Night fishing for smallmouth bass is very common.  Most good smallmouth waters have clear water making it tough on some anglers to catch fish during the day.  A simple solution is to fish at night.

Best Fishing Tips for Night Time Smallmouth Bass Fishing

Go With a Buddy

Simple.  Be safe.  Go with a buddy.

Have the Proper Lights

No lights and you’re asking for trouble.  You may be fine, but just wait for the tangles.

Know the Water You’re Fishing

Scout out the areas you plan on fishing at night during the day.  This is one of the best tips for staying safe.

Check the Weather

You don’t want to be on the water at night if bad storms are coming in.  Even if you know what you’re doing and you have all the required safety gadgets, it won’t matter if something happens and you need the help of someone else.  There is a good chance that nobody will be out there to lend a hand.

Fish During the Full Moon

The full moon offers more light at night which makes fishing easier on the angler, which is great.  The fishing is usually also better, so it’s a win-win.

Fish the Shallow Rocks

Smallmouth bass move into these areas to feed on crayfish at night.  You can fish crayfish-imitating baits or a variety of search baits such as grubs, ringworms and crankbaits as well. You will usually get more bites with baits that are ticking the bottom.

Fish Shallower

If you were catching them in 15 to 20 feet of water during the day, there is a good chance the better bite may be in 8 to 12 feet of water at night or 5 to 10 feet of water.  Work a variety of depths to find the better depth range to fish, but it’s usually shallower at night.

Fish with Topwater Lures

You can catch a lot of nice smallmouth bass by throwing your favorite topwater lure at night.  Fish them slower than you would during the day to give bass more time to find your lure and more importantly to actually eat your lure.  Some anglers fish too fast and they will get a lot of strikes, but the bass will be missing the lure.

Fish Clear Water Lakes at Night

On some bodies of water, the water is crystal clear and the fishing can be flat out tough during the day time.  Fishing at night can usually be more productive.  While you may only manage a few quality bites during the day, you may be able to double or triple that at night.

Fish Later in the Night

Since a lot of fish will feed aggressively just before dark, the bite can really slow down right afterwards.  So, if you’re looking to spend a lot of time on the water doing some night fishing, you can usually have a lot more success by waiting a few hours.  For example, if it gets dark at 8 p.m., you may have better luck fishing from midnight to 4 a.m. than from 8 p.m. to midnight.  Some fish that ate right around sunset may be looking to eat again.