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Guide To Bass Fishing At Night

Mark Armstrong
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Bass fishing at night can add an extra element to your fishing trip and it can let you extend your fishing fun after the sun goes down. But is it a good time to fish for bass and can you use the same gear as during the day?

Night fishing for bass may be a little different than normal day fishing but it can be very rewarding (even if you do go without sleep!).

So we’ve put together this guide to help you get out there and have some fun catching bass in the dark. Energy drinks on standby!

Guide To Bass Fishing At Night - Pinterest ImagePin

Pros And Cons Of Fishing For Bass At Night


  • Less crowded
  • Potentially bigger bass
  • Cooler


  • Sight can be impaired
  • More safety precautions may be required

It’s Cooler

One of the benefits of fishing for bass at night is that it will tend to be cooler. This means that, particularly during the summer months, the bass may prefer to feed at night when the temperature drops compared to the heat of the middle of the day.

The cooler temperatures can also make it more comfortable for fishing, as you won’t have to endure the blazing hot sun.

> Our guide to seasonal bass fishing

Can Be Quieter At The Lake

Whether it’s your local lake, river or reservoir, it’s likely that it will be less crowded during the night compared to the middle of the day. This means that the fishing conditions may be improved because there’s less activity on the water that can sometimes spook fish.

This can be particularly beneficial on lakes that are normally busy with swimmers, pleasure boats, kayakers, and other anglers.

However, with the area being quieter you may also need to consider how much noise you make yourself, as you can easily scare bass away by being clumsy with your gear.

Bigger Bass

Nighttime can be a great time for catching large bass, as bass can often be disturbed by daytime commotion on the water.

During the night, bigger bass can often be found closer to the shallows where they tend to be feeding around structures and vegetation.

Video: Bass Fishing At Night With An Infrared Camera

Reduced Visibility

Fishing at night can pose some problems that you might not encounter during the day. For example, simply seeing what you’re doing may be more difficult and might require you to adapt your gear or bring along a headlamp or flashlight.

Tying knots and attaching lures can be more challenging in the dark, as can maneuvering your boat through the water. You may also find that you struggle to see your line and lure in the water and may need to rely more on your other senses rather than your sight.

We hope you’ve been eating your carrots!

Some Areas May Not Allow Night Fishing 🙁

Before you head out night fishing, you may want to check that the location where you plan to fish allows fishing at night.

Some places, due to access or other safety concerns, do not allow fishing at night. For example, Lake Tahoe in California only allows night fishing for up to two hours after sunset and from one hour before sunrise.

6 Tips For A Successful Night Of Bass Fishing (Get Them To Bite!)

1: Streamline Your Gear

Remember, you’re probably not going to be able to see quite as well in the dark as you can during the daylight, so it can be a good idea to take as little gear as possible.

You may find that you should only need gear for topwater fishing, as most of the bass will tend to be feeding near shallower water and at the surface at night.

It may also be a good idea to swap out your treble hooks with single hooks and flatten the barb, as this can help to prevent hook injuries when there’s limited light and it can also make it a little easier to remove the hook from your catch.

Fishing pliers reviewed

2: Check Moon Phases

Fishing at night during a full moon and clear skies can be an ideal time, as the moon can often illuminate the water, allowing bass to see more and therefore feed more.

When the sky is lit up by the moon, it can also create shadows in the water, which bass may use as prime hiding locations while they wait for their prey to pass by.

However, during a new moon can also be a good time to fish, as the darker conditions may encourage bigger bass to move into the shallows.

3: Try Attention Grabbing Lures

Visibility at night will often be reduced, both for you and the bass, which means you may want to choose noisier, rattling baits that can attract attention.

Buzzbaits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits and frogs can be ideal for nighttime bass fishing, as they can create vibrations that can attract bass.

> What about inline spinners for bass fishing?

Video: Top 3 Night Fishing Lures for Bass

Dark colors, such as black and purple, can be a good choice for night fishing lures because dark colors seem to be more visible to bass in the darkness. Possibly because the moon or other night lights can highlight their silhouettes.

You might want to keep your presentation slow to let the bass hone in on its location. It can also be a good idea to give the bass a second or two to take the bait before you set the hook so that you don’t lose the fish. Scented lures might also help in attracting bass.

You know the old saying: “I love the smell of bass in the morning at night”

4: Safety

Fishing at night can require some additional safety precautions due to the reduced visibility. Some areas will require you to have a white light on your vessel if you’re taking to the water, so that you can be seen by other water users.

A small flashlight might be useful to have with you, as long as it doesn’t disturb other water users or residents living nearby. If you have a light with you, you may want to think about bringing a bug spray along, as light can often attract insects.

When you’re heading out night fishing it can be a good idea to bring along a buddy and make sure you tell someone where you’re heading and when you plan to return.

Also make sure you look into PFDs if you’re actually on the water.

5: Fish Near Structure And Vegetation

Just like during the day, bass will often prefer areas close to vegetation and structure so that they have somewhere to hide and ambush prey.

Docks that have lights can often provide good fishing areas to target because of the shadows that are created. Bass may often be found on the opposite side to where the light is. Sometimes the lights from these docks can attract insects, which the bass may feed on, which can be another reason to target these areas.

> Tips for pier fishing

You may also find bass feeding near to weeded areas or around submerged logs. However, the level of darkness may encourage them to move away slightly from the shelter of vegetation in order to feed in areas that they might not ordinarily go in daylight.

6: Try Bright Fishing Line

If you want to have a better chance of seeing your line after you’ve cast it out into the darkness, fluorescent line might be a good option to use. You could also use a UV light or blacklight in order to illuminate the line.

This can give you a chance to see when your line moves instead of trying to rely on feel and sound alone. Sometimes the blacklight can create a soft glow that may encourage bass to bite, as they may think it’s the moonlight.

This type of light may also help you see what you’re doing and make it easier to see where you’re going.

> More on bass lines

In Conclusion

Bass fishing at night can be a whole load of fun, with reduced visibility and other challenges to contend with. Think about using rattling lures in dark colors to attract bass, and target areas where there might be shadows.

Remember to stay safe on the water and let someone know where you’re going.

Leave us a comment to tell us about your night fishing success and share this with your buddies to encourage them to join you on your next trip.

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