It’s up to you! Night fishing can be fun…or miserable. It all depends on how prepared you are!

If you went night fishing as a kid, the exhilaration of being out at night when everyone else was asleep may have been enough to keep you entertained. But as an adult, nighttime fishing can be frustrating if you’re not prepared. Whether you are fishing off your boat or off a dock or pier, fishing at night can be difficult if you’re not organized.

  1. Check the forecast
    • How many times have you gone out only to wish you had paid more attention to the weather forecast? Bad weather can make a potentially fun night of fishing a wretched experience.
  2. Check your supplies
    • Go through that tackle box to make sure you have everything and everything is organized. There’s only one thing worse than trying to find something in a disorganized tackle box and that’s trying to do it in the dark.
  3. Check your equipment
    • Make sure your poles are ready and lines are in good shape.
  4. Using a boat? Make sure your boat is maintained and in good working order.
    • Breaking down isn’t fun. Breaking down at night? Far less fun. Go through the boat to make sure everything is in place and secure. Make sure all equipment is working properly. Make sure to pre-tie enough leads and rigs to last the whole trip.
  5. Safety First
    • Make sure you have sufficient flashlights with extra batteries
    • Charge a cell phone or radio so you can get in contact with emergency services if needed
  6. Check that first aid kit to make sure it’s well stocked.
    • It’s hard to tell the seriousness of a cut or wound at night and you want to be prepared for anything.
  7. Know your area.
    • You want to be able to anchor properly. Sometimes it’s best to get out early when there’s still some daylight.
  8. Light sources.
    • Make sure you have sufficient light sources for your own functional needs. But also consider fish lights to attract baitfish. Lights are not only important for the fisherman but also stimulate the fish into looking for food.

Fishing for night feeders is often all about smell or movement. Many night feeders sense the wounded prey or smell it so a good chum line can be very effective at night.

If you’re anchored in a good area, you can also make use of the feeding frenzy caused by an underwater fish light. Night feeders are often attracted by the movement of baitfish that are lured by plankton that is drawn by lights that are either mounted to the boat or submerged off the side. These fish are drawn by the lure of an easy meal so night fishing with a submersible fish light can often be far more productive than fishing without one.

If you are fishing off a pier, nighttime is often the best time due to the amount of lights that are typically shining on the water. You can watch the veritable feeding frenzy off the side of a pier on any given night. If you are fishing off your own dock, underwater fish lights can be affixed to your dock to boost your catch capabilities at night. Either way, the use of lights can stimulate fish into going for an easy meal.

Fishing at night can be a great experience if you’re organized and well equipped. Don’t miss out on the abundance of fish that are active only at night. You just may find that you like fishing at night better than during the day. No sunburn, less competition, and more active fish! What’s not to like?

Nighttime fishermen have known for eons that light attracts fish. They may not have known why, but the fact was, where there was light shining into or around a body of water, there were fish. We now know that light attracts the plankton that baitfish feed upon. And where baitfish congregate, so do larger fish.

The earlier fishermen would use lanterns and dedicated old-timers still do, but new technology offers more advanced ways to lure fish into feeding at night with lights that are made specifically for the night fisherman. Fish lights on the market today can be affixed to docks or piers, have floating capabilities, or can be completely submersible. So what are the differences and what are the benefits and drawbacks of each?

Floating Fish Lights

One of the earlier dedicated light systems developed for nighttime fishing, floating fish lights are encased by a flotation ring, most commonly made of styrofoam. These lights are powered by a 12v system and can run off a battery or cigarette lighter. The best of these have safety fuses and insulated cords.

The drawback to floating lights is they are not stable and are subject to waves and water movement. The more stable the light, the better it is to draw fish to feed. Since it is above the waterline, a floating light can also have more of a tendency to attract insects at night. Although this may be great for the fish, it is usually not so great for the fisherman.

Submersible Fish Lights for Boats

Submersible fish lights are more stable as they are below the waterline and can be weighted down or affixed to the hull of the boat with suction cups. These are available in colors of the spectrum proven to attract fish to feed. They also have true 360° light coverage.

These use LED light which may not be quite as bright as HID lights, but new technology offers stronger and more compact versions which are very versatile in situations where there is no electrical capability.

Portable HID submersible lights are available for boats and offer the same high power that the dock fish light systems have. They are much brighter than LED systems. These lights still require a 110 outlet, so fishermen using these lights on their boat will need to use an inverter or generator to power the light.

Submersible Dock Light Systems

The dock light systems are the most permanent and stable of the fish light systems. These provide illuminated night fishing right from your dock. They run from a one-bulb system to a four-bulb system and require electrical capability. The most advanced ones offer self-cleaning options with anti-barnacle coatings, photocells for automatic turn-on and off, and varying cord lengths.

Regardless of the fish lights you choose, you will be impressed by the difference having illumination can make on your nightly catches. Dedicated fish lights have made many a night fisherman out of those who may never have fished at night before.

Since the dawn of time, man has fished. And pretty soon, man realized fish had certain preferences. They favored certain places, had certain behaviors. And they hung out where the food was. 1

Over time, man discovered that certain things could stimulate a fish into eating  One of those things was light intensity — the kind of light changes that typically occur at dusk and dawn. Fish that fed by sight were more active feeders by day. Fish that tended to rely on other senses like smell or taste tended to be night feeders, but when an area was well lit, they seemed to want to eat anyway. And so began the practice of fishing utilizing light.

Marine biologists have developed a theory called optimal foraging. Based upon this theory, fish will search for the most amount of food requiring the least amount of energy expenditure on their part. In other words, fish will look for the most quantity of food that is the easiest to get.

Fishing with light comes at this from all angles. Adding light for visual fish to see its food — plankton and baitfish — artificial lights allow for that extra illumination for sight feeders like tuna to simply see their prey better at night. And for the fish that have multi-sensory capabilities, like dolphins and sharks, underwater fish lights mean an easy meal in one place and may just be less effort and more precise to hunt visually if provided an abundant source of food in one place.

So why are the bait fish and plankton more active in the light? Plankton rely on light for reproduction. They also feed on phytoplankton that need sunlight at the surface to grow. It’s surmised plankton feed at night out of sheer self-preservation but it could simply be that plankton are motivated by their own internal time clock. Once light is introduced, however, small fish can now see the feeding plankton. This, then, draws the small fish into feeding. Then, up the food chain we go with the larger predators finally coming over for a nice little feast.

In the good old days, fishing lights may have meant a simple lantern hung over the side of the boat. But today, we have technology that gives us our modern underwater fish lights. We now know that the colors green and white, blue in saltwater, are the ones most attractive to plankton and baitfish alike.

It is a simple case of cause and effect. Light attracts food. Fish like food that is easily accessible. Fishermen like fish that are plentiful in one place. Hence, submersible lights used for night fishing make for happy fishermen!

With new underwater fish lights, fisherman have the ability to mimic feeding conditions for the optimum in baitfish attraction. At Underwater Fish Light, our state-of-the-art submersible lights have been time-tested by professional, commercial, and recreational fisherman. Let us show you how you can increase your night catch with the addition of submersible lights in both fresh and salt environments.