Advice on Fishing at Night
With summer fast approaching, night fishing is a subject that will be on the mind of many-an-angler. As the summer wears on and lakes become hotter and hotter, bass will wait until the cool of the night to do their feeding. You’ll know it’s time to start fishing at night when hours go by during the afternoon without a single hit. Since light is in low supply at night, there are a few adjustments you’ll want to make to your bass fishing techniques.
Many anglers prefer adding extra tackle to their line at night. The reason for this is that it gives the line more feel. With your vision rendered less of an aide, you’ll need to increase the role your other senses play when night fishing. Regarding lures, it’s actually better to use dark colors at night. While that may seem counterintuitive, it is important to remember that bass do not see as humans see. Purples, dark reds, and blacks make the most effective bass lures for night fishing. For top-fishing, black lures provide bass with the most contrast against a moon-lit sky.
Fishing at night adds a whole new spectrum of safety and etiquette procedures that need to be followed. Before departing onto the water, it would be wise to inform a friend or family member of your plans. Inform them where you plan to fish and when you plan to return. Should something go awry, this will serve as a viable safety net. Another important thing to prepare is your boat’s running lights. Night fishing should absolutely not be attempted in a boat that doesn’t have fully functioning running lights.
In general, it’s best not to night fish alone. An extra set of eyes and ears is invaluable when on the water. On the topic of etiquette, be careful with spotlight use. Many lakes have campgrounds near the shoreline, not to mention other boaters on the water. A quick, effective way to give bass fishing a bad name and lose the respect of others at the lake is to go shining a spotlight where people are trying to sleep or fish.
Lakes that are vacated by home-owners or campers would also appreciate not having to hear long boat runs at all hours of the night. Try to launch your boat in close proximity with the area you plan to fish. If this isn’t possible, then be courteous enough to delay your fishing enjoyment an extra few minutes by idling quietly to your favorite shallow, weedy feeding station.
Another tip for night fishing is to only bring equipment that you absolutely need. Problems such as tangled lines and cramped quarters can be compounded by extra rods and reels that are of no use anyway. One thing you will want to remember though is a camera. If you catch that once-in-a-lifetime lunker in the middle of the night, just be ready for the flashbulb to temporarily blind your proud eyes. Remember, large, trophy bass are often upwards of ten years old. Have your fun; take pictures and measurements to commemorate the catch, but keep in mind that fish has survived against long odds to make it to your measuring plank. You’ve certainly earned the right to enjoy a couple of proud moments in front of a camera, but don’t you think that fish has earned the right to keep swimming another day?