Secrets to Night Fishing Success for Bass

by Jack T. Wilder

When it’s hot and the sun is baking down and threatening to melt the tattoo off your back you will need to change your tactics for getting big bass. One way to do it is go out at night. It’s cooler, the bass are feeding and you never know what you’re going to see out there.

Here are some secrets to success for getting on the water at night.

Get a Black Light for Your Boat

When you’re on the water at night you need to be able to see what you’re doing. Don’t use a regular flashlight or white LED bulb that can alert the fish to your presence. Get yourself a blacklight and then put some clear/blue fluorescent monofilament line on your reels. This type of line lights up like a blue laser beam on the water when used with a black light. It makes things a lot easier. There are a lot of different black lights to choose from. You can buy some LED black light strips for your boat or go with a handheld or two.

Pro Tip: Avoid muddy water and muddy bottoms when night fishing. Fresh clear water with a sandy or rocky bottom is best. Also try fishing around rocks and rip-rap. You can hear the baitfish jumping out of the water as the big fish drive them towards the rocks. A full moon is a great time to be on the water.

Fish Big, Loud Baits

When it heats up during the day and the sun is overhead, big bass will usually hang out in deep water off a point or in the middle of the lake where its coolest. When the sun goes down and temperatures drop, the fish like to head to the shallow water to feed. You need to be able to get their attention and a big loud lure like a Booyah Pad Crasher or a spinnerbait will work wonders. A lot of times I will get that bite right as my topwater lure hits the water with a loud PLOP!

Fishing surface lures at night are what big bass dreams are made of. Nothings gets the heart beating faster than hearing a huge fish crush your topwater frog or buzzbait or chatterbait right off the surface.

Bring your loudest baits to the party. Savage Gear even makes a bat topwater lure that we have used to great amusement.

Moonlight Matchmaking

Moon and cloud cover will help you decide what lure to use on the water at night. On dark, pitch black nights with zero moonlight, try a solid dark color like black, brown, or blue. When the moon is out you’ll need bright color combinations, such as green/orange or even red/chartreuse. Try a couple different patterns though to find out what they are hitting. My fishing partner will usually try one color and I’ll try another and then we’ll switch off if one is doing better.

Fishing at night can be dangerous so make sure you always wear your life jacket and be aware of your surroundings and other boat traffic. If you’re taking kids with you bring a pillow and a blanket. They may tire out before you do.

H/T Outdoor Life

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