23 Useful Tips For Bass Fishing At Night That You Must Know
You are an avid angler and you are considering going out to do some casts during night time (or maybe you already are doing it), and you are looking for some helpful tips that will either help you land more bass (or land at least a few bass, if you are getting zero bites) or will help you avoid making mistakes. Either way, it’s a good thing you landed in this article.
Some of the tips we are going to give you will be basic beginner tips, and others, not so much. Either way, stick around. If you are either a beginner or an advanced angler, we promise you these tips will be helpful.
There are many reasons why you should consider bass fishing at night. There is much less competition with other anglers, there is very little to non-existent boat traffic (obviously this depends on where you live, but if that is the case, bass tend to bite less when there is boat traffic and a lot of anglers), and bass are less alert when there is little light. There reason for this is because with light, they are more visible as prey. You might be catching bigger bass at night time.
Enough said. Let’s get into this!
How did we come up with this tips?
We did a lot of research on different videos, other blogs, forums, facebook groups, and personal experience. We grabbed all of them and then cherry-picked the best ones. You will find the most useful tips in this blog post. We made sure to leave out the "obvious" tips.
Bass Fishing at Night Tip #1: Adapt your tackle according to the moon phase you will be using
New dark moon
If you are using a moving bait that is not making enough noise, it’s likely fish will not be able to spot it. Make sure you use loud and noisy lures. A great example for this is a rattle.
Since fish can’t see at night, you will have to focus on taking advantage of the bass’ lateral line (it’s a system that fish have to detect movement and vibration). Rattles explode this advantage very well.
Bright Full Moon
Fish can still see fish above, near the surface level. Moving bait like reaction baits or vibrating jigs are more effective.
Bass Fishing at Night Tip #2: Know where to look
It’s very important to go to the spots where bass accumulate at night. Going to your usual spots is not a bad idea, but there are certain strategical spots where they accumulate, and you definitely want to be there.
The first one of them is to go where there is light. We go into this in tip #14 , so we will go to the next spot.
The second spot you should go check out is lake points. The lake point is a spot where the bottom is shallower than the surrounding area. It’s the point where fish come out from the deeper water into shallow water to catch their prey. Look for points of land. It could be on the lake or it could also be on creeks. Make sure you really work out these areas, as it’s likely you will find a lot of bass there.
The next spot you will want to try is shallow water. Bass go from deep water and heavy cover during the day to shallow water at night. The reason for that is because they will find prey there. Because of that, they are more aggressive and it’s likely you will get more bites.
Bass Fishing at Night Tip #3: You don’t need your expensive line
Fish cannot see at night (or very little). Fortunately, you don’t have to take crystal clear line. You can take braided line. In fact, braided line will perform better because it’s more sensitive, which will play in your advantage. This is specially true for darker nights.
Bass Fishing at Night Tip #4: Clear Water vs Murky Water
Once again, it’s all about what fish are able to perceive when there is limited light. Clear water will let you fish smaller and more discrete lures because they will be able to detect them. On the other hand, when on murky water, you have to get their attention with bigger and noisy lures.
If you are going to fish murky waters, you will have better results on a full moon. Opposite from this, try to fish on a new moon when on clear water.
Bass Fishing at Night Tip #5: Big movements, slow movement (this one is KEY!)
Remember bass don’t use their eyesight at night. The key to everything is vibrations. Going slow at night is critical to your success. If you are moving your baits too fast, you probably won’t get any bites.
On the other hand, making those movements big is also an important component. You want to create enough vibrations so the bass will detect your bait.
Bass Fishing at Night Tip #6: KISS Tackle
Keep it Simple Stupid (we just love saying that phrase). Go light. Don’t take so much tackle, only what you need. Imagine dealing with a complete arsenal of rods in the middle of the night. Sounds like a horror movie!
On the other hand, also keep your presentations simple. Nothing complex.
Bass Fishing at Night Tip #7: Bank fishing vs Boat fishing during nighttime
If you ask me, I would choose to fish from a boat at night. But it’s a personal preference, there are upsides and downsides to both.
Bank fishing will let you focus more on your fishing. On the other hand, you will be exposed to wild animals, and it could be more dangerous when moving from one spot to another through the woods. This is especially important at night.
Now let’s talk about boats. When you are on a boat, you have access to so many more areas of the lake that you can’t reach when you are on the bank. It’s also more comfortable and safer to move between spots on the boat. We could say range and coverage are the big advantages of the boat.
On the other hand, you have to look out for the boat control. You also have to be more careful not to spook fish with the boat. You have to work on being discrete.
Bass Fishing at Night Tip #8: Bigger lures perform better
On night time, bass often have less vision. The less vision they have, the more real the lure is going to feel. They will not have enough vision to analyze your lure. Remember that at night, they rely on their lateral line, which makes it very hard for them to detect if your lure is real or if something’s off.
The most commonly used lures for bass fishing at night are spinnerbaits, topwater, jigs/plastics, crankbaits, and swimbaits.
Bass Fishing at Night Tip #9: Watch out for wild animals
If you are fishing at the bank, watch out for snakes, coyotes, mountain lions, and whatever dangerous animals you might find in that area. There is not much explanation to this one, just watch out.
Bass Fishing at Night Tip #10: Night magnifies sound
It’s night time. Everything is quiet at that time. So be careful on not to make too much noise. You might spook fish away. This is true during the day but not as much as it is at night.
Bass Fishing at Night Tip #11: Add black lights to your boat
It’s not a must, but try this out! It could make a world of difference. This will give you the vision you need at night time, and it won’t affect your fishing. It’s not something crazy expensive.
Adding black lights to your boat will make anything with florescent material glow. If you combine this with florescent line, it will be a great plus. The glowing line will let you detect line bites easily.
Bass Fishing at Night Tip #12: Use dark lures when on new moon
You can color with a black permanent marker if there are parts with bright colors on the lure you are going to use. This might sound counter intuitive. The reason for using dark colored lures is to gain visibility. You can use dark blue, brown or just go with black
But here is the thing: when there is daylight, what bass see when they look above is black silhouettes. So the perfect way to gain visibility is to use dark (or even black) lures.
Bass Fishing at Night Tip #13: Know that it takes time to adapt
When fishing on the darker nights, consider that it might take time to adapt your casts. You don’t have vision, so you are not aware of the depth of your casts. It will be normal if your casts are short or way over the board from the area you are targeting.
Bass Fishing at Night Tip #14: Go to spots where there is light, especially in new moon
Go to parts where there is light. Look for lighted piers, boathouses, or docks, among others. Another tip would be to go to the spots where there it is painted with white. This will give you visibility.
The other reason for finding spots with light is because it’s more likely bass will be there. The reason for this is because bass tend to hide on structures, and they wait for other prey to go by the lighted areas and they ambush them. If there isn’t anything on these lighted areas, then go to your usual spots.
Look for home lights, dock lights, etc. Parts where the color of the wall/structure is white will also help to light things up a little bit, because white reflects the light of the moon.
Bass Fishing at Night Tip #15: Pack light
Remember KISS? Well this is related to it. Just take the equipment you need. Don’t take more than one bag. Just make sure you have the basics: bug spray, a lamp and snacks. Obviously, take your fishing essentials as well (scale, scissors, etc.).
Bass Fishing at Night Tip #16: 3 days before, 3 days after
You will catch much more bass when you fish 3 days before and 3 days after full moon, and the same for new moon. The reason for this is because more bass tend to feed within those periods. Those are the best nights to fish bass ta night.
This does not necessarily mean that if you go any other night, you will catch nothing. It just means that those nights are better.
Bass Fishing at Night Tip #17: Put your finger on the line
When you put your finger on the line, you will know if your line is well set. If it has slack, then you know you have to make it a little bit tenser by reeling it up. On the other hand, having your finger on your line will let you feel instantly when there is a bite. It’s a big plus when you have limited vision.
Bass Fishing at Night Tip #18: Download a Moon phase app on your phone
This one doesn’t need much of an explanation. This is so you can know that type of moon you will be getting the night you plan to go fishing. Here are a few:
- Daff Moon Phase
- My Moon Phase
Bass Fishing at Night Tip #19: If you are a beginner, start fishing on full moons
Start with full moons until you go getting confident with less and less light. Build up to going to fish on darker and darker moons. It’s really unproductive if you go to a new moon if you are still figuring things out. If you still want to go on a new moon as a beginner, then it would be a good idea to go with an experienced angler who will help and guide you at the spot.
Bass Fishing at Night Tip #20: Take a headlamp (and know when to use it)
Take a headlamp so you can do basic stuff like moving around, look for something, etc. Try to use it only for necessary stuff. If you use it a little bit too much, then you are going to spook fish. Use it only to move around, look for a specific item in your bag, etc. Don’t use it when fishing.
When closer to new moon, you should be ok with not using the headlamp, or at least reduce its use to a minimum.
Bass Fishing at Night Tip #21: Stop hopping from one spot to another constantly
The philosophy of this is simple. At night time, it’s better to work as much as you can one area, than moving from one spot to another constantly. If you are not catching any bass at night, it could be because you are moving from one spot to another a lot. It’s much more better to pick one spot, stay there and really work that area.
Bass Fishing at Night Tip #22: Take the proper rods
Try to aim for rods that are extremely sensitive. You want to increase your chances of feeling the most subtle bite as fast as possible. We highly recommend Big Bear rods for this. The sensitivity in their rods is amazing.
Bass Fishing at Night Tip #23: Safety first
Use common sense. Going out at night is more dangerous. If you can go with your buddy on your trip, it will better. If you must use your headlight, use it. Fishing comes second. Like we previously mentioned, watch out for wild animals (specially snakes if you are on the bank). Having a first aid kit in your car is not a terrible idea.
Those are the tips that we found are the most useful ones. What do you think? Drop comment below, we want to know your opinion. As always, we hope this article was extremely useful for you (if it wasn’t, we failed!). If you liked the article, be sure to share it! That helps us a lot, and it’s what let’s us create more useful content for you! Thank you for sticking until the end.