Lure color - how important?

First off I don't believe that a color should match anything in nature - including that of a fish's normal prey. Many of us have caught fish on the least natural colors available for many lure types, from pink Senkos to bright yellow curl tail grubs and spinnerbait skirts. But are there a group of best colors for certain lures that can be used all year, in any water and do well? For me there are.

Take skirted jigs for bass. The rubber skirt can be a solid black or black and blue and I'm confident it will catch fish. But my preference has changed since the advent of silicone skirt colors that include barb wire patterns, spots, metal flakes and many other color combos. Even within that huge selection, I'll tie up a variety I know will work - but only as long as I have confidence in those colors and that the trailer has the right action. I've tied some weird looking colored skirts and caught bass and pickerel without changing jigs.

Soft plastics are another where color does matter, but for a different reason than matching a prey species. When I pour grubs for bass and pan fish, I stay with only a few soft plastic colors I have confidence in, an maybe vary the colors of the metal flakes I add. Green pumpkin plastic is enhanced by the addition of gold, green and black flakes combined. Blue, gold and black flakes do well in smoke colored plastic. But of the two examples, neither is better than the other nor better than more than another dozen colors I haven't mentioned.

Why chose one color over another. No reason. Why chose flash flakes over plain solid colors? Flash is not color - or at least not expected to show the same color in stained water. Flash gets a fish's attention and adds to the provocations of lure action and angler presentation.

I've used clear plastic grubs and caught five species of fish, same as using a clear plastic Zara Spook for bass. Success using clear baits puts the emphasis on lure action, vibration and angler presentation. Even clear crankbaits catch bass though maybe the rattles might help in certain situations - maybe not.

Are there lure colors one should not use in certain lures? Depends on one's preference, experience and confidence in certain colors for certain lures - usually by trial and error. Just stick with what works and don't be fooled by claims that you must have 10 colors of each lure type in your box. Articles about lure colors are usually meant to sell magazines and more lures. Sorry, but not necessary.