Night Fishing For Bass
Most bass fisherman concentrate on fishing for bass during the day, but when the temperature starts to heat up during mid to late summer most bass stay in tight cover or suspend in deep water during the day, and are not very active.
Night fishing for bass can be very exciting and large bass come into the shallows at night to feed from their tight cover or suspended locations. But the most sought after question is where do you locate bass at night?
One of the best places to start is by finding structure during the day that is adjacent to large tributaries. Then identify the deeper spots and humps near the mouth of the tributary, because bass will cruise these areas at night to feed on bait fish.
There are many ways to set up for night fishing for bass but my favorite is using a underwater fishing light to attract plankton. Drop your anchor at a point where the current from the tributary will push your boat to point where you are on the edge of a drop off or on the slope side of a hump.
Bait fish normally are in these areas and the underwater fishing light will attract them to feed on the plankton. This technique has always worked for me when I go night fishing for bass in mid to late summer. Many times you will catch other game fish as well.
The reason you want to fish the mouth of tributaries is because the current will attract multiple types of bait fish. Large concentrations of bait fish like threadfin shad and gizzard will drive most bass and other game fish into a active feed. The best thing is if they start their feed near where you're underwater fishing light is located get ready for a fun time in the twilight night fishing for bass!
There seems to be better times to fish for bass at night when they get into extremely active feeds then others. The time period when the sun starts to go down, commonly called dusk is typically a great time to start night bass fishing.
The dusk period can be a very active and exciting time if you are in the right place and all set up for night fishing for bass. Dusk will be the time that the large bass that have been tight in cover or suspended in deep water will make their move into the shallows to feed.
Right after dusk though the bass will stop feeding and there is a scientific reason for this we will explain later in our article. The next active time period typically will be about one and half hours too two hours after dark sets in. this period may last a long time or just an hour or so.
This will be the time when the bass will move into the flat areas near humps and deep holes in the tributaries. These areas normally will not hold bass during the day.
I touched briefly in my article above that there is a definite reason that bass are not actively feeding the first couple of hours after night fall. You see the bass has great night vision but it takes the bass species a good hour for their retinas to adjust to the darkness. Typically they will stay close to the areas they were located at dusk until their retinas have adjusted completely.
I have found a couple hours after dark to be one of the best times to catch bass at night. Normally I have been anchored and set up since dusk my underwater fishing light has been attracting zoo plankton for some time and the bait fish have started to congregate in the area around the light.
This will be the time when the basses retina's have adjusted and when the bass will go into an active feed. When they find your location already loaded up with bait fish the better for you! The bass will normally stay just outside the underwater fishing lights light source, and attack unsuspecting bait fish as they come near.
The bass have a distinct advantage over the bait fish because they can distinguish colors at night whereas most bait fish cannot. Once you catch a lunker night fishing for bass you will be hooked for life!
The next good time my be into the middle of the night. So if the bite stops for awhile don't leave your spot yet. Because if you wait you may catch some more bass at night in the mid twilight hours.
The final chance to catch some bass will be during the time between the first signs of dawn and first light. This period of activity may last an hour or so, or maybe just a few minutes.
One key point I want to address and I touched on it briefly before is bait fish. It is very import that you understand the movements and location of bait fish that bass will feed on at night, because if you find the bait fish when you set up for night fishing for bass, you will increase your chances of catching bass at night drastically.
Key Points To Remember when night fishing for bass:
1. Identify locations of bait fish, typically near tributaries that have current flows.
2. Find structure points that are close to the mouth of large tributaries
3. Locate break points between shallow and deeper water at the mouth of large tributaries. Drop your underwater fishing light on the slop side where bait fish will move from shallow to deep water.
4. Locate humps and flats that at the mouth of large tributaries. Drop your underwater fishing light on the slop side where bait fish will move from shallow to deep water.
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