Hitting the water at night is a different animal in itself. There are many things to take into account when you’re headed out to the lake after sunset. Aside from the temperature decrease, you have to think about aspects such as lure selection, wind conditions, dangerous wildlife, the quintessential munchies and so on. Night fishing will open a whole new world for you on the water, showing you a different thrill of bass fishing itself.
Where the hell are you fishing? Are you staying local or making new trails and exploring new waters? These little details are important. Having an understanding of the landscape you’re dealing with at night makes it easier for you to plan ahead. I’m sure that everyone out there loves exploring new bodies of water, but sometimes staying local makes the ninja sessions a bit more advantageous. Personally, I prefer studying new lakes during the day – marking cover, ledges, debris and any sort of vegetation that might hold fish in the dark. Then, I simply apply this new knowledge at night. Save the trailblazing for when the sun is out, your eyes will thank you.
NIGHT FISHING ESSENTIALS
Your fishing gear isn’t the only necessary equipment when you’re on the prowl. There are some items that you should never go without. I’ve come to learn that one of the most important things to have with you at night is “mountain money.” What the hell is that, Josh?! It’s toilet paper. Many situations have arisen where I wish I’d brought some. Not only is it good for sanitation purposes (obviously), it also helps replace tinder when you can’t find any to start a little bonfire. Not that you’d need to start a bonfire but hey, if you get stranded then at least you’ll have a warm fire.
THE BEST DEFENSE IS OFFENSE
Always remember that you’re definitely not the only one awake at night, so bring some sort of protection. Now, I don’t condone any sort of psychopathic tendencies or animalistic impulses, but don’t you feel a tad safer when you know you have your pocket knife as some sort of defense? Whether it be a blade, gun, or whatever you can legally carry as long as it will keep you protected. Oh and never forget a flashlight! I bring a high-powered LED flashlight to help me maneuver around the bank and keep an eye out for predators.
GRUB A DUB DUB
Never forget the crunchy munchies! I’m going to go ahead and assume that most of you out there have day jobs, and like myself, tend to pull all-nighters trying to catch a toad instead of sleep. If this is the case, don’t forget to load up on carbs for some energy. I usually get either protein bars that contain oats or granola bars because they’re high in carbohydrates. They give you a quick burst of energy without you losing that manly (or womanly) figure of yours. Coffee and energy drinks are always on deck, and never leave without sunflower seeds. These are just some ideas to help you power through the night.
WHAT TO THROW AT NIGHT
Knowing where to fish and understanding the surrounding structure is key to any successful night mission. Keep the weather conditions in mind as well. For example, if it’s slightly windy and the surface of the water is choppy, a slow-moving wakebait won’t be your best choice. Instead, try a buzzbait for more water disturbance and drag a swimbait or jig around if topwater isn’t getting things done. For any decent rock structure, drag a jig or swimbait along the bottom – the rocks hold heat from the afternoon sun and attracts bass at night. If the surface is flat calm it’s the perfect opportunity for a wakebait. Either work the wakebait parallel to shore or toss it out in the middle to draw any potential fish in the area. Thinking logically about what to throw will help you enjoy more successful night missions, and always remember to keep things simple. Don’t overwhelm yourself thinking too much, just fish and fish hard!
Here are some of the effective baits I’ve tossed at night for those hungry bass.
- Huddleston Deluxe 8”
- Huddleston Deluxe 68 Special
- Deps Slide Swimmer 250
- Little Creeper All American Trash Fish
- Keitech Fat Swing Impact
- Mike Bucca Bull Shad
- Jackall Gantarel
FOOTBALL JIGS (⅜-½ OUNCE)
- Dirty Jigs Tour Level Football Head
- Santone Lures Football Head
- River2Sea John Murray Papa Mur
- Strike King Tour Grade Heavy Hook
TOPWATER WALKING BAITS/WAKEBAITS
- Spro BBZ-1 Rat
- Spro BBZ-1 Floating 8” Swimbait
- Heddon Super Spook
- Jackall Pompadour
- D&M Double Hammer Buzzbait
THE THRILL OF NIGHT FISHING
There’s nothing like watching your topwater lure get demolished in the dark. The eerily quiet night is disturbed by an explosion on the surface and the rest is nothing but splashing pleasure. The same thrill is felt when your slow-rolled swimbait gets thumped hard, leaving you wondering when to swing for the fences. This is the full night fishing experience. It’s all about you fighting the dark and emerging successful. Be safe out there, everyone. Tight lines!