By EZ Angler Staff -
The classic image of bass fishing is waking up at the crack of dawn and hitting the water just as the morning sun begins to fill the sky. Or exploring the banks of a riverbed on a warm sunny afternoon.
However, some bass enthusiasts have discovered the night holds a special fishing experience – offering another layer of intrigue, excitement and heart pounding bass activity. This is especially true during the summertime months.
Imagine grabbing your gear and creeping out into the night out onto your favorite water. The only light coming from the moon and stars above, or a street lamp off in the distance or the light brought with you to assist. Sounds from different parts of the lake indicate lunkers are about.
A fundamental reason why bass fishing at night during the summer months can prove to be a kind of fisherman’s jackpot has to do with the habits of the bass themselves.
Bass prefer to stay cool, so they tend to head for the deepest waters that they can find during the intense heat of midday and afternoon. The deeper down in the pond the fish are lurking, the more difficult they are to catch and reel in. This can lead to slow afternoons of sitting in the sweltering heat and catching very few bass. However, during the cool nighttime hours, bass come more readily into shallower waters and flats to feed. This makes targeting them quite a bit easier. The lack of activity (boating, skiing, swimming) on the lake at this time helps.
During the summer evenings, hungry bass are known to prowl waters after dark that they typically don’t explore during the daylight. This includes less covered areas, so don’t expect your day hot spots to necessarily have the same activity.
Creatures of the Night
In case you didn’t know, bass also have an internal ear structure that allows them to hear from far away. This makes noise and vibrating lures an awesome selection for nighttime bass fishing.
Fishing tales surround the moon with magical effects on bass and increasing activity. There are many anglers who prefer various moon phases, such as half-moon and full-moon lit nights. But based on reported experiences by many pro anglers, increased summertime moonlight did not always result in greater catches. Some report that full moons actually created greater difficulty in catching bass. The EZ Angler’s thinking is just get out whenever you can and enjoy some gold old night time fun. We will get more into moon cycles in other articles.
Generally when bass fishing at night you’re targeting actively feeding bass, so this is a good time to try those faster moving reaction baits.
Jigs are very effective for night fishing. We would recommend a 3/4 ounce – the weight is enough to fall quickly and provides a good feel so you can tell when there is activity no matter the water condition.
Buzz-baits are also good for night time bass fishing.
Texas Rigs also work well. This is where the use of scents can have an impact.
However, as always, you should keep an open mind. If one type of lure isn’t working, try something else.
A cool advantage of night fishing is that as fishing fans flock to lakes and streams all over the country, all too often the peace and quiet of the sport becomes quite elusive as multiple sportsmen jockey for position on the same water. The summertime crowds can take away a lot of the fun of fishing. If you choose to fish at odd times of the night, it is likely that you will never run into the problem of overcrowding. Because only a small percentage of bass fishermen hit the water in the dark, you should have no trouble finding a pond or a lake offering plenty of solitude and a supply of fish that is all yours for the taking.
Although nighttime bass fishing can be much more rewarding than trying to snag these elusive creatures during the day, there are some disadvantages to night fishing that you should prepare for.
Many sportsmen are surprised when they first go night fishing by the insane amount of insects hovering about, especially our friend the mosquito. Be sure to pack some bug repellent to help you emerge from your night on the water without falling prey to mosquitoes and other warm weather pests. Mosquitoes can literally drive you off the water if you are not properly prepared.
Always consider your safety.
Spending time in a boat when visibility is low because of the lack of light can be more dangerous than boating during the daytime, so make sure to take all of the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your fishing companions.
As best practice, wear your PFD especially important if fishing by boat so you are easy to locate in the dark should your boat capsize for instance
If taking a canoe, kayak or boat a mounted light fitted on your vessel is a good idea. It’s also a good idea to bring back-up flashlights. If one fails, you don’t want to cut your experience short because you have no source of light.
Warning devices such as a flare or flare guns are also a good idea if a distress signal needs to be sent especially when venturing into deep remote waters.
It is strongly encouraged to tell someone where you are going in case something should go wrong and you fail to return.
And always check the weather. There is nothing worst the getting caught in the middle of a lake in the middle of the night only to see a lighting strike flash across the sky.
There are a many reasons why night fishing for lunkers is a great idea, so if you haven’t tried, get your gear and go creep out into the night for a new kind of fishing experience.
Here is a great little video to get you in the mood: