Catching Fish with Underwater Lighting

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The use of submersible or underwater lighting to catch fish in freshwater or saltwater is not a recently developed concept.  However, the idea of equipping one’s boat with underwater lighting is relatively new and due mostly to the recent advancements in LED lighting technology.  Underwater lighting attracts plankton which in turn attracts baitfish to feed on the microscopic creatures. Eventually, the feeding baitfish attract the bigger predator fish where your bait-covered hook or lure are waiting for them.

The Evolvement of Underwater Lighting for Fishing

In the early years of night fishing with light, individuals would hang their lanterns over the sides of their boats.  The idea was that the light would attract insects (which it did and still does) and this would entice the fish to feed.  In fact, there are many individuals who still believe the theory of “fewer bugs means fewer fish.”  Unfortunately, today’s technology has done a great deal in the way of disproving that theory.  The underwater lighting leaves little if any light reflection on the surface of the water to attract insects.

So how do fishermen manage to catch so many fish when there aren’t any insects on the surface to feed on? The answer is simple.  Underwater light starts a natural feeding process by attracting plankton (see above).  Minnows, perch, shad, and other baitfish are attracted to the plankton and then the larger fish move in to feed.  When filming underwater, it’s not uncommon to see baitfish stack up near the lighting while predator fish are stacking up below them.

It’s all about being where the Fish are

While the right equipment and tackle such as baits and lures, fish locators, rods and reels, and underwater lights all play a role in increasing your chances bringing home a limit of fish, they are by no means magic.  This is especially true if you have set up in a spot with little or no fish in the area.  If you want to attract fish with underwater lighting, there has to be fish present.  For instance, if you’ve never caught any fish off of a dock sitting in a couple of feet of water, underwater lights won’t be the magical solution.

The best equipment and tackle will only increase your chances of catching anything provided you’re in an area that is holding fish.  Consequently, if the water doesn’t have enough structure, is too deep, or is too shallow, there is nothing short of a miracle that will help you catch anything.  This is true whether you’re fishing in a boat, on a dock, or even on the ice.  Remember one of the important rules about finding fish.  Fish will always relate to some form of structure and the temperature of the water.


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