Night Fishing for Bass
Night fishing is one of the best activities one could do any season. Some people would even doubt that night fishing is possible. However, it’s not just possible but a preferred fishing time for many fishers.
Night bass fishing is becoming increasingly popular, as it’s much safer and more practical than night fishing a few years ago.
There are numerous advantages to fishing for big bass at night. Let’s discuss some of the most important ones.
Bass fishing at night is different from normal fishing in many ways.
Primarily, fishers want to go fishing for big bass at night to finally relax after a mundane week of working since the water is as peaceful and serene as ever.
There are not as many people as in the morning and evening, so you’ll have some alone time to unwind, think or leave everyday problems and clear your mind.
Plus, there is no big competition over fish, and you’ll easily find good spots to catch bass. It increases the probability of catching a trophy-sized bass.
If you decide to fish at night, you’ll witness the surreal beauty of nature. The moon and stars are especially impressive when you are looking from a boat in a tranquil lake.
Also, the weather is perfect for both the fisher and fish. There is no better place to be on a hot summer night than at a lake fishing for bass.
Besides that, bass love the cool temperature and bite easily when they are comfortably roaming about, looking for anything that is moving attractively to attack it. Whereas they try to hide in shades and find colder areas in the afternoon, which makes a fisher’s job of finding bass somewhat harder.
More active fish will result in locating and catching them with less trouble. You can even catch trophy-sized largemouth bass.
Large bass bite more aggressively at night as they are less suspecting and more active. So, this might be the best time for you to go after massive bass.
If you still haven’t decided whether it’s a good idea to go bass fishing at night or you’re wondering if you can catch big bass at night, let me assure you that it will be an unforgettable adventure. So, put it on your bucket list.
Before going bass fishing at night, you should definitely find out all the details you need for this memorable time so that you’ll have a safe and enjoyable fishing experience.
Let’s now dive deeper into more details with these night bass fishing tips to help better understand how to catch big bass at night.
Tips for Bass Fishing at Night
How to Catch Bass at Night?
The techniques for catching bass at night don’t differ from day fishing a lot, as the aim is the same, but there are still some specifications that you need to be aware of.
- Be persistent and patient: Sometimes, it’s hard to find bass for some time, but you will definitely get quality over quantity. Don’t give up if you aren’t seeing any progress initially, as bass may become active in some specific time period, and you’ll need to be ready when they head to hunt for food.
- Location: you need to know exactly where to look for bass so you don’t waste too much time roaming back and forth, especially when it’s dark. Usually, you can find bass in the shallows at night. After spending the hot or warm afternoon and evening in the deep water, they finally come out to hunt for food in the shallows. Your target areas should be deep waters close to the shore, ditches, and channel bends. Also, underwater grass is an important strategic spot to wait for the bass. Your bait will distract them as they’re leaving their beds.
- The moon: Most cases of catching world record trophy-sized bass were recorded on a full moon (on the 3 days) when fish are as active as ever. So, it’s recommended that you follow the moon cycle. But the moon doesn’t directly influence the fish, other than its light. Moonlight is very important in the night fishing experience.
- Weather: weather and air temperature play an integral part in determining if it’s a good time to go fishing. It also tells us what type and color of baits are better to use. Air temperature and barometric pressure determine how active the fish are and how deep water is they choose to hunt for food. After a cold front, bass are less active which means you will have to take a different approach to catch them.
- Timing: the best time for bass fishing at night is considered the three-hour interval during moonrise or moonset. You get the best chance to catch lunker fish this period, as fish are in their most active phase.
- Fishing for largemouth bass at night: the best technique for catching largemouth bass at night is finding an area where you expect bass to roam about and concentrate on that one area, slowly fishing for largemouth bass. Concentrated fishing places are better than going back and forth to different spots looking for bass.
- Striped bass fishing at night: the best places to look for striped bass are well-lighted bridges, channel edges, and shell bottoms. If you’re fishing on the line of the bridge light, the best position for your boat is up-current or up-wind (if the current is insignificant). Once you’ve identified the best location for striped bass, it’s time to think about how to catch it. You can lure striped bass like any other bass, but it’s better to use dark-colored lures at night.
Bass are opportunistic creatures. They eat anything that comes their way and looks interesting. But they are significantly slower at night than in the morning. So our main goal is to make hunting for them as easy as possible by putting a bait very close to them and moving it slowly but noticeably.
Bass Fishing at Night in Summer
Nighttime bass fishing is the most pleasant and practical, especially in summer. As days are getting hotter, fish are slowed down, and fishers feel too less comfortable. Night-time is the perfect get-away for a fisher who wants to fish productively and have a much more convenient time without burning skin, overheating, and getting exhausted easily.
Fish are cold-blooded creatures, so they feel the most comfortable when the temperature is cool. In the summertime, they become active late in the evening, when the sun is down, and it’s getting colder. Bass spend most of the day deep in the water and swim closer to the surface at night.
The techniques of catching bass at night in summer don’t differ from normal strategies a lot. Still, bass locations and behavior need to be noted, as they change constantly depending on the weather, season, and water temperature.
Bass Fishing at Night in Winter
Nighttime bass fishing in the winter may give you less fish in quantity, but they are always more better in quality. There is a high probability of catching massive bass at night, but when it’s cold in winter, especially at night, fish might be less active than in a cool temperature.
Keep in mind that bass has slowed down metabolism in winter. They don’t go after other creatures in the water and don’t try searching for food for long. That’s why they are not as active as they are in the summer.
Bass are usually found in grass, woods, and under rocks, as they usually look for natural cover in winter. Bass are more likely to be found in deeper waters, so locate the boat at a convenient place with a good depth, but it heavily depends on the lake and its depth levels.
Other than the depth of water, it would help if you considered water clarity, as it can say a lot about the location of the bass. Clearer water means bass will be deeper than usual dirtier water tells the contrary. Determining water clarity is more practical in winter night fishing than ever, as you’ll have a better understanding of the location and condition of bass.
It would be best if you were patient, but persistence will pay off once you feel the target is hooked.
In general, bass fishing is productive no matter the season and time of the day. It would help if you prepared accordingly, especially in winter, as it may get too cold.
Bass Fishing at Night in Ponds
Pond fishing for bass isn’t too different from lake fishing, but it has its unique specifications that you definitely need to know before going pond fishing, especially at night.
The most common places for fish in ponds are logs, gravel banks, weed lines, and grass. If you’re going after especially massive fish, look in natural covers, which are plenty in ponds. Look for bass under cattails, docks, trees, especially willow trees and rocks. They like to hide under thick cover.
When you’re fishing for bass in a pond, you need to pay special attention to the corners of the pond. Bass strategically hunt for food in the corners to lure their prey and lock them in places with less space to move. So, it’s also convenient for the fisher, especially at night when the visibility is low.
The probability of catching a trophy-sized bass significantly increases at night as they become more active and roam about in the pond, making it easy for you to choose the perfect spot.
Your success at fishing largely depends on the season and weather conditions.
- Fishing in Spring at night: Usually, you’ll find the bass in the shallow cover in spring. This will be at any time of the day, including nighttime.
- Summer night fishing in ponds: Most fishers go fishing at night in summer, as it’s not that hot. Fish are extremely active in summer, but especially at night, and ponds are no different in this matter. The most recommended baits for pond fishing in summer are worms and jigs.
- Night fishing in Fall: Bass are slowly becoming less active in fall, but they eat too much for the winter, so they’ll have to move about a lot. Fall might be the best season for pond fishing. There is a high probability that you’ll find massive bass on the surface of the water.
- Winter night fishing in ponds: Bass are very inactive and don’t roam about in the pond as they do on any other seasons. Look for them in natural covers and also pay attention to the depth of the pond.
While fishing for bass at night in ponds, you can use any lure you would use in a lake, as there are no significant differences on this specific occasion.
Though, vibrating jigs, worms, and topwater frogs are recommended. Vibrating jigs mimic bluegills perfectly, and as they are one of the favorite food for bass, it’s easier and faster to catch them. Spinnerbaits are also very practical. They also make vibrating noises and make it easier to catch bass at night when you don’t have a clear picture of the water.
Equipment for Bass Fishing at Night
Before going bass fishing at night, you definitely need to get ready and take all the necessary equipment with you. There are much fewer fishers and working staff at the lake. For an emergency or any minor inconvenience, you need to be fully prepared.
First of all, always remember to tell your family, friends, or any other trusted people where you are going and for how long. Sharing your exact location and coordinates with them would be even better and safer. There is no such thing as too careful.
Examine the map of the lake in detail, especially if you are new to the territory. Have a clear picture of the area, know where to go in case of an emergency. Find hospitals, markets, and other useful places nearby.
Make sure all your devices are charged and ready to be used for the whole night.
Equipment To Use for Night Fishing
Let’s now look at some of the equipment you should take with you on a night fishing trip.
- Night Backlight: A perfect reliable nightlight is vitally important while fishing for bass at night. Seeing your line clearly helps you catch bass more easily and conveniently. You’ll need strong lighting, especially if the moon phase is not giving enough light for visibility or is just hiding behind clouds. It will make your nighttime fishing for bass so much more enjoyable.
- Headlamp and flashlight: running lights, spotlight, and flashlight will surely come in handy. You’ll especially need a good headlamp to move freely and have both hands ready to catch the fish instead of holding a flashlight all the time.
- Bug spray: the main enemy of a fisher at night is a mosquito, especially because of the light on the boat. As fewer people are fishing at night, the night fisher is attacked by the whole army of mosquitos. You need to be ready and bring a bug spray with you so that you won’t be bothered by them. Or there might be some other bugs disrupting your peaceful fishing experience. If you don’t want a bug spray, you can find other means of keeping them far from you.
- Rods, reels, baits, lures: have all your fishing equipment completely ready and in order so that you don’t start looking for them in the middle of a lake in the complete darkness. Keep all your tackle organized with a good quality backpack.
- First aid kit: having the basic medical supplies like bandages, painkillers, and any other medications you might need depending on your personal medical condition. Also, take a flashlight. You never know what might go wrong, so be prepared for all the challenges.
- Floating device: you never know what might go wrong. You or your fishing group members might need a floating device or a life jacket, especially when it’s dark and you can’t help them properly. Hopefully, you won’t need it but better be too safe than in trouble.
- Extra batteries: having extra batteries always makes you feel safer while being in a lake in the darkness. Even if you don’t usually need them, taking extra batteries may help out while having an issue with any device.
- Mobile phone: you definitely need your phone to contact your family or people you trust. Also, you need to be safe and always call 911 in case of any emergency. Even if you personally don’t need it, some other fisher may need help, and you’ll be there to call them an ambulance in a second. Other than that, you can take stunning night pictures of your caught fish to make the experience memorable. Remember to take a power bank so you can keep your phone fully.
- Warm clothes and a blanket: it might get surprisingly cold at night, even in summer. To make your fishing experience comfortable and not get cold, always keep an extra jumper or blanket in your bag. Depending on the weather, you might even need a hat and gloves. Make sure your gloves let you have a good grip on your fishing rod, slippy gloves will create a lot of trouble, and eventually, you’ll have to take them off and get cold.
- Fishing boots: you need good fishing footwear so you don’t slip and fall in the water, especially while taking a hooked fish out of the water.
- Water and snacks: don’t forget to take drinking water and some snacks to stay active and hydrated. You might have trouble concentrating and get disorientated, and even dizzy from hunger and dehydration. So, taking a few energy bars would be great.
Best Lures for Night Fishing
Now that you’re fully equipped with all the essential items, you need to start thinking about what kind of lures you will take to your bass fishing trip at night.
What to Use When Fishing at Night
One of the key approaches to fishing for bass at night is to use lures with strong vibration. When it’s dark, and the only sources of light are the moon and your boat lights, bass can’t identify food easily when they swim around actively looking for food. So, our job is to make the lure easy to find for our target bass. Vibration is the best choice in the darkness. Use vibrating jigs, bladed spinnerbaits, and big worms for this matter.
Let’s look at some of the best night fishing lures that you will need for the trip:
- Plastic worms: The best spots to use plastic worms are around weeds and rock structures.
- Flipping Jigs: Flipping Jigs are best fitted for vegetated areas. Natural cover, such as tall grass, always hides lots of bass, so use jigs there.
- Spinnerbaits: Throw the bait to the bottom, then slowly pull it up and later down again. Be prepared as bass will bite whenever they notice the bait. Spinnerbaits are effective mainly because of the vibration they create, which attracts bass easily. You can also use spinnerbaits in covers, where it’s harder to get to your target fish.
- Topwater Frogs: Black popping frogs make a lot of noise which is very helpful during a night-time fishing experience. Noise and vibration have a key role in bass fishing at night, so use as noisy lures as possible to grab fish's attention. Frog lures are great for dense covers. You can make bass leave the covers and come out in the open water, where it will be easier for you to catch them.
- Swimbaits: Swimbaits are best used in the summer when bass mostly feed on crawfish at night.
- Buzzbaits: Use a buzzbait in deep waters. As the bait's name suggests, it will make a lot of noise, attracting bass easily in the night if the water is quite murky or the moon is not out.
The most important thing to consider while fishing at night is to do everything slowly and carefully. Don’t rush as fish are paying extra attention to their surroundings at night as they are trying to hunt for food with a limited vision that only depends on the clarity of the moon and the weather.
It’s better to use a sensitive line and rod at night, as your visibility is significantly low and you’ll need to feel the bite to pull the fish on time.
What Color Bait to Use for Bass Fishing at Night
Some anglers believe that color has little to do with catching bass at night since the visibility is low and fish can’t distinguish between different colors of baits. Especially if the moon isn’t full, in a small moon phase or, bad weather and clouds are covering the sky.
But generally, black baits attract bass much more than any other color at night. Some prefer brown, green, gray, or white. So, it’s really up to you. It’s best if you test different colors and see what works the best for you. If you don’t want to test, I recommend using black baits or any other dark colors of your choice.
Choosing the color of a lure depends on the surroundings. The goal is to create a contrast, so that bass will easily notice the lure and attack it. The contrast largely depends on the weather, season, water clarity, and location. Different color shades are created in weeds, tall grass, under rocks, open water, and under bridges. The visibility is low at night, so creating a good contrast is important.
Ready to Go Night Fishing for Bass?
So if you were wondering, can you catch bass at night? The definitive answer is yes, you can.
Now that you’ve read all the key information about night bass fishing tips, you are one step closer to going on an unforgettable fishing trip.
Make sure to read more details about the place where you’re going. Pay close attention to nearby markets, hospitals, and any other facility you might need in an emergency.
Also, examine the map of the lake itself very carefully, especially if you’re not an experienced angler or it’s your first time going to that lake. Know all the key locations and practical spots beforehand.
Pack your bags with all the necessary items. Don’t forget the first aid kit, floating device, an extra flashlight, and snacks. Tell a friend or a family member where you’re going. It’s best if you don’t go alone, you never know what might happen. Better to be safe than sorry.
Night-time fishing requires extra vigilance and attention to detail. Minor injuries and cuts are frequent due to low visibility. Also, many people slip easily in footwear unsuitable for fishing and falls in the water. In that case, the main thing is not to panic and calmly get back on the boat. It’s preferable to have a constant light source on the boat not to feel disoriented in the dark.
Whether you are an amateur or an experienced fisherman, you will enjoy night fishing. The stunning view of the sky and tranquillity will wash all the mundane stress away.
If you feeling adventurous, kayak night fishing will be fun for you.
Keep safe and happy night fishing 🙂