When the sun goes down, it’s time to stop fishing, right? Wrong! You’ll find that with lower temperatures and the natural tendency for bass to hunt at night, you’ll be in the perfect situation to bag yourself a monster!
Today I’ve dug deep into my lure box and picked out some of the best bass lures for night fishing.
It’s all about shake, rattle, and glow. Let’s jump in and see if we can shed some light on the situation…
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Best Baits for Bass at Night – How to Choose the Right One
You could use your everyday lures to catch bass at night. And they might work.
You could also be going home with an empty bag. Night fishing for bass is a little different compared to during the day. For success, you are going to have to change your tactics slightly.
When choosing the best bass lures for night fishing, you need to focus on the following qualities:
If the fish can’t easily see your lure, then they can’t attack it.
It really is that simple.
Be sure to choose lures that will be easily visible at night. While bass do have excellent eyesight (yes, even at night), it doesn’t hurt to give them a little helping hand. I find that the best color of lure to use when night fishing for bass is something like a bright white or chartreuse. With even a hint of moonlight, they’ll be able to pick it up no problem.
Or you could go further…
What about on a dark night with no moon? Well, I’ve got the answer for you! Four words…
Glow. In. The. Dark.
You should be able to find lures that can be quickly charged with a flash of a headtorch. It doesn’t need to be lit up like a Christmas tree. Like I said, the bass are experts in picking up even the faintest amount of light.
It’s all looking up! And I’m not only talking about your fishing. Bass are primarily sight hunters.
Do you know where it is easiest to see prey?
A silhouette in the topwater. You’ll find that at night, as water temperatures cool, bass move up in the water column in search of things on the surface. You need to pick a lure that will sit in exactly this area.
Going down deep isn’t going to work. Instead, you want something that creates a really nice silhouette in the upper levels of the water. One of the most common types of lures you’ll see for night bass fishing are frogs. They have a really distinctive silhouette, normally aided by a kicking pair of wiggly legs!
Create a Buzz
Now, if you read carefully, you’ll have seen that I said bass are primarily sight hunters.
There is another way.
Bass are also drawn to vibrations in the water. Naturally, this would occur when small baitfish are in distress or injured and gasping their last. And you can use this to your advantage.
Lures that create vibration or commotion in the water acts like bass magnets. Look for features that will create vibration in the water. I’m talking spinning blades, propellors, wiggly legs, and anything that will flap enticingly
This works in a similar way to vibration. Bass can pick up on subtle noises in the water and are drawn to them.
Do you hear something?
If you’ve picked a really great bass lure, you can reasonably expect it to rattle. Lures sometimes contain metal or plastic beads that produce a rattle as they are jigged through the water. This rattle is like a dinner bell to hungry bass.
And there’s more…
In low light conditions, the rattle acts as an attention-getter, and it also allows the bass to zero in on your lure.
If you’ve ever seen a bass rip into a shoal of baitfish, you’ll have no doubt seen that some of the more badly injured tend to sit up in the surface film, spitting water as they expire.
You can get lures that do the same.
Surface poppers are a great choice for bass fishing, whether that is during the day or the night. Look for a large concave face with the hook eye mounted in the middle. As you pull them through the water, they spit water and make a popping sound.
You get two key benefits with surface poppers. First, the silhouette effect in the topwater. Second, all of that commotion and sound that drives bass wild.
Here, let me show you a quick video (in daylight) of how it is done, so you can fish more effectively at night:
Natural or Not?
This is the dealer’s choice.
But here’s the thing…
It can’t hurt to have a few patterns in your bag that look at least a little like what the bass might naturally eat. I’m talking about worms, frogs, and fish. Provided that you pick a lure that goes some way to represent any of the above, you have a much greater chance of catching a bass.
The Best Night Fishing Lures for Bass – 9 Guaranteed Fish Catchers
Alright, let us get down to it. Here are my tried and tested best lures to use when trying to catch bass at night.
There’s something strange about spinnerbaits. I’m not sure whether it is the multiple arms that resemble a shoal of fish or it’s the contrast, but either way, bass seem to love them.
The pearlescent blades look like small fish and will glint enticingly in the moonlight. They also create a fair amount of churning and vibration too! Underneath, you have a weighted lure covered in sparkly rubber tentacles.
Essentially you gain three things with this little lure. First, you have plenty of vibration. Second, you have something bright and sparkly, and finally, this is all combined in a proven bass-catching pattern.
Thank me later.
When bass bite, they bite hard. This lure is durable and pretty bulletproof, meaning it should last a long time.
Remember what I said about the best colors to use when bass fishing at night?
Let me jog your memory…
I said, white and chartreuse. Notice anything about this lure? Yep, that’s right. The perfect color combination for night bass fishing. I particularly like the realistic red eye on the body of the lure. For some reason, a big bright eye seems to work wonders.
Alongside the fluttering lure, again, you have a couple of blades that will churn through the water, generating vibration that allows the bass to find the lure at night.
This bass night fishing lure is ever so slightly different.
When I said that vibration works well, I meant it.
And here’s the thing.
If something works well, why would you not want more of it?
As spinner baits go, this is one of the best out there. The ‘business end’ features a multi-legged rubber squid that will wiggly and jiggle during the retrieve. On the opposite arm, you’ve got a mini propeller that will produce vibrations and also a nice trail of air bubbles that will lead a hungry bass straight to your lure!
This lure is designed to be pulled through the water quickly for maximum effect. If it has been hot during the day and cool at night, the bass will be hungry and up for a chase.
There’s no magic with a jig. You cast them out and ‘jig’ them in. While this doesn’t feature any fancy technology, it’s the up and down motion that convinces bass to strike, as their trajectory is exactly what you’d see in a distressed baitfish.
But Bob, how will the bass find it? It doesn’t have any of those features you talked about above?
Au contraire! I selected this jig for night fishing for a specific reason.
It glows in the dark.
Give it a quick blast under your headtorch and wait for the magic to happen. Because of its weight, it lands with a substantial ‘plop’ on the water. This is an ideal one to try if you are fishing for bass at night in a boat.
Do you want proof of how well this works? I’ve caught bass at night with this lure… Even though it is black! The front-mounted propeller causes this lure to swim erratically while producing a fair amount of disturbance in the water. Bass can find it almost immediately!
I don’t know whether the large and obvious yellow eye does it, or they just like the way it swims? Either way, you won’t be disappointed!
This lure is designed to be twitched through the surface film. It creates one hell of a wake along with splashes and commotion that acts as a signal to bass that says, “come eat me!”
I particularly like the dual hooks. Sure, it can be a nuisance when it tangles with the rest of the lures in your box, but it 100% ensures that if a bass bites, you will get a solid hookup.
Think a single propellor is going to catch you a nighttime bass?
Well, get this.
This little beauty has two. One at the front and one at the back. When you pull this one through the topwater at speed, it looks like a little fizzing torpedo! I’ve seen bass 10 yards back zoom through the water’ jaws style’ to give chase!
The Zara spook comes in a range of color options. My advice to you would be to pick a selection. Go white, dark, and something extremely bright for the best chance of bass success.
Do you know what happens when you cast onto weeds and reeds? Yup, that’s right, snags! Snags at night are even worse.
Here’s the answer.
This paddle-tailed bass buzzbait is rigged in such a way as to avoid getting snagged up in the areas that you must cast to in order to fish it most effectively. The hook points are shrouded by the body. When a bass bites, the body gets compressed, freeing the hook points.
Why is this a great lure for night bass fishing? Well, several reasons.
First, it is bright white in color. This creates optimal conditions for bass to be able to visually identify it. Second, the paddle feet create a lot of disturbance and wake in the water, which bass can sense in order to catch it.
As frog lures go, this is actually one of the most realistic looking I’ve seen. If the frogs are croaking at night, tie one of these on, and you’ll find success.
Last but by no means least, we have the humble jelly worm.
Is it packed full of fancy technology?
Will it work effectively to catch lots of bass at night?
There are several great advantages to jelly worms. First, they are relatively cheap. This means you can take a full selection down to the bank without having to spend a fortune. Second, you could consider pairing them up with a glow-in-the-dark jighead if you want to make it slightly more visible.
The paddle tail allows this lure to swim really realistically. How you fish it is up to you. If you weight it heavily enough, you’ll be able to cast and retrieve it. Alternatively, if you are out on a boat at night, you can also use it as a simple up and down jig.
The bright white color is also particularly eye-catching. My advice will be to deploy this as one of your first options for a bright, moonlit, and cloudless night.
Nighttime can sometimes be the best time to fish for bass. As the sun goes down, so does the fish’s wariness that they normally have during the day.
The best bass lures for night fishing will have at least one of the following attributes. They must be easy to see, create a lot of noise, and represent something that the bass naturally expect to find in the water (at least loosely). If you tick at least one of those boxes and take your time, you can be sure of at least a bass or two!