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Catt

Night Fishing

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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. Bass can see color but not at night, color it's self is meaningless at night. Bass cannot see details at night, so don't waste time with meticulously painted or patterned lures. Contrast is more important by far than color at night. If you fish water where shad or minnows are the predominate prey species, then try white spinners with a white grub. The usual night time favorite black is the second choice in shad populated lakes. Black or dark hued lures give maximum contrast at night when run on or near the surface. Under water vision for the bass is reduced at night, so use lures that are a little larger. Slow retrieves work better because it lets the bass locate the lure easier and zero in on it.

The moonlight provides the ideal light intensity for shallow water hunting and most importantly, it illuminates the natural paths large bass need to arrive in the shallows from the deep water. Bass will travel ahead only as far as they can see at night and will not cross voids, wide open spaces, or wander aimlessly along banks with no guiding structure. Any crossing of open spaces will be done at or near the surface. The routes available from the deep water to the shallows are more important in determining what bank the bass will be using. Move up closer to your target and waste less time in unproductive water. Give special attention to beaches, docks, buoys, rafts, rip-rap, or night lighted areas.

Darkness covers up an angler's presence and most of all his mistakes. Fish don't feed as regularly at night as they do in the day but when they are feeding, it's far less of a problem to catch them.

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!

Catt (Tommy T.)

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That's a very nice article Catt.   I enjoyed the part on the travels of bass at night.

VITO

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I normally prefer fishing during the full moon vs. the new moon even though the gravitational pull is three times greater during the new moon. It is more difficult to fish a new moon because it is harder to keep your boat off of stumps that are quite numerous. And it is harder for the bass & angler to connect. If I fish a new moon I will usually fish open water and avoid shoreline areas. The light from the full moon illuminates the bait against the surface for more contrast. I usually start night fishing during the April full moon and continue through the October full moon.

Night fishing areas: I normally fish the same areas fished during the day with one exception; night lighted areas. Lighted docks, lighted boat ramps, a row of camps with lights along the bank or a single camp with a light near the water. I know a killer spot on Toledo Bend where a road parallels the water's edge with several streetlights within 10 yards of the water. These lighted areas are also productive during a new moon and should be fished thoroughly.

Shallow verses deep water: I have not noticed a distinct advantage one way or the other. I will normally fish both areas thoroughly staying with the one that produces the best results. However shallow water does offer a greater opportunity to use different baits.

Catt (Tommy T)

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I do much more pitching and flipping at night than casting.    During the day, I do very little flipping but at night, it's totally effective.  I do a lot of casting also but I pick cover (tree tops etc) apart with a flipping stick at night.

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Thanks Catt for that page of tidbits.  I love night fishing in the warmer months.  I caught my first PB at night, during a full moon.  

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I also enjoyed Catt's article. I love night fishing and relish any opportunity to hear different points of view on the subject. Good stuff!

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Probably my most productive night bait by far is the Texas-rigged plastic, which can be fished shallow or deep.

I will usually have three set ups as follows:

Rig #1: A 6'6 medium rod, reel spooled with 15# mono, a 3/16 oz. bullet weight (painted black), & 2/0 straight shank hook. This is used for shallow water (from the shore out to 15'), no/light wind, & small plastics.

Rig #2: A 6'8 medium heavy rod, reel spooled with 15# mono, a 1/4 oz. bullet weight (painted black), & 3/0 straight shank hook. This is used for deeper water out to 20', wind, & larger plastics.

Rig #3: A 7' heavy rod, reel spooled with 50# braided line, ¼ oz. bullet weight (painted black), & 5/0 Strike King Saber Point Hooks. This is used for Flipping/Pitching big plastics & jigs in heavy cover

The colors found to be most productive:

Black Neon with a clear tail that has silver glitter in the tail.

Cinnamon Pepper Junebug Laminated (camouflage)

Junebug/Blue tail.

Black/Blue tail,

Grape Big Red.

Black/Silver glitter

I also use these colors in worms, craw worms, lizards & creatures but I will use other colors if these don't produce. Never limit yourself when it comes to colors, sizes, or shapes, some nights I have had to change baits regularly to get bit.

Remember: IF YOU DO WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS DONE - YOU'LL GET WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS GOT!

Merci Beau Coup

Catt (Tommy T)

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