Ike, KVD, Cranks, Colors

One of the new Ike's Ink colors.

Gonna hit four things here.

1. You’ve probably heard the well-known saying in the fishing biz, that baits are made to “catch fishermen, not fish.” In other words, if it doesn’t catch your eye in the store, you’re not bringing it home, regardless of whether it catches ’em or not.

2. Bearing that in mind, switching gears now to Mike Iaconelli’s new “Ike’s Custom Ink” Rapala crankbaits. Ike says in the below vid that he tried to hit three things with the colors: muted/sun-faded colors, a pearlescent finish to mimic scales, and glitter for light refraction.

3. Check this quote from D. Keith Jones of Berkley’s research labs on bass vision: “The sharpness of their vision is only 10 percent of ours. When they look at an object, they don’t see nearly the detail we do.”

4. KVD quote: “One of the first things I’ll do when I practice for a tournament is I’ll try to find what the bass are feeding on. I’ll pay attention to the bait’s coloration, its size and how it’s moving, and I’ll try to imitate it.”

So if we’re talking colors, all of this would seem to mean the following:

a) Crankbaits in more-natural colors with bands of color that a bass’ crappy vision can perceive would seem to be more important than uber-realistic busy colors. So buy those?

b) You’d think that should be doubly true when it comes to moving baits like crankbaits. I mean, soft-plastic colors ain’t exactly ultra-realistic plus they usually get fished slower…and work fine.

c) Maybe the realer-than-real Japanese hard-bait finishes catch fishermen and the action of the baits catches fish?

d) KVD has said that about matching the hatch more than once. So since we all know that most of the time bass supposedly strike a bait out of “reaction” more than feeding, and we also know that KVD is one of the masters of getting bass to bite, seems once again that nature-mimicking baits (colors) seem to be key.

e) Ike seems to be on the right track with his crankbaits. I mean – duh, he’s a pro fisherman, but seems like the science and what KVD says back up his approach. I’m also assuming Ike could’ve had ultra-realistic finishes on those baits if he wanted.


> The Jones and KVD quotes are from this article on



  1. Scotty Melvin

    March 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    While I would agree that color does probably play a role in baits and what a fish will bite, I gotta believe that most of the time, a fish would have bitten your crankbait even if it wasn’t a specially painted design. I threw a new color Red Eye Shad last weekend, baby carp, had an orange bottom. First time ever using it. I didn’t change colors because we were getting bit, but I’m thinking they would have bitten my bluegill or perch colored Red Eye too…..

  2. Chad Keogh

    March 20, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    The fact that you can catch probably just as many bass on a clear or black crankbaits should be proof enough that fish don’t really care about the color as much as they do action and vibration. Sometimes I think color is more a hindrance since if you are imitating a shad, but they are keying on perch, you may get less bites. If however you fished a clear crankbaits (and their vision already sucks) they will strike just out of reflex assuming they just can’t see it well.

  3. Flip 'N' Pitch

    March 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Ahem, ahem…so whatever happened to Ike’s endorsement of the LaserLure?

  4. paul zuest

    March 20, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    if a angler says color doesnt count look in their tackle box. if a color only provides confidence it makes a big difference.

  5. Flip 'N' Pitch

    March 21, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Color counts but it is the last variable you need to worry about. Location, depth, action, size, etc. all have higher priority than color. So what a lot of Pros do in practice/always is throw colors they know work pretty good everywhere so they can concentrate on figuring out the other variables.

  6. Bassaholic1630

    March 22, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Color selection should be simple with your cranks and plastics. Select your color based on the water clarity then pick your variation of that color based on forage or confidence. And speaking honestly on the case of soft plastics colors all you realy need is green pumpkin and black.

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The best, worst and funniest in bassin'! Jay Kumar is the guy who created, co-hosted Loudmouth Bass with Zona, was a B.A.S.S. senior writer and a whole lot more in bassin™. Make sure you sign up for the BassBlaster email!

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