden and you could let them fade out without them swelling up and cracking open, like many of the plastic baits of Faded Citrus Candytoday will certainly do when exposed to the sun for too long. This is the only faded color in my lineup, but i could certainly do this with any other color pattern as well if someone requested such. Faded Citrus Candy, is basically just that a faded version of the popular color Citrus Candy, with a few of my own tweaks of course. This color has slowly been gaining a larger following over the last couple of years, and I notice it being in more and more orders.

No. 5

Batey’s Ozark Shad

The final pattern in our top 5 list is Batey’s Ozark Shad. This is my all time favorite color pattern for a jerkbait, though it also makes a great color pattern for other baits such as lipless and shallow crank baits. This is what I would call a finesse pattern, which is very subtle, while at the same time quite different than what the fish are used to seeing. It’s purple shoulders and green back are not colors that would be thought of as going Batey's Ozark Shadtogether. It also doesn’t really mimic any specific baitfish that swims, yet the fish do seem to have an affinity for it.


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