As the night sets in and the water’s surface becomes still, bass tend to head for the shallows in search of food. This is a time when bass fishermen can have some really big success, some even say its prime time. Although night fishing can take a little getting used to, the results can be well worth the effort.
Night fishing for bass is at its best during the summer months. This is especially true after a calm day with blue bird skies, days when bass generally do not feed as much. These daytime conditions can lead to an action packed evening.
The great thing about fishing for bass at night is that bass don’t need to see a lure to know its there. Bass can feel movement and vibrations in the water through nerve endings on the sides of their bodies. The nerve endings run along each side of a bass from head to tail and are referred to as a bass’s lateral line. What this means for you when your selecting a lure is: think noise.
When your fishing at night you want to use lures that make noise. Whether it be a rattle or a lure that uses the surface to create popping or splashing noises. This will allow bass to locate the lure easier, but be sure to use a slow retrieve. Since bass will be relying on their lateral line more than their eyes, reeling the lure too quickly can make them miss when they go to bite.
Surface lures are very popular for night fishing because usually the water is very calm, allowing them to achieve their optimal presentation. Not only that but their sounds and vibrations can travel a lot further in calmer waters. Here are few Lures you should definitely try first.
- Surface Poppers: These are great because they can retrieved very slow, and in most cases when night fishing that can be the key to getting strikes. You can speed them up but unless bass are very aggressive its not recommended.
- Walk-The-Dog Lures: If dead slow isn’t doing the trick then you can pick up the pace a bit with a walk the dog lure. This will allow your to retrieve the lure quickly for short spurts then slow it down or stop it and see if it triggers a strike. It’s also just a different action than a popper and sometimes thats all it takes.
- Crawlers & Wobblers: The best, most popular example of this is the jitterbug. These lures wobble back and fourth as they are reeled across the surface. It’s a very steady and repetitive movement that bass can home in on very easily. They also allow you to cover more water faster.
So if your planning to try night fishing for the first time here are a few tips that will help you have a more comfortable and more successful experience:
- Silence is key: Do your best to keep quiet. Bass are used to quietness at night with calmer water and less boat traffic, so unnatural noises can spook them.
- Flashlights: Pretty obvious but you don’t realize true darkness until your in the middle of pond or lake in the middle of the night. You should always have a couple standard flash lights but the best tool is a headlamp. Its great, hands-free lighting for tying lures, unhooking fish, or looking through your tackle box.
- Take Notes: Certain hours can be better than others for fishing during the night and it differs from lake to lake. Keeping track of the time of your catches can give you great data for future trips.
- Keep it simple: Finding tackle and other things should be as easy as it can be when your fishing in the dark. The last thing you want to be doing is fumbling through tons of stuff to find what you need. Leave unnecessary equipment at home and only bring what your really going to need.