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Favorite Night Fishing Lures And Techniques

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I have always favored night fishing for Freshwater Bass or Stripers/Snook/Sharks in Saltwater over day fishing although I love both of course. 

 

I have recently gone fishing with some new guys in the local area who are very skilled Bass anglers and I was a bit shocked when they seemed to approach fishing at night very similar than we all would fish a lake during the day. I have always used Dark or Flash colors for topwater lures, and black spinnerbaits with copper hammered blades, black and blue swim jigs and worms, and bigger profile swimbaits slow rolled under the surface....

 

I always have success fishing with the Original Balsa Rapala Minnows fished with a very slow but with a steady retreive, Bomber Long A floaters, Rapala Xrap 9 Subsurface Walking lures, Torpedos, Chug Bugs, and spooks...My new favorites after these last 2 trips are now the suspending paul brown Mirrodines, Any soft body Topwater or slow sinking, suspending walking lure, Rapala Clackin Cranks, Spook one Knocker, and a Floating Rattle trap fished slowly.....

 

Here is where I was surprised.....I think we caught more fish early in the night fishing topwaters and subsurface lures, but as it became later, soft swimbaits like the 5" Ez Swimmer or Money minnow in open water worked great, and so did ribbon tail worms in any color, and white swim jigs....The biggest fish and the majority came on 2 lures which is why I am making this post......I never fished any of the soft bodied lures like the Tsunami Cork Walking lures-slow sink, paul brown suspending mirrolure twitch bait, and the old school Kalins Dorky Mullet popper and suspender.....The Storm Croaker suspending lure which looks crazy was also productive as I grabbed a few before heading out last night. I can truly say the soft bodied lures out produced my go to Zara Spooks and even the Sebile Splashers along with all the lures I mentioned....

 

I am going out with a buddy of mine on a private lake next week and we are going out at night, and I want to try some new tactics and lures...Anyone fish Rattle Traps deep? Spoons? Plastics like a drop shot?

 

any techniques or lures you find work great at night would be appreciated, especially any out of the norm....I know Big Bass like to Roam at night, and bigger baits are often better, but Maybe I should be buzzing some smaller baits and lures etc...I just read a few articles that mentioned Wacky RIgged senkos on a jighead....Never would try that and instead would reach for a large Black ribbon tail....

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I fish a clear water weedy Iowa lake at night during summer.  I'm not convinced that black is really a better color at night but I do throw black baits at night per convention.

 

I like to fish the few feet of water above weed beds around docks.  I prefer a full moon and that some of these docks have lighting.  I throw black spinnerbaits and all colors of chatterbaits mostly.  Some of odd ball baits I throw are black Berkley Heavy Weight worms wacky rigged and various plastics on a split shot rig.  One of my favorites on the back of the slit shot rig is a pre rigged worm.  It spirals in the water and closes and opens itself up when pulled and paused.  "what is old is new" never rang more true.

 

One of the problems I have is keeping hammer handle sized pike off the spinnerbait.  They don't seem to be interested in the chatterbait and plastics.

 

Big fish seem to be most active during low light periods.  If I'm frogging all day at a couple good slop spots, catching numbers of small fish, I can almost always return to these spots and catch some giants at night on the same baits. 

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My absolute favorite night bait is a Jitterbug, however I use spinnerbaits and lipless cranks with great success, but ......nothing compares to ....gurgle, gurgle , wham!

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With the clear water lakes here i do enjoy nite fishing May thru Oct.  Never really had much luck with black spinners at nite...mainly top water with

1.Boo-yah black buzzbait with clacker

2.Strike King KVD buzzbait with chrome blade on near or full moons

3.Spook jr.-have alot of strikes on this at nite but miss quite a few.

4.Spro popper frog in black

5.Black Jitterbug

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I do a lot of night fishing but its honestly more for relaxation than fishing. Honestly at night I'm happy to eat some food after a long day of fishing with nothing more than jerkey to eat, a 6 pack, and just watching the water and stars. Not as for when I had a rough day fishing and need to catch something it depends on where I'm fishing. Bridge fishing is extremely good at night. You have those orange street lights lighting up the water you watch those big bass and wall eye chill. Swimbaits are great, spinners etc in those cases I don't mind using much brighter lures. If you've fish a bridge with lights you'll see them swarm to them. Also if they are close enough to the top silver top waters aren't bad. If I'm fishing banks of course smaller top water soft frogs are great. In the boat fishing where you know fish are depends on depth and where the fish are. Night fishing honestly is a curve ball for bass. But honestly some places I fish like ponds and smaller lakers that are still water a nightcrawler on a glow in the dark bobber I've caught dozens of bass/panfish/trout in those arents after dark. Big juicy active night crawlers are great in slow moving areas when you want to relax.

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Dark colored brush jig, dark colored 10" worm, or a home made bladed jig. The bladed jigs are quickly becoming my favorite night fishing bait because they call them in from afar and present a good profile that makes it easy for the fish to find them.

DSCF0435_zps47b6993d.jpg

I avoid treble hooked baits at almost all cost while night fishing, especially with topwaters. It's bad enough to have to unhook a treble caught bass at night, it's a whole lot worse to miss a topwater strike and know there's a bait you can't see that has trebles flying at you at mach speed. 

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Black jitterbug, black brush hogs, salamanders and senkos. The BIG bass come out at night!

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Dark colored brush jig, dark colored 10" worm, or a home made bladed jig. The bladed jigs are quickly becoming my favorite night fishing bait because they call them in from afar and present a good profile that makes it easy for the fish to find them.

DSCF0435_zps47b6993d.jpg

I avoid treble hooked baits at almost all cost while night fishing, especially with topwaters. It's bad enough to have to unhook a treble caught bass at night, it's a whole lot worse to miss a topwater strike and know there's a bait you can't see that has trebles flying at you at mach speed. 

 

I am starting to use chatterbaits again as they have been collecting dust the last few years in favor of Jigs, Weedless spoons, and plastics. However, I am looking forward to bringing a rod rigged up with a bladed jig like you have in the picture. I used to love the chatterbaits a few years back and I used to buy the blades and use them in front of senkos, and other soft plastics after having alot of success with the chatter sticks that Zman Makes. 

 

I would think they would work great fished like a spinnerbait under the surface, or with a rip and fall pattern....How do you fish them at night? Your bladed jig is an idea I want to try as they will go through the weeds in this lake since they are not all that thick yet. Do you fish them on your Flipping Rod like you would a brush hog, or do you fish a bladed jig more in the spinnerbait/jerkbait territory? 

 

I also do not like trebles at night for the reason you mention, and also because many of the lakes will have grass up to the surface, so I modify lures to have only one treble or a single weedless hook. I also push in the barbs on alot of my lures when fishing for fun, and it makes for a much easier time releasing fish and as long as I can keep pressure on them once I get a hook set, I rarely lose fish due to having my lures barbless (At least I don't think that is the reason). I find that if I use erratic retrieves half of the fish miss my lure completely, but at least it gives me an idea where to follow up with a secondary option. 

 

I like the Black blue with silver blade, and I may just color that blade with a black sharpie to see which works best since this is going to be clear water with a tanic tint. I am going to approach this trip as if I was going in daylight....Brush hogs, flipping jigs, and of course topwaters just because I love strikes on a top water, especially a good fish over 4lbs.

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Black jitterbug, black brush hogs, salamanders and senkos. The BIG bass come out at night!

I carry just about every type of lure or plastic bait you can think of on every trip even if I am just using google earth to find some new ponds or park lakes to fish. I have only thrown a lizard one time in my life about 15 years ago, and even when guys are getting fish carolina rigging and throwing zoom lizards, I always just go with a brush hog, zipper worm, or any creature bait instead. My buddy just gave me some Spotted lizards that Mr. Twister makes and he is always catching big bass on them in the spring, so I should maybe start giving them a shot as well....

 

So many lures and baits on the market that work, and I love trying something new on every trip. A few months ago all I was fishing was Suspending Jerkbaits and working on my finesse game with a drop shot & Shaky rig, Then it was Swimbait and Jig time for a few months, and now I am all over topwaters and wake baits...TIme for the lizard and also the chatterbait to change things up. I am thinking big Lizards at night, El Grande sized 12" for the Big girls as I can't break the 10lb mark and with a dozen fish over 9lbs (I just use the Rapala Scale formula so maybe a few of these fish have been 10lbs, but I want a 13lber for bragging rights. I have hooked into a few, but the hard part is getting them to the boat or shore, as I get so nervous and anxious to horse them in since the last few giants took me into cover and never came out......

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Big time night fishing fan right here.   Each year is different but generally, May thru October the nocturnal action is vastly superior to the majority of the day time bites.  With the home water environment consisting mostly of deep clear natural lakes, the cover of darkness definitely levels the playing field.

  Top water is often a good bet and a whole lot of fun.  The darkest of nights seem to produce the bigger fish for me.  Whether it's in and around the new moon or even better a fully clouded over full moon the blacker the night the better.   Many nights the fish will be in some very skinny water; not the case here during the daylight - too may eagles. 

  I am not a numbers bass angler and would rather fish all night or many night is a row for a handful of bites - but I'm looking for the bigger fish.  Experience has shown night in and night out, that 4 basic baits seem to attract the fish I'm looking for.  A Single bladed slow rolled spinner bait with a swim bait trailer, A big top water fished either very shallow or out off the first deep break line, A jig & big Craw trailer, and a bigger swim bait, like a Huddleston 68.  When it's all said & done, each of the past few years, my number 1 producer of both size and numbers of quality fish (especially smallmouth which is what most of the lakes here are loaded with) has been the bait pictured below.  

post-13860-0-40505800-1422986200_thumb.jpg

 

  On nights where there is no or very little ambient light I don't feel color is a factor and will use a very dark color usually black.  Other nights with some moon light or in areas where there is cabin or dock lights, I'll fish the shadow line with the same colors I'd use during the day, usually green's and browns and sometimes a red or orange.   And speaking of shadow line, these can be a game changer at night depending on where they fall on the water.  On nights with 50% or more of moon light (which is usually too bright for a good bite here) the shadow line can actually be "the Pattern".  Some lakes here have very little in the way of man made shoreline cover so shadows made by the tree line, completely and partially submerged wood and even the taller growing submerged weed growth makes an excellent ambush point for the bass and will often hold a few of the better bass.  The challenging area of this type of fishing is one, finding these spots under the cover of darkness and two, making an accurate semi-blind presentation. 

  Also, I think that there is a somewhat false sense of security while night time angling when it comes to how close one can be to where the fish might be holding.  It took me a while to realize this.  I have had considerably more success at night by exercising the same, or more caution, where it comes to being stealthy.   After making the quietest approach possible and then keeping off my target as far as I can while still being able to make a quiet and accurate presentation usually pays off.  On some of those special dead still nights, this is the difference.

 

That's my story and I'm sticking to it

 

A-Jay

 

 

 

 

 

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i fish at night a ton! I like to fish a Jika rig,C-rig, jigs, the big black Jitterbug,frogs and some T-rigs. I like to fish the Baby Paca Craw,the Netbait 11 in. & the 15 in.C-Mac worms,Brush hog,Baby Brush Hog,Lizards,Beavers,Senko's and DD 22s'.. i fish alot of deep water in the summer and deep weedlines,deep water docks,humps,rock piles ect. And color does matter!!!!!

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Strike kings midnight special is pretty much a go to, other than that anything black and top water. Frog, jitterbug, buzz bait, spook, etc.

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Catt is the night fishing expert on this site.

I really love to fish at because we don't have bugs in SoCal, however our lakes are closed to night fishing except for few nights each month between May to September for tournaments. So if I night fish it's some type of fund raiser derby or sanctioned tournament.

The events are only 6 hours that start at 8 P to 2 P or sometimes 6P to 12P. These events you use everything plus the night stuff after dark.

Winning weights average over 25 lbs, big bass are active during the late afternoon through sundown, then tend to scatter. My preference for dark nights are dark colored lures; black/red crankbaits, black/blue T-rig big worms and jigs, double buzzers, single spin spinnerbait, rat wake baits and musky Jitter Bug.

Tom

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I fish the same structure with same lures at night as I would during the day. The only thing I add to my tackle is a Brinkman Maxamillon III Q-beam!

Bass Do Not Morph Into A New Creature After Dark

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I fish the same structure with same lures at night as I would during the day. The only thing I add to my tackle is a Brinkman Maxamillon III Q-beam!

Bass Do Not Morph Into A New Creature After Dark

 

Agreed.

 

And as opportunistic feeders who routinely capitalized on their ever changing environment, darkness offers different options. 

 

A-Jay

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I like fishing a jitterbug, sometimes frogs depending on where, a fluke works at night believe it or not, also buzzbaits, POP-R's and Rat-L-Traps.

 

Any big black soft plastics will get it done at night too.

 

One lethal night lure is the Strike Zone night bite spinnerbait.

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One thing I have noticed is the night-bite is far far better during a heatwave than during a period of average weather temps. I night-fished a lot last year and I caught a lot of nice fish. But when i night-fished during a 90°+ heatwave, I couldn't believe the average size of bass that i pulled out. I have read that bigger bass feed more at night, but I didn't expect to be catching bass all night with a 4lb average, several a lot bigger and none smaller than 3.

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Bass can see color but not at night, color itself is meaningless at night. Contrast is more important by far than color at night.

The routes (breaklines) available from the deep water to the shallows are important in determining what bank the bass will be using. Give special attention to beaches, docks, buoys, rafts, rip-rap, or night lighted areas.

In 42 yrs of record keeping I find no statistical advantage between the full moon vs the new moon.

Shallow vs deep: again no statistical advantage other than shallow water does offer a greater opportunity to use different baits.

Darkness covers up an anglers presence and most of all his mistakes!

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My hook sets are actually better at night with a top water. I think its because I can't see the fish bite, but I can feel it when it's pulling.

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Fishing cranks slowly across top of weeds. War Eagle night time spinnerbait with added tinsel for some flash.

Jitterbug and hula popper at times, should use them more times.

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Black jitterbug, black brush hogs, salamanders and senkos. The BIG bass come out at night!

 

 

At least I know if you come up this way to fish I don't have to worry about you complaining we have been fishing "too long" or it's getting "too dark" if I plan to fish for the day and they keep biting (heck even if they dont and I want to keep fishing for that lunker) I hate when people complain once the sun starts to go down. My best fishing is between 5p-1a. I do well in the morning too but I'd say 75% of my fish are between that block. (7-12 being the most active)

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I am starting to use chatterbaits again as they have been collecting dust the last few years in favor of Jigs, Weedless spoons, and plastics. However, I am looking forward to bringing a rod rigged up with a bladed jig like you have in the picture. I used to love the chatterbaits a few years back and I used to buy the blades and use them in front of senkos, and other soft plastics after having alot of success with the chatter sticks that Zman Makes. 

 

I would think they would work great fished like a spinnerbait under the surface, or with a rip and fall pattern....How do you fish them at night? Your bladed jig is an idea I want to try as they will go through the weeds in this lake since they are not all that thick yet. Do you fish them on your Flipping Rod like you would a brush hog, or do you fish a bladed jig more in the spinnerbait/jerkbait territory? I fish them with a steady retrieve at night, but at times I'll let them fall completely to the bottom before I start my retrieve and try to keep them close to the bottom during the retrieve. My regular bladed jigs I fish on a 6' 6" MH/F rod with 15lb copolymer. With the weedless ones I step up to a 7' MH/F with 15-17 pound fluoro and I'll occasionally do a slow, stroke retrieve with them.

 

I also do not like trebles at night for the reason you mention, and also because many of the lakes will have grass up to the surface, so I modify lures to have only one treble or a single weedless hook. I also push in the barbs on alot of my lures when fishing for fun, and it makes for a much easier time releasing fish and as long as I can keep pressure on them once I get a hook set, I rarely lose fish due to having my lures barbless (At least I don't think that is the reason). I find that if I use erratic retrieves half of the fish miss my lure completely, but at least it gives me an idea where to follow up with a secondary option. 

 

I like the Black blue with silver blade, and I may just color that blade with a black sharpie to see which works best since this is going to be clear water with a tanic tint. I am going to approach this trip as if I was going in daylight....Brush hogs, flipping jigs, and of course topwaters just because I love strikes on a top water, especially a good fish over 4lbs.

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At least I know if you come up this way to fish I don't have to worry about you complaining we have been fishing "too long" or it's getting "too dark" if I plan to fish for the day and they keep biting (heck even if they dont and I want to keep fishing for that lunker) I hate when people complain once the sun starts to go down. My best fishing is between 5p-1a. I do well in the morning too but I'd say 75% of my fish are between that block. (7-12 being the most active)

I don't believe there is such a thing as fishing for "too long" lol. I'll stay out there all day/night. I'm always up for a little night fishing, especially if the fish were biting during the day. Don't have to share the water or worry about the fish getting spooked. And it's extremely productive. Had my best day last year at night.

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