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How do you approach Night Fishing? Favorite technique?

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I have started night fishing a few hours as often as possible, and so far been having pretty good results, but of course never completely satisfied until I crack the code of how to get bit on every cast. (I know)

 

Here are a few questions I have....When you throw a bladed jig at night, do you wake it near surface or focus on slow rolling it on bottom? Also, what style spinnerbaits work best for you since I never throw them at night but keep hearing that is a good way to catch them.

 

I have kind of figured out over the years that black certainly works as a color for topwater and big swimming worms, creatures etc....But some nights, I do just as well if not better with White, Firetiger, and basically 2 toned colors. This time of year it seems orange bottom topwater and wake baits, Jerkbaits seem to produce the best. 

 

I carry 3 rods and will always throw the Jointed J11 Rapala and either wake it slowly, or fish it really aggressive if they are shallow. I also rig up a Torpedo prop bait which is my second go to lure and technique, and lastly, I like a 4-5" swimbait with light weight buzzed on surface or experiment with different depths.

 

I have a ton of weeds in areas I fish, and do not like to use light if possible, and a jig can be frustrating with snags so I was thinking about adding a punch skirt in front of my paddle tail swimbait like the EZ swimmer or Keitech. Anyone else use a punch skirt on a swimbait? I also use speed worms and Swim Senko's, and was thinking about pitching them instead of just swimming?

 

Lastly, If you catch them during the day pitching a Small Creature like the menace, would that work just as well as night. For some reason I never pitch at night? In theory, shouldn't the fish be feeding on the same stuff, so really no need so switch how you fish during the day except the Bass are usually more aggressive....

 

Any suggestions would help.  Anyone still use the Jitterbug? I keep bringing it but can't bring myself to tie it on. Does anyone focus on bottom contact at night, I never do, maybe that is a mistake? I typically would fish with a culprit or senko with a light weight during the day and just pitch it, swim it, drag it etc...Maybe just do the same? I guess that is where I am kind of confused, I just feel that fish are feeding up at night. Maybe I am wrong.

 

Thanks in advance. 

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The jitterbug has been my go-to nighttime lure for decades now.  It never fails to produce.  It's cousin the Hula Popper works great as well.  Zara Spooks are another good one.  Anything topwater that makes a ruckus should do well.

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During the warmer months I love throwing a big wakebait at night. A slammer or rat are personal favorites 

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I can only comment on one question . I use a strike King Midnight Special spinnerbait.

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You can use many of the same baits you use during the daytime. Spinnerbait has always been good, plastic worms nd jigs too. I've used a 5/8 oz Jitterbug for years too. All can work.well at certain times.

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I covered my version of this here ~ 

A-Jay

 

 

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In case you didnt know it the Strike King Midnight Special rattles .

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I usually start night fishing during the April full moon and continue through the October full moon.

 

Despite popular beliefs bass do not morph into a new creature when the sun sets.

 

Fish the same baits, same locations, and same techniques you would during the day.

 

The only thing different I add to my repertoire at night is a Q-Beam!

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5 hours ago, A-Jay said:

I covered my version of this here ~ 

A-Jay

 

 

When I first moved here I quickly found that night fishing was the only option to beat the summer heat here in the southwest. This is a good read @A-Jay.

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Jitterbugs never fail to produce for me at night. 

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5 hours ago, Catt said:

Despite popular beliefs bass do not morph into a new creature when the sun sets.

 

Fish the same baits, same locations, and same techniques you would during the day.

 

Same here beside the SK spinnerbait mentioned earlier in the thread.

 

Allen

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I keep it simple at night. I like to fish a bladed jig, usually solid blue, black and blue, or green pumpkin, a jig in the same colors, a single Colorado bladed spinnerbait in black, black and blue, or black and red, or a big worm in a dark color. 

 

The exception is when the moon is bright, then I fish the same colors I do during daytime hours. I've had much better luck with white bladed jigs or spinnerbaits on full moon nights than I have with the normal dark colors. 

 

I don't like trebles at night so I don't fish them often unless it's a big wake bait or crawler that I can just crank into the fish when they bite. I've had to dodge too many baits I couldn't see, plus unhooking fish on trebles is tricky enough in the daylight. 

 

You can still pitch into cover at night, but generally bass roam more at night, so it's usually not as effective because they get out of that thick stuff and roam the edges more. You might try switching to a lighter weight and pitching the same bait to the edges of the cover though. 

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I know people say(Tactical Bassin') that a bass is a bass wherever they are, but...It's become clear to me that many lakes, with identical or similar forage, have their own culture that influences what they'll bite in artificial lures. There are local lakes where topwater is a dud when it should be hot and the hardcores that fish them know this. There are lakes where plastic worms rule, jerk and crank baits etc. The numbers don't lie as far as I can see.

 

I fish a particular private lake that has remarkably low pressure. DEC reports claim that it's so clean it's safe to drink. Plenty of grass and hardly any algea. Great bottom contours, coves, pad fields, etc. Alewife, perch , bluegill, american eel, eastern mudminnow, bullhead cats, and a few others make up the baitfish population. You'd think that a number of artificials worked carefully would produce, but they don't. Nothing touches a wacky worm here. I've had numerous skunks or near skunks refusing to give into this fact while my son in law will catch 15 or more bass in a trip throwing nothing but wacky rigged senkos. Once I finally give in and tie one on, it's money. My daughter, who only goes to humour her husband, lazily chucks them out and has had 6 bass days without even trying.

 

In my local spot a wacky rigged worm is just about worthless. Throw a 10' power worm or a sickle tail worm and it's on, but only at night. The daytime bite is brutal, and myself and others have put in the time. Topwater presentaions have some success, but nothing like a large worm. This lake is close to the ocean and it has american eel, so maybe that's why? There's also a huge bluegill population, but typical bluegill imitators yield marginal rewards regarding numbers, so go figure.

 

I suppose my point is that you'll need to discover what works best for the particular body of water you're fishing. It's tempting to stick with what's working when you're fishing an aggressive bite window, but switching things up to find out what else works can be informative too: follow up baits that they'll accept, etc. This past summer I had three super successful week-long runs. I fan casted a frog over weedlines with bluegill beds. No bites. I followed with an un-weighted power worm and hit the same spots. Crazy bites. Great fish. This tactic, using the frog as the dinner bell, worked great after dark the third week of June, second week of July, and the first week of August. My buddy threw primarily, but not exclusively, topwater and swimbaits and only caught a few good fish. During that same time period two other guys we hang with were fishing the other side of the lake and killed it with big worms.

 

I've caught fish here with every bait type I have except for a Fat Swing Impact, and I have tried! But nothing touches the big worm here after dark for quantity and quality. So you'll have to find out what they want wherever you fish. It's not absolutely universal.

 

 

 

 

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Most successful night baits for me were a black spinnerbait with short arm Colorado blade and senkos.  Caught a ton of senkos.  Junebug and watermelon with black flake always produced.

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19 hours ago, primetime said:

 

I have kind of figured out over the years that black certainly works as a color for topwater and big swimming worms, creatures etc....But some nights, I do just as well if not better with White, Firetiger, and basically 2 toned colors

 

The eyes of a bass go through a night adaptation cycle beginning at twilight and are usually adapted for black, white, and all shades of gray within an hour after darkness. 

 

If you fish water where shad or minnows are the predominate prey species, then try white spinners with a white grub.

 

5 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

You can still pitch into cover at night, but generally bass roam more at night, so it's usually not as effective because they get out of that thick stuff and roam the edges more. You might try switching to a lighter weight and pitching the same bait to the edges of the cover though

 

How is this any different than cloudy overcast days?

 

Turn your electronics on, follow the edges, pitching 180° in front of the boat. When ya get bit mark it and fish the area thoroughly.

 

It's not complicated guys!  😉

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18 minutes ago, Catt said:

How is this any different than cloudy overcast days?

It's not very different really, other than I'd say they tend to venture a little further from cover in the dark than they do during overcast conditions because of the even further decreased visibility. 

 

I'm speaking mainly of hard edges in grass because our lakes lack the expansive grass flats that some have. Most of what I deal with are emergent weeds that grow withing 10' of the shoreline  and have a hard edge. Fish will bury up in them during the daylight hours and then cruise the edges when it's dark or cloudy. 

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@Bluebasser86 Exactly my point 😉

 

To many anglers complicate night fishing by thinking it totally different than daylight. 

 

That bass is still on the same structure, around the same cover, eating the same prey!

 

The only thing that changed is the sun set!

 

Yeah but Catt at night bass move up on flats to feed!

 

And the don't during the day?

 

Bass do not have day time homes & night time homes.

 

Bass do not have day time feeding areas & night time feeding areas.

 

Bass do have seasonal homes & seasonal feeding areas.

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49 minutes ago, Catt said:

generally bass roam more at night

 

28 minutes ago, Bluebasser86 said:

Fish will bury up in them during the daylight hours and then cruise the edges when it's dark

If I had a dollar for every bass I've seen cruising alongside my kayak at night, I could afford to build that log home on the shore of Lake Fork.

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1 hour ago, Harold Scoggins said:

 

If I had a dollar for every bass I've seen cruising alongside my kayak at night, I could afford to build that log home on the shore of Lake Fork.

You must fish some extremely clear water .  

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3 minutes ago, scaleface said:

You must fish some extremely clear water .  

Broken Bow Lake in Oklahoma, "gin like."

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1 hour ago, scaleface said:

You must fish some extremely clear water .  

I've sight fished a few fish at night on bright nights cruising right next to my boat. On the private lake where the water is really clear I can see them in moonlight or in the dockside lights because the water is very clear. 

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23 hours ago, primetime said:

Does anyone focus on bottom contact at night, I never do, maybe that is a mistake? I typically would fish with a culprit or senko with a light weight during the day and just pitch it, swim it, drag it etc...Maybe just do the same? I guess that is where I am kind of confused, I just feel that fish are feeding up at night. Maybe I am wrong.

 

I tend to fish bottom contact techniques at night more than topwater or mid-depth only because that's who I am.

 

My strengths are Texas Rigs & Jig-n-Craws, night or day I'm fishing to my strengths!

 

I am one that does not believe bass feed more at night than they do during daylight. Bass feed when they get hungry, when that is, is determined by the bass. It usually has something to do with how long it takes for them to digest their last meal.

 

Lucky for us bass are gluttonous 😉

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When I first started fishing at night, I realized how much of a sight fisherman I was....The more I did it, the better my daytime skills improved.

 

While I tend to throw similar bait, I reserve treble hooks for the surface.

I only keep 2 or three setups on the deck.  Tend to stay in spotsmlomger and don't make long runs.  A couple years ago I can close to running over a midnight swimmer and I was just above headway speed.

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Thanks for the responses. I typically prefer night fishing since less traffic and the Bass often seem more aggressive since they will be moving more on some nights...

 

I need to get some single Colorodo blade spinnerbaits. For some reason I can never find them in stores. Everything is tandem, I used to use a single hammered colorodo blade as my main spinnerbait when younger, but everything now seems to have colored blades and nothing hammered or in a big colorodo.

 

I am sure Tackle warehouse has some. 

 

I am going to start trying to fish the same way I always do and see how I make out. I think Maybe I just like Topwater fishing and have a hard time breaking the habit. 

 

The only thing I notice that is different about night fishing, is the first 2 hours it gets dark are usually pretty slow. I think it takes an hour or two for the eyes to adjust. I also notice if I am fishing from shoreline, I spook less fish, and often times can catch them right on the bank 10 feet away when that never happens during daylight. 

 

Going to try my normal worm fishing and focus on bottom baits etc. Maybe it will result in better quality fish, or a few extra strikes in areas I have worked over. I notice at night certain spots will replenish for hours, so you don't need to do as much traveling......

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I would prefer to catch them on a topwater or spinnerbait, but most often, a slowly presented T-rigged plastic or jig works.

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