Night Fishing – A Whole New World

Bowfishing Basics
July 19, 2017
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July 26, 2017

It is officially the dog days of summer here in Texas.  It is mid to late July and the mercury is rising to the 100 degree mark.  Now that the fish are sweating and drinking margaritas during the day, we may need to switch our tactics to night fishing.  Fishing for bass at night is indeed a whole new world.  I will go over some tips to help your night fishing trip be a successful and safe one.

  1. Fish Small Areas- Try and have an idea of the areas you will be fishing.  Don’t go out and try to run all over the lake during the night.  You should have a few key areas that are fairly close together to rotate between and fish them.  Bring a spotlight with you and use it when you are running your big engine.
  2. What to fish- Some people like to fish boat docks that have lights on them, others like to fish shallow grass and pads, while others like to fish points and channel swings.  I personally like to fish from 0-13 foot at night.  I will try and incorporate all 3 of the fishing areas I mentioned above in my night fishing.  Be listening for bass blowing up on frogs or baitfish as well.
  3. Lights- Make sure your boat has the proper running lights and make sure you have a headlight handy.  There is nothing worse than trying to tie a knot while trying to hold a flashlight.  Bring several lights because we all know the Murphy is alive and well. 
  4. Bugspray- Keep a thermocell or other bug repellant in your boat.  At night these blood thirsty monsters can be relentless, so douse up good or you will be sorry.
  5. Lures- Everyone will tell you to throw black lures.  I for the most part will agree with them.  My favorite baits are a 10” Berkley Power Worm (Black/Blue)on a 3/8 ounce Texas rig, 6th Sense Divine Jig 3/8 ounce in black magic, Santone Midnight series Spinnerbait or a Santone Lake Fork Braid Buzzbait.  I will usually opt for black, black/blue or black/red 90% of the time. 
  6. Presentation- Unless I am fishing grass with a spinnerbait or buzzbait, I will typically slow down.  I like to get into key areas and tie up and fan cast around for a while.  It will amaze you when you find out what you have been missing because you are trolling 100mph.  I will throw my Texas rig or jig and work it fairly slow but with a purpose.  Meaning when I contact wood or grass, I will pause it or give it a slight shake. 
  7. Line- Ok, I throw all of the baits listed above on 20lb Floro, with the exception of the buzzbait.  I throw it on 40lb braid.  Some people throw braid on everything at night.  I just don’t have the confidence in straight braid for my subsurface presentations. 
  8. Clothes- Make sure you bring a hoody or light jacket.  Believe it or not, if the wind starts blowing, it can get kinda cool and quick.
  9. Moon Phases- The amount of moonlight will certainly help you see your targets at night.  But, it may or may not help your fishing.  I personally like the 3 days around a full moon and a new moon.  HOWEVER, don’t let this deter you from going.  Bass in the Texas top 50 have been caught in every month of the year and from every moon phase.  You certainly can’t catch them if you don’t go. 

Well, I hope these few tips will help you prepare for your next night fishing excursion this summer.  Be safe on the water at night and be ready for some awesome fishing. 

Story by Shane Smith

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