Working the nightshift
in search of big bucketmouths can be a profitable and exciting
endeavour for those anglers looking for a new twist in the
under the moon comes with its own set of rules and techniques
because once the sun sets, you really are smack down in the
middle of the largemouth's playing field. Come and explore the
graveyard shift and discover all the action that you've been
Beginning The Search
Night fishing for bass is similar to the daytime version, with
a few variations thrown into the mix. Working predominantly
shallow sections of water -- depths between 2 feet and 10 feet
-- seem to be the most productive.
Fish will be actively feeding during the witching hour, and
will be in an aggressive and upwardly mobile mood. I like to
choose a number of shallow shoreline areas and flats that
produce well during the early morning periods and rely on
these once the sun goes down.
The shift in light exposure will result in the bass
gradually moving shallower in their quest for baitfish and
crawdads. Areas to fish to keep in mind would be sandy
beaches, shorelines with a mixture of "lead-in" cover, dock
and marina locations as well as flats with large expanses of
open areas. Pick a handful of these spots during the day and
try to learn as much about them before the light switch is
turned off. Make special note of any dangerously shallow areas
or sunken logs in order to stay clear once nighttime hits.
Orientating yourself with these areas during the day will
enable you to fish them more thoroughly and have a better
understanding of them come dark.
Keeping the boat "clutter-free" will make your night
fishing experience more enjoyable. Have your pliers and net in
an out-of-the-way, but easy to reach place.
Sorting Out The Baits
The one thing that makes night fishing relatively easy is the
simplification of baits that you'll be using. There is
no need for gigantic tackle boxes brimming with every lure
under the sun, or moon for that matter. Two or three topwater
baits, a big spinnerbait and a flipping jig will normally take
care of every situation you'll encounter.
Topwater baits are my No. 1 choice for fishing at night due
to the adrenaline rush you get when fishing these lures.
Listening to the sputtering and splashing of your bait working
along the surface, only to be shattered by the large crash of
a fish can be positively heart stopping!
One of the better topwaters to choose for nighttime would
be the buzzbait. A buzzbait provides a large silhouette and
steady cadence for a bass to hone in upon, is simple to work
without visually seeing it, and is relatively weedless. This
makes it an easy bait to throw all night, as well as a
productive one in the eyes of a bass. Go with a large model
with big metal blades and a black skirt for bass to easily see
against the backdrop of the lighter sky.
Another great night bait is the spinnerbait. This lure
produces strong vibrations in the water, has a large profile,
and mimics the prey that the largemouth are chasing and
feeding upon. I go with large Colorado blades for added sound
and a black skirt for visibility. A 1/2-ounce weight all the
way up to a l-ounce bait will be the ticket for more bites.
When faced with deeper water, or if the bass are less than
active, a productive lure to throw has to be the jig and pig.
A heavy jig with an oversized chunk of pork or plastic will do
the trick nicely along weedlines and sand areas.