For years I’ve dealt with precisely this question. There are several factors that affect the right bait color. Weather, water color (clarity), wind and the prey fish resources play a role in the choice of colour. All these factors mean that you ultimately must always be ready despite all experiences that it brings, to try out new and “unusual” colors. There are still a few certain rules of thumb for me:
First, I try to get from the sea an impression. I’m asking in the local fishing shop, ask anglers at the Lake, and of course I myself look what little fish in the Lake. It is also important to know that usually the predators set her dining behavior on the prey fish. This means that after the breeding times, even large predatory fishes eating very small brood fish (usually July – SEP). Usually the prey fish grow usually in October. In the months between Jul-Sep some silver or glitter in the plastic lures, always a try is worth.
With clear waters, mostly natural/bright colors are a good choice to start. The bright lure choice works most naturally in the water, and usually in such clear waters the prey fish have adapted appropriately bright and “natural” color. On very sunny days, or if the water is extremely quiet without flow, or when there are waves, the same way of thinking, even when not so clean water is considered.
The bright colors are used with me at relatively uncertain/dark water. My color choice is how freaked out and striking, increases with increasing flow, large waves and high winds.
Last little rules of thumb for me is one: it becomes darker, my bait color is darker. In the night I started my best fish on black lures.
I hope the tips help, tried it and give me feedback about your experiences.