What Color Lures Catfish Like

What color of lures do Catfish prefer?

Catfish do not see colors as well as other fish.  Actually, catfish are colorblind, so they don’t see any colors at all, only white and black.  Even though they’re colorblind, they have really good vision.  Remember, they live on the bottom of the lake, so they have to be able to see things well down there, and that means they have to be extra-sensitive to what little light they get.

That being said, fluorescent lures work well for catfish.  They see those bright colors well.  Some anglers use a glow-light at the end of their line too, because they find that catfish really go after light and movement.

Water conditions also have an effect on what kind of lure you should use.  As a general rule, for all kinds of fish (not just cats), you should use a green or blue lure when the water is clear, and a red, yellow or orange lure when the water is murky and hard to see through.  This all has to do with visibility, and it varies a little between different kinds of fish because some fish see colors better than others.

With catfish, keep in mind that what they really like is stinky bait.  That means live bait always works best.  They’ll pay much less attention to the color of the way bait looks, and much more to how it smells.

There was also a question about line color that I want to address here.  Line color is not a big consideration with catfish.  They won’t even notice it.  It’s what’s on the end of the line that matters!


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow catfish fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on catfish fishing since 2004.

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