What Is The Best Color Frog For Bass Fishing? (Top 3 Colors To Use)
UPDATED 17 MAY 2023
by Robert Ceran
Topwater frogs are among the most popular baits for bass fishing, and also among the most effective whenever bass are found in shallow water, and feeding near the surface.
But the problem with fishing frogs is that there are literally hundreds of variations available in tackle shops, and this can be a little confusing for beginners, who want to know, what are the best topwater frog colors?
Does frog color matter?
Yes, colors are very important for frog fishing. On some days you’ll catch fish after fish on a black frog, without getting a single bite on a white one.
Because of this, you do need to pay attention to the best one to use for the particular conditions you encounter.
Having said that, there are some options that tend to perform well in most conditions, and among these is black, which is the top all around choice.
If you’re currently putting together your frog fishing setup, check out our article on what is the best frog rod?
Best frog color for bass
While there are hundreds of different frog colors available on the market today, they mostly fall into three main categories:
- Black: best all around option, as well as for dirty water.
- White: best for low light conditions.
- Natural (mostly bluegill): best in clear water, or for matching the hatch.
Now let’s look in more detail at when you should be using these frogs.
Keep in mind that this is not hard science – bass change their preferences frequently, and you’ll find that even on the same day, you need to throw different colors at different times to get a bite.
You may also need to pay attention to what everyone else is using, as the fish learn to avoid the most commonly used colors after a while.
In those cases, you can sometimes get bites just by going against the trend.
Best all around frog color for bass
The one color that tends to perform well in almost all conditions is straight black. So if you could only choose one option, then black would be the one to go for.
The reason for this is that black frogs have a strong silhouette when viewed from below against the light background of the sky. This really works in your favor when you’re fishing on top of dense vegetation, like lily pads, or mats of water weeds.
In those situations, it’s very hard for the bass to see your lure from underneath, and black maximizes your chances of them catching a glimpse of it under the dense plant growth.
Best frog color for bass in dirty water
The best option for dirty water is black, which provides a strong silhouette that bass can see when they get close enough. Another great option is dark brown, or brown combined with red.
But keep in mind that color is not the most important factor when you’re fishing dirty water, since you’ll be attracting fish primarily through the movements and vibrations of your bait, which bass can sense with their lateral line organ.
So it’s more important to choose a lure that makes more noise and racket on the water surface, which will draw in the fish.
This also applies to night fishing with frogs, when black performs best, and lure variations that create a lot of commotion on the water surface also tend to do well.
Best frog color for bass in clear water
When you’re fishing clear water, the best options are natural colors (including brown, green, and beige).
The reason for this is that bass can get a good look at your lure in the clear water, and if it looks too unnatural, that can turn them off.
The most common natural colors are bluegill imitations, which can be top performers on many fisheries. This is especially true if there is a sizable bluegill population present, and if bass are feeding on them.
If you’re fishing clear water, but there’s rainy weather or an overcast sky, then white frogs can be top performers.
The reason for this is that their white body forms a strong silhouette against the dark grey sky under these conditions. This can also apply in the early morning or the late evening.
How to tell if you’re using the wrong color frog for bass
The most obvious telltale sign that you’re using the wrong color is when you get a lot of short strikes.
Another sign to look for is fish bumping your lure, or swiping at it, without actually eating it.
When you see this behavior, you can be sure that the color is wrong, and you need to try something different.
This is a great way to let the fish tell you what they want that day (or even what they want at different times of the day).
Matching the hatch with your frog color
When bass are keyed in on a particular type of baitfish, you have to match this with your lure. So a great way to choose the right color to catch bass on any given day is by observing what they are feeding on.
This is most obvious during the shad or bluegill spawn, as this will draw in tons of bass from everywhere, and these fish focus one hundred percent on eating one species of baitfish during the spawn.
If you’re not sure what bass are feeding on, another trick is to look into their mouth to check if there’s a shad fin sticking out of their gullet.
If you know that bass are feeding on shad, you can either choose a shad colored frog, or a white one, which resembles the light silvery hue of shad.
This also applies in the fall, when bass often hunt big schools of shad in shallow water. Throwing lighter colors is often the best choice at these times.
In many Florida lakes, introduced tilapia have thrived and proliferated in great numbers. In lakes with a big tilapia population, you’ll often find that they become a prime food source for bass, and you should then try to use a frog color that matches tilapia (dirty beige often works best).