If you want to catch big largemouth bass during the summer, there is no better strategy than fishing at night. Night fishing for largemouths has become commonplace in some areas of the country, while it is just catching on in other regions. Those anglers who fish in the dark have discovered that night time fishing can produce some of the largest bass of the season.
During the summer, largemouth bass are emboldened to move out of their normal cover at night and chase prey in areas they would not venture into during the day. This is especially true when water temperatures heat up, above 70 degrees, and much of a largemouth’s feeding activity occurs at night. This night time activity opens the door for anglers, to some exceptional angling opportunities.
Two of the most important factors to consider when night fishing are light and sound. You can use both to your advantage to improve your catch.
It may sound strange that light is important at night, but the amount of light available can significantly affect how the fish react to baits. Of course, the main source of light at night is the moon. A full or half moon, provides much more light than a new moon. Largemouths use moonlight to help them see their prey at night. So, baits that reflect light, like a shiny spinner or white lure, may produce more hits. However, dark colors are also effective at night, because they are easier colors for the fish to see. Bass may be attracted to areas with additional light, like a dock light or street light, which allow them to better see their prey, especially on cloudy nights or nights with no moon.
Sound is also important. When it is dark, if a largemouth cannot see its prey very well, it is going to depend heavily on sound, along with vibrations in the water, through its lateral lines. Lures that make noise or vibrate can be deadly for night fishing. Also related to sound is keeping noise to a minimum. Boat motor noise, clunking or banging sounds from the boat and even loud voices can spook fish.
Another key factor to consider when night fishing, is water clarity. Typically, night fishing is best in clear water. When water is murky or stained, it is usually a bad time to night fish.
Finding largemouth bass at night is not especially difficult. Focus on the same areas you would fish during the day. Any kind of structure near a drop off will typically hold fish. However, largemouth bass are less likely to hold tightly to cover at night, so increase the perimeter you fish around structure to find fish roaming for food.
To improve your odds of catching big largemouths at night, try larger baits. Big fish want a big meal, so a larger lure is the ticket. Larger baits will also decrease your odds of catching smaller fish, which could create an unwanted commotion in the water and spook larger fish in the area.
Night time is the best time for largemouth bass, during the summer months. Just remember the key factors in night fishing and you will land more largemouth bass this summer.