Just as individuals search for conditions that increase their chances of catching fish, fish search for specific areas where the food supply is plentiful. Saltwater game fish seek out waters where there is an abundant supply of insects, shrimp, and smaller fish (a.k.a. baitfish). It follows then that these insects, shrimp, and smaller fish are going to look for areas where their food supply is concentrated. In most cases, the best way to get that chain of events started and catch fish is to use underwater lighting when you go fishing.
The Perfect Underwater Fishing Light
Scientific research has proven that the different members of the food supply chain mentioned above have eyes that are sensitive to specific colors, namely blue and green. The perfect underwater fishing light would have these characteristics:
- capable of being submerged in water
- emits light that is similar to the area where the fish congregate
- high intensity
- powered by a portable source
The first attribute is the most desirable because of the amount of energy from boat or land-mounted lighting that gets lost when reflecting off the water’s surface. Ironically, there is no commercial form of lighting that meets all four criteria.
Fishing around Underwater Lighting
While the use of underwater lighting when fishing is nothing new, thanks to technology, equipping ones boat with these types of lights is a relatively recent innovation. These types of lighting attract plankton which attracts insects, shrimp, and smaller fish. In turn, these smaller food chain members attract the larger predator fish that you want to catch. Here are a few helpful tips on how to fish by using underwater lighting:
- Attract more baitfish using colored lighting instead of white light. Blue lighting is often recommended in saltwater while green is the best color in freshwater.
- If you’re fishing during the daytime in low-light or overcast conditions, a green LED strobe light is recommended.
- On clear days, switch to a blue LED strobe light.
Remember, no matter what type of equipment, tackle, and underwater lighting you’ve got, the best fisherman is not going to catch fish that aren’t there. In other words, you want to fish where the fish are. For instance, one of the truisms about fishing is that you’ll most likely find nearly 100% of the fish in any lake congregating in only 10% of the water in that lake.
How many Lights are needed?
Two lights typically work best because if they are spread 3’ to 4’ apart you’ll have a wider light radius and can accommodate more fishermen. Plus you’ll be able to fish in different depths of water. Conversely, if it’s just you fishing in a smaller boat, one light will probably be enough. Just keep in mind that you can experiment with two different colors when using two lights.