Bass Fishing in the Night
Summertime is here and with it comes the pleasure boaters, and the grueling heat waves where temperatures have the ability to reach in the high 90s and even into the 100s. Lucky for you, there is a way to avoid both! I’m referring to fishing during the night for bass! Night fishing for bass can be a very intimidating topic for those that have never done it. Today, I’d like to go over some tips I’ve learned over the years that have helped put more bass in the boat throughout the night during the hottest months of the year.
When discussing lights, I don’t mean big light bars and the brightest flashlights money can buy. One light I would recommend buying is a headlight with a beam style light than allows you to focus in on one area in particular. These allow you to scout the bank, or waters ahead safely, and give you more information about that area as a whole. Investing in a set of blacklights to wrap around the entirety of your vessel will make night fishing a breeze as well. Depending on the type of line you use, the blacklight will make it glow which makes bite indication easier also. I’ve noticed its typically certain colors of braided line, and monofilament that shine the best under blacklights. Another great thing about using blacklights instead of regular LEG lighting is attracting fewer bugs. LED white lights are a beacon for every mayfly, gnat, and mosquito on the lake and you sure don’t want to fight that swarm all night. Whatever type of vessel you are fishing out of (boat, kayak etc.), always be sure you are following your states requirements of proper lighting at night. Those regulations are put in place to keep folks safe out on the water and that should be your biggest concern throughout the night.
AREAS TO FISH
It’s no mystery that bass travel deep into the depths searching for cooler water temperatures during the summer months. Without the presence of the sun, a lot of bass will make their way shallow to capitalize on the cooler hours of the night. Areas like flats adjacent to deep water, main lake points, docks, brush piles, and off shore humps are ideal areas to target. Bass are predatory fish and will set up on any ambush spot or area obtainable. I like to start the night out fishing as shallow as the dirt, and work my way to a few different types of off shore areas until I establish a working pattern. One key area a like to target in general during a night outing are creek channel bends. Channel bends are likely to hold all types of fish year round, so you are likely to run across a few different species (catfish, and carp being at the top of that list) as well!
BAITS TO USE
One of the most popular baits when it comes to night fishing is a big Colorado spinnerbait. I like to think of night fishing like I am fishing muddy water, throwing baits with a big, bulky profile, and those that put off a ton of vibration. The vibration put off by these Colorado spinnerbaits are second to none, and are the easiest for fish to find even in the darkest of water. When it comes to vibration, bass can get a bit tricky though. Bass use their lateral line to search for food when the water clarity is less than ideal. For me, it seems like there is always a certain amount of vibration that will get them riled up. If you throw too big of a blade and it puts off too much vibration and you could spook them away, or vise-versa with too small of a blade and not getting enough vibration, which will cause the bass to not be able to find your bait. Another great lure to use at night is the iBobber Robotic lure. It has a bright LED light built in that will attract fish from long distances at night and really stand out in the water. On top of having a bright light built in, the lure also sends off vibrations in the water to signal to those fish where the bait is located!
Back to the big, bulky profiles, it’s hard to get bigger and bulkier than a 10-inch curly tail worm, like the Mondo Worm from Googan baits. I like to throw these on either a Carolina Rig, or a Texas rig. Both are great choices to pair this worm up with, but to choose one over the other, I’m throwing the Carolina Rig all night! Pro tip when it comes to your terminal tackle and these techniques. Swap out your lead weights for tungsten weights! The old traditional lead weights are less dense than tungsten, which means the metal is softer and they won’t have as loud of a ticking noise banging off rocks. Using a tungsten weight over a lead weight could mean the difference in you catching 5, and catching 25 on any given night.
COLORS TO USE
As for what color to throw, you want something that has a lot of contrast in the water. To put that into similar words, you want it to stand out in the water. So, the old faithful black and blue, solid blacks, or really bright colors like hot pink, white, and chartreuse. I primarily fish black and blue because it works day in and day out, in the clearest of waters to the dirtiest. That doesn’t mean go throw black and blue all night and expect results though. Some nights you may only get a few bites. On nights you are getting the results you are looking for, I do one of two things: go darker, or go the polar opposite. By “go darker” I’m referring to through your bait of choice in an all-black color. If they aren’t on the all black, or black and blue, change your entire approach. Throwing the polar opposite means digging into your tackle boxes, and picking out the brightest color you have in your bait of choice. Colors like chartreuse, hot pink, bright white, and orange. Use one of the color schemes mentioned above and you will maximize you catch rate at night!
Truly, fishing at night isn’t any different than during the daylight hours. Depending on the region you live in, sometimes the fishing is better in the night than it ever would be in the day. Bass fishing during the night can be an awesome time if done right, and it sure beats being out in the heat all day! So, leave the sunscreen at home, grab a headlight, follow these tips mentioned above and go catch your personal best bass this summer!