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Once you decide to take up fishing, one of the things you quickly learn is that it is a sport that requires a lot of discipline. Indeed, there is so much to learn when it comes to fishing. There are a lot of things you need to know and understand, and that includes just what the best practices for fishing might be. This is even true if you decide to specialize in fishing for a specific breed of fish, such as bass.
You quickly learn that there are many topics of contention among bass fishermen, and there are many unanswered questions that you have to decide for yourself. Indeed, one of the most pressing questions is should you consider fishing for bass at night? Either way, that’s a good question, and there are many pros and cons to fishing at night.
In many cases you will find that bass fishing at night can yeild excellent results especially in the summer time when daytime temperatures soar and the bass are forced to seek cooler water away from shore and away from their foodsource. After sundown they will move back to shallower waters to hunt their prey. There are those, however, that say they prefer to fish bass in the light of day.
First of all, there are many fishing sportsmen who say that fishing at night is an absolute no-no, and they have several arguments against it, such as the following:
It’s More Cumbersome.
Fishing for bass or any other type of fish in the dark takes a lot more skill than it does during the day. Of course, most anglers will rhetorically ask, “How hard could it be?” and the answer to that is, “Surprisingly hard.”
Until you actually try it, you don’t realize just how much you take the light for granted. Even the simple task of selecting your bass bait becomes quite a bit more difficult when you don’t have the benefit of light coming from Mother Nature.
Navigating a boat in the dark is much more difficult.
It is simply much harder to navigate a boat during the nighttime hours than during the day. Again, this is one of those things where you don’t realize just how difficult it is until you actually have to do it.
Many inexperienced anglers think that all they have to do is rely on their GPS, but this isn’t necessarily always a good strategy either. Simply put, even if you know the lake, it is much easier to become disoriented when you don’t have the benefit of light.
A lot more bugs come out on the lake at night.
Ask any night fishing aficionado, and they will tell you that their favorite fishing spot will often get a tremendous amount of bugs at night. Indeed, there are even some accounts of mosquitos that will get as large as hummingbirds on occasion. If you are going to consider night fishing, you need to take into consideration the type of bugs that come out at night. Here are some examples:
Chances are almost any moth that you encounter will be a nocturnal creature. They like dimly-lit places, and many of these moths can range in size from microscopic size to the larger sphinx moths. If you see a moth this size flying around, chances are they will not feed; they will simply be trying to find a mate before they die. Nonetheless, they can get in the way of your fishing pastime.
There is a possibility that you might have to guard against beetles if you elect to do some night fishing as well. Most night-oriented beetles will be more prevalent between May and June when they hatch and then immediately begin looking for a mate. They are characterized by either the long-horned beetle, which has a long antennae and a cylinder-shaped body, or the large rhinoceros beetle. If you encounter fireflies during your fishing excursion you should realize that these are considered beetles too.
There are also a number of bugs that would appear to be flies, but they are simply just night-flying insects that have an affinity for the water. They are usually a member of the Diptera family, and some are known as Mayflies and have transparent wings while others are Caddisflies and are simply similar to moths. These insects hatch from larvae that dwell in the water.
Of course, these examples are just a small sampling of some of the bugs you will have to contend with if you decide to try night fishing. There are also the grasshoppers and praying mantises, and there are even some blood-sucking little monsters that you will have to deal with. This is definitely one of the many reasons why night fishing isn’t for everybody.
Of course, like any other discipline in life, there are also several arguments in support of night fishing, and there are definitely many fishing hobbyists that swear by this activity of night fishing. In the interest of making a fully educated decision, here are some of the main advantages of fishing for bass and other species at night:
There is no need to be concerned about hot weather.
Considering that the temperatures dip significantly at night, if you are in a climate where it gets really hot and muggy during the day, then you definitely should give night fishing a try. It gets very hot and
uncomfortable, and this can definitely decrease your chances of catching bass.
There is a decreased risk of sun-related health issues.
Another added benefit of night fishing is that it cuts down your risk of skin cancer. Obviously, if you are like the majority of fishermen, you prefer to fish during the day.
However, you are probably well aware that you have to take along a good hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen so you don’t run the risk of skin issues later on in your life.
However, if you decide to give night fishing a try you at least don’t have to worry about this. Indeed, there was a study a couple of years back of individuals who worked day shifts versus those who worked primarily at night, and those who did the night shifts had a significantly decreased occurrence of skin cancer.
There is an opportunity to catch more bass.
Bass usually dwell among the shallow at no more than eight feet. However, one thing most bass fishermen will tell you is that once the summer sun starts beating down on the water and causing it to heat up to the high 80s or more, that is when the bass have a tendency to retreat to deeper, shallower, and colder waters.
This is often a prime opportunity for you to try night fishing, simply because in the dead of night the water will cool down to a temperature in the 60s, which is definitely more amenable to most bass populations.
Your fishing spot will often be very crowded during the summer months.
Indeed, most bass anglers will prefer to fish during the day. Unfortunately, for the rest of us, this also has its share of disadvantages. Not only do you have to contend with the extra boat traffic, but you also have to deal with all of the crowds and the fact that there will be fewer fish to go around. However, this is one of the reasons why many fishermen decide to try night fishing in the first place!
What To Do?
So what’s the answer regarding all of this? Should you go ahead and try night bass fishing, or should you just go ahead and avoid it altogether? Well, this is a debate that is about as old as time itself, and this article isn’t going to completely answer that question.
However, in this author’s opinion, the answer to this daunting question is that yes, you should try night fishing, but you should make sure that you do it in the correct manner.
Preparation is key. In order to have a successful bass night fishing experience, there are certain things you should keep in mind. Even though the answer is yes, go ahead and do bass fishing, make sure you keep the following in mind:
Keep in mind the proper methodology.
There are many ways to catch bass at night, and there are some methods that anglers will swear by. However, there are a few “best practices” that you should keep in mind.
First of all, when you are fishing for midnight bass, the best thing you should do is to keep it simple. Either way, you really don’t want to fumble with five million different versions of bait, a bunch of rods, and a messy boat. Keep your boat as organized as possible since you don’t have daylight to help you out.
You also should consider bait that will make an effective thump when it hits the water. If you are going to catch a solid amount of midnight bass, you will need to realize they rely much more on vibrations than they do during the daytime.
Finally, realize that you will need to be patient, both allowing for smaller numbers of bass and for not using as many bait examples. No, the bass won’t be out quite as much during the night, but many individuals have reported catching some real whoppers at night. Moreover, using just a few bait examples is a good way to attract more bass as too many baits at night could confuse them.
Focus on clear, shallow waters.
Yes, it is important to incorporate more sound if you are going to fish for bass at night. However, it is also important to remember that they will also hunt by sight if they can help it. This is why you should try to find water that is as clear as possible if you are looking to fuel your nighttime bass fishing passions.
Moreover, you also should wait at least thirty minutes after nightfall before going out on your bass fishing excursion, because the largemouth bass, in particular, won’t start to hunt until at least a half-hour after the sun sets. However, the bass will refuse to hunt if the water is too murky and your night fishing will turn into nothing more than a glorified evening picnic if you try to fish in water that isn’t clear.
Of course, when I suggest fishing in shallow water, I mean that you should consider water close to either shore structures or vegetation. Bass will naturally seek out shallow waters such as this during the evening hours.
Find a happy medium when it comes to noise.
While it is true that bass will rely more on noise when they are swimming around at night, there is still a happy medium that you have to keep in mind when you are night fishing for them. Of course, if you use too little noise, you will not attract them.
However, at the same time, too much noise will just result in overstimulating them and might end up scaring them away. Thus, if you only have one or two baits or rods that will produce any type of noise, that would probably suffice for all of your bass catching purposes.
Color doesn’t matter quite as much at night as it does during the day.
Obviously, if you are fishing for bass during the daytime, you will need to pay close attention to the different colorations on your baits and lures. However, to a hungry bass at night, lure and bait coloration doesn’t matter as much simply because they will all look like a black, blue, or dark gray.
On the other hand, one of the things you need to look for in a nighttime lure would probably have to be the ability to give off a solid metallic shine. Of course, you can definitely experiment to your heart’s content as well.
Use a blacklight.
Of course, another thing you want to be wary of during night fishing is too much light. However, this puts you in a bit of a dilemma: how do you avoid light when you sometimes need to use it to illuminate your light? Well, one way to do this would be through using a blacklight. Many anglers have tried this with quite a bit of success since it is effective at helping you keep your line in sight without scaring away the bass.
Practice boating safety.
Finally, make sure if you are going to do a lot of night fishing that you practice boat safety procedures. Carry a life jacket, tell someone where you are going (or go with a partner if you can), and reducing your boat speed is important you should do in order to stay safe. Even the best largemouth bass isn’t worth losing your life over, that is for sure.
However, in answer to the question ion the title of this article, it is definitely an emphatic “Yes!” just as long as you do your homework first.
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