Night Fishing Moves

Night Fishing on Lake Austin
Think it’s too hot for bass to bite? Perhaps the problem is not where you’re fishing, how you’re fishing or what bait you’re using. It could be when you’re fishing.

Fish, especially big fish, retreat to quieter, deeper, cooler, darker waters during the day and tend to come out to feed at night.

The one thing you want to bring back from a night fishing trip besides pictures of and a story about the biggest bass you ever caught is yourself. Things do go bump in the night, and you don’t want to be one of them. Here are a few tips for night fishing success.

Look Smart. Scout for fishing areas in the daytime and mark them on your GPS. If you can, run to your fishing spot before dark. Then move as little as possible.

Take it Slow. When moving at night, resist the temptation to put the boat on plane and let your hair blow in the wind. There may be stumps, logs floating in the water, an angler fishing without a white light showing or a stray boat that broke loose from its mooring. People have run under docks at night, with fatal results. Go slower and live longer.

Cover Your Eyes. Wear clear safety glasses at night to protect your eyes. Sometimes you get your lure snagged and when you tug on it to get it loose, it comes flying back at you, but you won’t see it. It may lodge in some other part of your body, which is usually removable without too much misfortune — but your eyes, that’s another story. 

Wear a Life Jacket. Always. All the time. An inflatable makes wearing a life jacket more bearable while fishing; falling out of the boat while fishing by yourself at night (not advised) is a lot more fun if you live to tell about it.

Be Seen. And Heard. Take a good spotlight and a cellphone and tell someone where you will be and when to expect your return. You’ll be glad you did when your boat dies and you don’t have to wait until someone happens by.

Dress for Success. Take jackets and rain gear. Unless you just like being cold and miserable. But then if you did, you’d be ice fishing in Minnesota instead of bass fishing in Texas. Booyah!

Check the Weather. Check the weather before you go and keep a sharp eye out for lightning and changes in conditions. Have a weather app with lightning alerts and storm tracking on your phone. 

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  1. Anonymous8/22/2019

    With the massive database you guys would have from your paying members, you could get a lot more Texans on the water if you'd use that database to put anglers with common fishing interests, similar age groups, and living in the same or nearby areas, together via your database. I'm a retired fishing guide from SW FL for 30 years. I've been here in Daingerfield, TX for less than a year, and it's been near impossible to find a fishing buddy with the same or similar interests. Mine is now freshwater kayak fishing. I've got the yaks. Just need some buds my age who love to fish! You guys could be match-makers!

    1. Anonymous9/12/2019

      Texas Fishing Forum. You'll find all the fishing buddies you need!

    2. I'm probably half your age but I like to kayak camp and fish! In the Dallas area but feel free to reach out.

  2. I'm guessing privacy issues on that - but I assume you have found the Texas Fishing Forum? It is huge and has plenty of yakkers. :)

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  4. Anonymous12/02/2020

    Can you bank fish at night from state or county parks? If not what are some good spots to do that?

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  6. I 2nd this: Can you bank fish at night from state or county parks? If not what are some good spots to do that?

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. I tried fishing at night one time. The idea seemed great, at first. I got out on Lake Somerville, went to a favorite fishing spot and deployed a floating fishing light. Instantly, shiners were everywhere. Next, I turned on my interior boat lights in conjunction with my other mandatory boat lights. Within a matter of seconds, every gnat within a mile radius was flying around my boat, and my head. These were the big buffalo gnats by the way. Much worse that your standard gnat. It got so bad that I started breathing them in and began coughing. After a few choice words and throwing my rod down in the boat, I pulled up anchor and left in disgust. Haven't been night fishing since. I do wonder if there are any "Safe Months" in which to night fish where the gnats are not out? Any entomologists care to weigh in on the matter? This trip was in August when night fishing seemed to be a great alternative to 105 degree days.

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