Bass fishing at night might seem like such a big challenge, but surprisingly, it’s not. Though don’t get too excited just yet. Bass fishing in the dark is not the same experience as the daytime. Therefore, you have to prepare for the fishing trip and be knowledgeable about what to do.
Why is bass fishing at night a good idea?
Let’s begin with the reasons why you might feel compelled to go bass fishing at night. The truth is that not so many people are eager to hit the water at night. With that said, there might be no better time for bass fishing than this. Think of the ruckus that typically occurs at the daytime, especially during the summer season. The lake is in a mess with jetskis running around everywhere, cabin cruisers occupying a large part of the lake, and not to forget the hot, humid weather. All you can get out of the lake is a headache and a couple of sunburns.
For a great summer fishing experience, consider nighttime fishing. Sometimes you might spend the entire summer afternoon out in the lake and come out with nothing to show for your efforts. When the air temperature rises to about 70 degrees and above, the water temperatures rise. Such conditions are not ideal for bass. This is because there is very little oxygen in the water, and this tends to make the fish less active.
Furthermore, the high water temperatures force bass to hide for most of the day. The fish will take cover under lily pads, rocks, tree stumps, docks, or simply stay deeper in the water. However, when the sun goes down, the water temperatures become cooler. The fish can now get out of their hiding places and start feeding. That’s how fishing at night comes into play.
Besides, there is much less competition at night than during the day. There may be a few people on the lake but at least you won’t have to face the noise and commotion of daytime. The fishing experience is also peaceful at this time. This should be enough reason for you to test the waters at night.
When should I go bass fishing at night?
Many anglers prefer to go bass fishing at night during the summer season. States with a warm climate are suitable for nighttime fishing throughout the year, so the season might not really matter. Additionally, bass hangs out in both shallow and deep waters during the hot months. If you don’t feel safe taking a boat at night, fishing from the banks will do the trick.
According to the experienced anglers, bass fishing at night should occur at midnight, dusk and just before dawn. The prime time is on the nights with a full moon. The truth is bass like feeding under the bright light of the full moon. For this reason, they will be exposed and hovering around the lake while feeding. It’s also good to know that the moonlight will eliminate the need for flashlights.
Important tips for bass fishing at night
The time is right, the moon is full but what else do you have to do for a successful night of fishing. Here are some of the vital tips for bass fishing at night that you shouldn’t overlook.
Your lure colors should match the moonlight
Select lures with colors that match the moonlight. One might think there is no logic in this, but it actually works. The rules are pretty simple. Pitch dark nights require lures with colors such as solid black or brown. A well-lit night with a bright moonlight or many stars calls for loud color combinations such as red, green, or orange. The thing is bass have a different kind of vision from ours. In this case, dark-colored lures create a silhouette on the water which the bass can easily see
Bass love loud noise
Bass are quite curious creatures and would quickly be drawn towards the loud noise coming from your lures. Therefore, always greet them with some lively and bold lures that are bound to catch their attention. For instance, a spinnerbait with a single large blade will work like a charm. The blade creates a vibration that attracts bass from miles away.
Another great alternative is a standard jig equipped with a chunk trailer. This lure mimics the natural movement of shad and instantly solicits an aggressive reaction from the bass. On other occasions, think of using the classic jitterbug or put some rattles on the spinnerbait, a crankbait, or plastic worm. All that noise will probably make your fishing dreams come true. Who knows, you might be lucky enough to finally catch that big smashing bass.
Lighting is important
Casting in darkness is no walk in the park. It’s pretty obvious that you will need some form of lighting before setting out on your fishing adventure. Sometimes the night is filled with darkness, and there is barely any moonlight. Without a reliable source of light, you will not only be putting your safety at risk but also you won’t stand a chance of successfully catching bass.
If you want to start your fishing night on a high note, the docks should be your first stop. For starters, there is plenty of lighting to keep you safe. Secondly, this is where some of the baitfish and other small fish like to hang out. Since they are prey, bass are likely to follow them or stay in the vicinity waiting for a good opportunity to ambush.
Don’t ignore the rocks
You will find that bass like to hang out somewhere in the rocky bars. The main reason for this is the smaller fish are also attached to the rocks. And what does bass feed on? Of course, they feed on the smaller fish! This means bass are likely to be somewhere nearby looking for feeding opportunities.
Safety when bass fishing at night
Every skillful angler will tell you that it’s tough to fish bass during the day, and it gets even tougher at night. Aside from the fact that it’s dark outside, casting at night is an intimidating process. Your balance may be distorted, and without proper care, there is a possibility of falling into the water.
Safety comes above everything else. If you are new in the area, do not go fishing at night alone. It surely won’t hurt to request the company of a friend, fishing buddy, or any other trusted person. In addition, fish in the locations that you are well familiar with. Things are not necessarily the same at night as they would be during the day.
Also, ensure your lights are working perfectly well. Nothing can ruin your nighttime fishing adventure faster than a flashlight that suddenly won’t turn on. Test the lights before you leave. This simple act will save you a lot of headaches and frustrations. Since you can never be too sure, go by, the two are better than one policy. Bring along two flashlights so that when one fails, the other one will be a backup.
Dress warmly. I don’t think you want to make a cast while shivering from the cold outside. When the sun goes down, the air temperatures might fall. In addition to the cold conditions, there is a possibility a wind might come gusting over the lake. On that note, the main point here is to dress appropriately.
If you must use a boat, a bass boat would be more suitable. It’s designed and well equipped for this kind of activity. It usually has a Livewell where you can keep the catch.
Bass Fishing: Fishing Techniques
There are different bass fishing techniques, and learning all of them is usually a good idea. For one thing, you will become a better fisherman. Moreover, increasing your skill level means you stand a chance of getting a good catch each time you go out fishing. If no one has told you yet, I will let you know the enjoyment of bass fishing is in the catch.
Someone who has never participated in bass fishing will think it’s all about a person sitting in a boat or a riverbank with a rod in hand lazily waiting for the fish to take the bite. That’s where you are all wrong. Serious fishers know too well the work that goes into catching bass. It involves tossing a variety of lures in different spots, different times of the day, and even at varying depths. To cut a long story short, having a diverse approach to bass fishing will increase your chances of catching.
These are the notable bass fishing techniques;
Dragging is the number one fishing technique when using soft plastic. It utilizes a rig that is made up of a line, sinker, a swivel, and a plastic lure. It’s a technique suitable for fishing all year round. Dragging mostly works well when applied in areas without thick vegetation or gnarled up wood cover. It’s also ideal for fishing in deep water.
Bass are not the easiest aquatic creatures to catch, especially in deep, clear waters. A technique such as drop-shot can be quite handy in such situations. It’s simple but very effective in handling small soft lures. The technique uses a light line and a tiny hook tied onto the line with a Palomar knot. It also consists of a rig with a sinker tied to the bottom end of the line just below the hook.
This is another fishing technique that has quickly gained popularity. It’s instrumental on those days bass fishing feels like an exercise in futility. This can be during harsh conditions like winter, cold fronts, or in the hot summer days. The rig consists of a plastic lure, mostly a worm mounted on a long hook. Normally, the hook point is buried inside the worm. A spinning reel best applies to this kind of technique.
As a fisherman, it’s important to know the right technique that will save the day no matter how tough the conditions seem. Split shotting is a technique mainly used to trick bass into biting under cold weather conditions. You will need a line, a splitshot placed strategically on a line (it should be at least 10lb) with a light wire hook and preferably plastic bait. A spinning reel is the most suitable tackle for this particular technique.
Dead sticking is a bass fishing technique that takes advantage of its behavior of hiding and ambushing wounded or unsuspecting baitfish. Baitfish such as shad move in a bait ball. Once in a while, a shad can lose sight of the ball and end up separated from all the others. Losing contact with the ball leaves the unfortunate shad defenseless and at the mercy of a patiently waiting bass. This technique consists of a straight tail worm on a jig head or sometimes weightless.
Fishing swimbaits is another very effective technique that never disappoints. Going for a lure style that has a close resemblance to the real thing increases the chances of success. Swimbaits come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some have a single hook placed at the top. Others come with both a top hook and bottom treble hook. Keep in mind; the paddle tails should be rigged properly so that they mimic the movement of real baitfish.
For many people, jig fishing is a finesse technique that requires skill and focus. It’s a technique meant to catch the big bass. Its popularity is in the fact that it’s a versatile lure suitable for fishing all through the year. Another thing you might want to keep in mind is that this is a type of cover specific lure. Basically, this indicates the lure is more effective when used to fish under cover, rocky structures, weeds, and tree stumps. All these are areas where the big bass are likely to hide or gather. On that note, anglers have to learn how to fish a jig the right way.
Float fishing works quite well for the wary bass. It applies to deep water fishing and when you need to make longer casts. It allows you to hover over different structures, adjust depth with ease, and use as many artificial or live baits as possible.
Many other bass fishing techniques may not be included here but still work to get you a catch.
What are the knots used for bass fishing?
First and foremost, there are so many knots out there that apply to bass fishing. The trick is in knowing the right fishing knot that will land fish. Anglers tend to pay more attention to the other elements of bass fishing, such as the rod and reel combination, as well as the lures. There is no doubt these are essential, especially if it’s about presentation. However, using a wrong knot could mean having trouble landing fish, which is beside the point.
A fishing knot connects a lure to a line, and if it doesn’t get the attention it deserves, you might have to prepare yourself for a day of missed opportunities. Different knots work under different conditions. Thus don’t stick to the same knot you learned decades ago from your grandfather. On that note, here are notable fishing knots to get you started on the best footing;
Search around, and you will not find an angler who doesn’t know how to tie the Palomar knot. It’s literally the foundation of all fishing knots. The Palomar knot is quite popular among anglers because of its strength. In addition, it’s so versatile that you can use it to tie just about any type of line you can think of. It’s ideal for tying on smaller crankbaits, jigs, frogs, texas rigs, and so on. It creates a line to lure connection.
Improved clinch knot
Here comes another great knot almost every angler loves. Wondering why? The main reason is its super easy to bite. It may not be as strong as the Palomar knot, but it works perfectly well with the bigger baits. Swimbaits, spinnerbaits, and large crankbaits are all suitable choices for the improved clinch knot.
The snell knot is the best knot for the purposes of spinning and pitching. Also, when you snell your hook, retrieving the line becomes easier. Since the line is secured onto the hook’s shaft and not necessarily the eye, setting a snelled hook makes the hook have a rotational motion. This, in turn, drives into the mouth of the fish. This knot becomes particularly important if you’re planning on flipping a considerable weight.
The loop knot works in such a way that bait can slide freely around it. This, therefore, maximizes the action of the lure. The prime candidates for this type of note include jerk baits, topwater poppers, and walk-the-dog-style kind of baits. The flexibility and free movement contribute largely to a more natural action of the lures.
Nowadays, so many anglers prefer the braided super line. For starters, it’s strong and offers the kind of sensitivity a fisherman needs. Secondly, it’s a durable type of fishing line. The only problem is that it’s really visible, which can significantly reduce the chances of getting a bite in clear water or when the fish are spooky. That’s why anglers opt to add a fluorocarbon leader to the braided lines as a way to make them less visible.
In this case, an Albright knot is used to create a leader to line connection. Although there are other leader knots, the Albright knot is way better in terms of strength and ability to pass through line guides easily.
Is it mandatory to always catch and release?
In every state, there are rules and regulations that everyone must abide by before fishing in a public water body. The rules are meant for wildlife management and conservation to ensure the fish thrive even in the future. However, the fishing industry is not small. As a matter of fact, its vast and more people are now joining the sport. With millions of people engaging in recreational angling, catch and release is the sensible thing to do.
For one thing, catch and release prevent a tremendous decrease in a particular fish species population. The released fish will breed and spawn much more fish that can be caught once again and released. Before recreational fishing was a thing, anglers fished as a means to provide food to their families. Nowadays, a good number of fishermen only consider it to be a sport.
While the catch and release method has many benefits, it has a catch to it, which is to ensure the released fish can live. This ultimately goes back to the importance of using proper fishing techniques. There are also guidelines for safely handling fish to avoid injuries on the fish and other kinds of complications.
It’s crystal clear that bass fishing is a sport that many people have grown to love. The best part of it is it’s suitable for almost all age groups and people with varying skill levels.
Once you have gained enough experience, catching bass will be a piece of cake. All in all, following the set regulations as well as getting a fishing license is key in all this.