Can you catch bass at night?
Absolutely! Nighttime fishing for bass is probably one of the most effective ways to catch giant bass.
However, in order to catch these giants, you need to be using the right lure.
For that reason, in this post, we are going to take a look at some of the top lures that will catch giants.
Best Lures For Bass Fishing At Night
At night, instead of relying on their sight to track down prey, bass rely more on their lateral lines.
A fish’s lateral lines is a what helps a fish detect vibrations in the water and it helps them to sense where they are in the water when they can’t physically see them.
For that reason, one of the best baits to be throwing at night is a buzzbait. A buzzbait has a jig body with a single or double blade. As it is being brought through the water the blades give off a lot of vibration and make a lot of sound on the surface of the water.
There are so many different varieties of buzzbaits on the market, ( learn more about my favorites here: Creating More Buzz With The Best Buzzbait ), but I really like the Strike King Premier Plus Buzzbait for nighttime fishing.
One thing that makes this lure different from other buzzbaits is that it has 2 blades instead of just one. That is going to work toward your advantages for 2 reasons.
First, more blades mean it is going to make more noise. Remember the more commotion you can create, the better.
Next, two blades displace the water much more effectively than just one. What that means for you is that with Strike King Premier Plus you are going to be able to retrieve it much slower than one with just a single blade. That is going to allow it to be slow rolled.
When fishing at night you want to fish your lures slowly. Since bass aren’t able to rely on their sight to find their food, you want to give them plenty of time to feel the vibrations and track down your lure.
Lastly, the Strike King Premier Plus, comes equipped with a trailer hook, ensuring even better hookups in low light conditions.
You may also enjoy reading: Night Fishing For Bass – 9 Tips To Catch More Fish
A lure that sometimes gets overlooked for fishing at night is the wake bait.
Wake baits are designed to float on the water. They have a small lip on the front portion of the lure so that when it is being retrieved, the front portion dives just a little bit below the water’s surface, while the back portion is still on the surface.
With the head just below the surface and the back portion floating on the water, it creates a wake, hence the name wake bait. Not only can bass feel the vibration of the wake, but it will also help them hunt down your lure.
This is a great way to get the fish’s attention.
While there are many different wake baits on the market, I like the Yo-Zuri 3D Wake Bait.
In addition, to creating a lot of disturbance on the water’s surface, the Yo-Zuri has a nice wide wobble action that fish can sense in the water.
Another wake bait is the Ima Rattlin Roumba.
The Ima Rattlin Roumba is categorized as both a wake bait and a square bill crankbait because it can dive down to 1.5 feet.
What I like most about this particular lure is that it has a loud rattle. Couple that distinct sound with an erratic wide wobbling motion and you have yourself a deadly lure.
Next up, is the popper. A popper looks much like a stick bait. The difference is that it has a concave area located in the front.
As it is being brought back to the boat it makes a distinct popping noise, much like baitfish feeding on the surface.
One bait that will get a second look is the Rebel Pop-R.
This popper is available in a number of different sizes ranging from 2.5 inches to 3 inches. For nighttime fishing, I would recommend using the bigger option.
In addition, it is available in a number of different colors, but darker colors tend to prefer better in low light conditions especially when fishing topwater.
Simply cast it out in shallow waters and slowly bring it back with a pause and retrieve action. Be aware that many strikes come on the pause, but when they strike hang on because it is going to be a fun ride.
You’d be surprised by how many people ask: Do spinnerbaits work at night? The answer: Absolutely! They great baits to use at night because both willow blade and colorado blade spinnerbaits are designed to give off a ton of vibration.
Another thing I like about spinnerbaits is that you can add a number of different trailers which can enhance the presentation even more. Keep in mind that bigger trailers make for a bigger profile which will help bass locate your lure in the water.
One of my favorite spinnerbait for nighttime fishing is the Booyah Moontalker.
The Booyah Moontalk is a spinnerbait with a single oversized Colorado blade. This oversized blade gives off a ton of vibration in the water and appeals the fish’s lateral line.
To draw even more attention, you could bang this lure into the logs, tree, rocks, and structure. When it bumps into something the blade, metal head and beads making a clanking sound that bass can’t resist.
Another thing you can do with the Moontalk, as well as other spinnerbaits, is put on a big trailer. This will help bass track it down.
One trailer that I like especially for fishing at night is the Zoom Big Salty Chunk, but any big trailer will work great. A big trailer helps to slow down the bait and also makes it easier for the fish to feel it in the water.
A chunky trailer is a great way to make a bigger and hopefully tastier target.
10-inch plastic worm
Another way to entice a bite is to fish with a plastic worm, such as Berkley’s 10 inch.
If you are having a hard time getting a bite on the surface of the water, you might have better success fishing below the surface. To be more specific fishing on the bottom of the lake.
There is no better way to do this than with a big worm.
One of the best ways to fish a plastic worm at night is to texas rig it and to tie on a brass weight and glass bead.
You may also enjoy reading: Texas Rig vs Carolina Rig, A Plastic Worm Showdown
That way as you fish it the sound that the bead and brass weight make as they come in contact with each other sounds much like a baitfish feeding on the bottom and will most certainly entice a strike.
When you can’t catch a bass on a plastic worm, you need to turn to the next best option: a swim jig.
A swim jig is basically a hook with a big head on it. Most swim jigs have a skirt that flutters as it is being brought through the water to create an even more appealing presentation.
The best way to fish it at night is to slowly drag it across the bottom.
By doing this the jig head will come in contact with rocks, logs, and other things and make a whole lot of noise in the water. This noise will act like a dinner bell drawing in bass from a long way.
One such swim jig that I like to use is a 3/4 ounce black and blue Booyah Boo Jig. (pictured below)
At night bass will move up to shallow waters to feed. One special treat that they like to feed on is crawfish.
That is what makes a swim jig so effective in these low light conditions because it imitates craws so well.
Just toss it out there, allow it to hit bottom and slowly drag it across the boat.
To make this the Boo Jig even more appealing is that it is equipped with a rattle pack. Remember, the more noise and commotion you can make under the water the better.
If your swim jig isn’t equipped with a rattle pack, you can pick up a pack such as these slip-on rattles by Harmony.
They are easy to put on and they get a lot of attention when the bite gets tough.
Next, let’s quickly talk about trailers for swim jigs. As we mentioned it when fishing in low light conditions, it is important that your lure has a big profile and that you fish them slowly.
Since, we will be using swim jigs to imitate craws, why not throw a craw trailer such as the Strike King Rage Tail.
For Additional Reading: A Guide To Choosing The Best Bass Lures
Closely related to the swim jig is a chatterbait. This is basically a swimbait with a small metal flap at the front that vibrates as it is retrieved. In fact, because it so closely resembles a swim jig many people also call it a bladed swim jig.
A great chatterbait for just about any type of fishing is the original Z-Man Chatterbait Elite.
With a small blade located in front even when retrieving it slowly, it gives off a decent amount of vibration.
Don’t forget about adding a trailer. Check out a previous post I wrote entitled: A Look At The Best Chatterbait Trailers – My Top 7.
One of my favorites would have to be Strike King Rage Swimmer. This trailer is a swimbait type with a pad tail that enhances the overall profile and helps to give off a good amount of thumping.
Crankbait catch bass during the day and they will also catch bass at night. These baits know how to get attention. They are loud and the lip can bump into things and draw bass in.
Let’s talk about a few that are effective at catching bass at night.
The first one is the Strike King 10xd.
The 10xd is a deep-diving crankbait specifically designed for deep waters, but what I like the best about it is the lip. It has the big lip on it so that you can hit bottom, create noise and get attention.
As you can see from the picture, the 10xd is no small deep-diving crankbait. It is a BIG crankbait. So you might be thinking, wouldn’t it be better to downsize?
No, at least not when fishing at night. Remember that when fishing at night, bigger lures will almost always perform better than smaller ones.
Couple the big profile with the rattles that the 10xd has and you have a lure that is going to give off a ton of noise and vibration.
If you are fishing more shallow waters, I would try a square bill crankbait. This is a much smaller profile with a small square bill designed to go down up to 6 feet.
The main person for this crankbait is to bump into logs, rocks or whatever else it comes in contact in shallow waters. Also, because it has a fatter body and thinner tail it gives off a nice wobble action that can be felt and easily detected.
A favorite among many is the Strike King SquareBill pictured below.
Learn More About Square Bills: The Best Square Bill Crankbait – Just Add Water
Topwater hollow body frogs are great lures for bass fishing at night simply because they can go places other options on this list cannot.
A hollowbody frog is where the hooks are located on the back of the lure. The body of the bait is hollow allowing it to float. When a fish bites down on the soft plastic the hooks are exposed and you can hook the fish.
Because of this design they are 100% weedless and can be fished in the heaviest of cover.
The Booyah Pad Crasher, is a 100% weedless lure.
It has a soft plastic that easily gives when a fish takes the bait ensuring better hookups. Instead of legs, you have a skirt like material that continues to move even when the lure is not.
It is available in a number of different colors, but I prefer to use black when it is extremely dark out and white or lighter colors when there is some light.
What color lure should I use?
The rule of thumb is to use dark colors when it is completely dark outside (such as a new moon) or to use white when there is some light (full moon or lights from docks).
The is because bass can’t see much at night, however, when you fish with a black or dark brown lure it will create a darker silhouette and make it easier for them to see it.
When there is a little light such as a full moon, (or when you are fishing near the bank and there are dock lights etc.) use a white or chartreuse color.
This is effective because when the light catching the lure, it is going to give off a flash much like a fleeing baitfish would and could possibly entice a reaction strike.
Is color really that important? Many anglers say yes, while others say no. I personally don’t think it is as important as choosing the right bait.
Additional Reading: Do Largemouth Bass See Color?
Think about it. Bass are feeding on prey that don’t change color. For example, crawfish will always be the same color day or night. This is because at night bass don’t track by sight they track by what they feel.
With that being said, I would recommend using darker colors when fishing at night, because it is going to give you a little bit of an advantage. However, don’t overthink it. If there is a lure that you want to use and you don’t have it in a dark color, I say use it! See what happens. The worse that could happen is you get a bite.
Bass fishing at night is fun! Once you figure out a pattern you can catch a lot of fish in a single night.
In this post, we have shared a number of different lures that have proven to be effective at night. Some of these are very popular approaches and others might be new to you. The important thing is to not be afraid to experiment. Let the fish tell you what they want.
Now it is your turn! What do you think are the best lures for bass fishing at night? Share your thoughts in the comments below.