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Fishing With Underwater Lights

Night Fishing Lights (Green Fishing Light)

by | FishingTech

Just as with any animal, fish tend to congregate near to their food source is. And when you put some lights into the water, the smaller fish and plankton are attracted. These smaller fish then entice the bigger predator fish.

Night Fishing Lights (usually a green fishing light) is put in/on, or near the waters that you are going to fish. The purpose of these lights is creating its own ecosystem, that will encourage the game fish which you want to catch to this area.

In A Hurry?

If you do not have time to read the full article, but want to find the best product for Night fishing lights? Below are my recommendations for various night fishing situations.

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“Using lights when night fishing will increase your catch considerably”

What Is Night Fishing? (or Green Light Fishing)

Night fishing is Fishing at night! – Also, Dusk and Dawn are usually considered to be night fishing times.

Scientific research has proved that the fish food chain can see in blue and green light better than other colors. However, any colored light will help to attract more shrimp, baitfish and their preditors to the lit area.

The best way to set up night fishing lights, is to permanently attach green lights under the water. This can be to a dock, boat or some other structure. Switch them on every night. Plankton then bate fish will be attracted to this in high concentrations. Game and predator fish will then start to assemble around the fishing lights every night.

Fish do have intelligence, and they remember where their food is and will turn up every night.

This is not to say that you have to wait weeks before your night fishing lights will start to improve your results. Within minutes you can begin to attract baitfish, which will, in turn, start to draw in the fish you want to catch!

Everything you need to know to get started night fishing!

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What is the best color light for night fishing?

The best color lights for night fishing are blue or green. Green must have an advantage as there are so many of them compared to blue. The reason these are better is that the light travels further in water. Red light is absorbed very quickly, so does not light up a large area.

What to look for when buying night fishing lights

When looking for night fishing lights, the following are the things you should be looking for.

  • High intensity – Light up a large area
  • Blue or green – Best colors for under the water
  • Submersible – If you shine a light from above the water, a considerable amount of the light is lost through reflection

You also need to think about how the light will be powered. The higher the intensity of the light, the more power will be used. So if powered by a battery, you may need to go for a lower strength than is ideal for getting a good battery life.

Types of Night Fishing Light

Green fishing lights can be broadly categorized into four classes

  • Fixed Dock Lights
  • Fixed Boat Lights
  • Line Attached Lights
  • Handheld Lights

Fishing man sunset

Line attached Lights

Line attached Lights are the simplest and quickest way to try using fishing lights. A glow stick or similar is attached to the line and goes into the water with your bait/lure. These lights are not bright enough, or going to be in the water long enough for it to make its own ecosystem. However, it should help attract creature towards your bait.

Fishing Glow sticksThe most common way of attaching a light-source to your line, is to use a glow stick. These work best in murky water, or deep at sea, when you are fishing at a depth that light does not penetrate. (After 220 yards / 200 meters only a tiny amount of light infiltrates). They may also be useful in clear waters once it is dark

Fish like the “Angler Fish” have used small luminescent appendages to entice other fish into its mouth for millions of years. Why shouldn’t a similar lure work for you?

This is going to work best in dark water, and is commonly used when Ice fishing.

Floating fishing lights

Floating fishing light is as the name implies, a light that floats on the surface of the water. Pointing there lights down into the depths. Again these are not overly expensive and do not require a lot of preplanning and setup, just set them in the water and you are done.

The floating fishing light was initially a homemade device, consisting of a light (e.g. a headlamp, a 12-volt battery, both fixed to a wooden or Styrofoam floating platform that fishermen built for themselves.

They can be used from a boat, or from the shoreline. If used from the shore, be sure to attach a line, so you can pull it in when you are finished. Floating fishing lights work in the same ways as mentioned before for other lights. The light will attract small baitfish and other creatures, and these will eventually attract the larger predator fish

How To use a LED Fishing light

Submersible Fishing Lights

Submersible Fishing Lights are similar to the floating lights above. They were invented to reduce some of the inadequacies of the above lights. Float fishing light has the disadvantage that they also attract a lot of biting insects. The second flaw is that some of the light is reflected, so the light given out may not penetrate far into murky waters.

Commercial models of the Submersible Fishing Lights, are waterproof and have been designed to sink when they are placed in the water. There tends to be more fish lower down. Very little of the light is wasted, lighting up the skies and attracting the mosquitos etc., making these light far more efficient.

Some Submersible Fishing Lights are built with weights in them, and some need to have the weights attached to them. The lights that need the weights fixed to it are more versatile. They can be used as a submersible light or a floating light if the weights are excluded

Handheld Fishing Lights

This method is far from ideal, but may help when you have no other options to hand. Using a powerful handheld flashlight, attached to a tripod, or place on a rock/branch. This pointed at the right spot on the water, may also entice fish for reasons mentions earlier in the article.

The light is not going to penetrate the water far, and a lot of the light will be lost due to reflection. But in a dark area, when there is no moon or other competing light sources, it may encourage fish. Give it a try and let me know!

Boat Lights for Fishing

There are several different types of light that may be considered Boat Fishing Lights. Most of them fall into the categories above Floating Fishing Lights, Submersible Fishing Lights, and Handheld Fishing Lights. These will not be covered again.

The boat fishing lights we will be discussing here are the lights that need to be powered from your boat’s battery, and these far into two categories. Lights attached to the underside of your vessel, and lights that you lower into the water (which are a type of Submersible Fishing Lights really)

underwater boat lights for fishing

Submersible Boat Fishing Lights

These are, as I said almost the same as the Submersible Fishing Lights. They have all the same advantages and disadvantages of the above lights. The only downside is that they have to be powered by your boat’s battery. But to be honest I would not do that. Like most other people I would bring a spare 12-volt battery, and use that to power the lights. Not wanting to risk being stranded with a dead battery.

When looking for this type of Boat Lights for Fishing, look for low power consumption, especially if attaching to your boat’s battery. You can get LED light that output 2000 lumens on 10 watts of power

Underwater boat lights for fishing

Underwater boat lights are the best option for night fishing lights on a boat. They have the following advantages

  • Unobtrusive – Under the water so do not get in the way
  • Fixed – They stay in the same place relative to you continually attracting fish
  • Bright – No reflection, and there can be a lot of lights, creating its own ecosystem after time

Of course, nothing is perfect, and they do have the following disadvantages

  • Setup – Initial setup, installing them on the boat can be time-consuming.
  • Power – If you have a lot of lights it uses more power

Even with the above disadvantages, attaching led fishing lights for boats will improve your catch.

Underwater dock lights

Underwater dock lights or night fishing lights, attached to any permanent structure, is by far the best way to use green light. These need to be connected and switched on at the same time every evening. The green glow of the dock light will create a new ecosystem by the structure. The plankton will be attracted there, the baitfish and other small creatures will come for these. The predator fish will learn that the food is here and return every night.

underwater dock lights

Underwater dock lights will improve the fishing fairly quickly. But after a week or two it will considerably improve the fishing in the area.

You do have to attach the lights underwater, which can be a bit awkward sometimes, but once this has been done you should have some great fishing!

What’s the best bait for night fishing?

What is the best bait for night fishing? Well, there are a lot of articles on this, and I will write one soon. The answer is that it really depends – on the fish you are fishing for, and the style of water you are fishing.

However, I do not think you can go far wrong when fishing with the following lures

Large Worms. These were once a popular lure, by seem to be less widespread nowadays. These worms are big – at least 8 inches long. Cast it out to where the fish like, and drag it slowly along the bottom. If the fish are there, they’ll find this!

When using this with night fishing lights, you want to cast it probably, ten yards past the lit waters. Bring it towards, and through the illuminated area, until it is several yards the other side. Then repeat

Black Jitterbug. This is a topwater lure, and makes noise as it moves through the water. If the fish can’t see it, well, they will surely be able to hear it. The lure has a metal lip that causes it to move side to side, creating motion on the surface like a wounded fish/frog.

When used with green fishing lights, like the worm above, cast it about 10 yards past the lit area. Then bring it towards the lit area, and past it. For best results try to keep it near the edge of the illuminated area, rather than go straight through the middle

Poppers (dark in color). Poppers are fishing lures designed to imitate an injured animal. It does this because it has a hollow or concave nose. These also are surface-based lures.

When used with fishing lights, they are used in the same way as the jitterbug above

Fishing boat going to sea

How many lumens of light do you need for night fishing?

This depends on several things, like the depth, other light sources, and how clear the water is. For example on a pitch-black night, in deep clear water. A small light will be quite noticeable.

The best answer to this question is, as many lumens as possible. It is far more likely that you will not have a light that is overly bright. I don’t actually know if the light can be too bright.

If you do have this problem, you can fit a dimmer switch.

Why Are fish attracted to light at night?

Phytoplankton is the bottom of the food chain, and they are photosynthetic microorganisms meaning that they do not eat. They get there “Food” by converting light into chemical energy. That’s why they are attracted to the lights.

Next in the food chain are the zooplankton. These again are tiny, and they eat the Phytoplankton.

Smaller baitfish and other small creatures then come to eat the two types of plankton.

Bass and other game fish are now attracted to the area to eat the baitfish, in the illuminated area, giving you a better chance to catch them.

Most of the game fish are ambush predators, meaning that they may not be in the center of the lit area. These fish are more likely to be on the outskirts, or in the dark areas on the border of the illuminated water

Why do fishermen fish at night?

People fish at night for many reasons, including free time, cooler, fewer people around and better fishing. Below is a summary of some of the reasons that fishermen fish at night

  • Free time – Convenience, most people do not have to work and look after children at night time
  • Fewer People Around – Fewer people mean that you are more likely to catch fish, as they are not being disturbed by jet skis etc.
  • Less Competition. There usually are fewer anglers at night, meaning you can catch all the fish yourself (well, maybe!)
  • Fish More Active – Around Dusk and Dawn, predator fish are usually more active

Fishing man sunset

Do you catch more fish at night?

As mentioned above, most people agree that dawn and dusk is when most of the action occurs. About an hour either side is the best time for fishing.

A lot of predator fish are active at night. If you have the right gear, including night fishing lights, then you can indeed catch more fish

Also, some species are nocturnal, meaning you can only catch them at night. When night fishing, different species come out, and they tend to be the bigger fish. This tends to apply more to sea fishing

What can you fish for at night?

Most species of predator and gamefish can be caught at night. This includes nearly all species of Bass, catfish, crappie, pike, salmon, and tarpon.

Related Questions

Are fish attracted to glow sticks?

Fishing man iceFish are attracted to glow sticks, well the light given off by glow sticks for the reasons discussed above. They work best in the water where it is murky, or there is little or no light. Simply attach the glow stick to your lure, near to your bait

Glow stick tend to be used a lot when Ice Fishing as the ice blocks out a lot of the sunlight


Can fish see lures at night?

Fish from belowAll fish can see to some extent at night. The game fish that you are after have adaptions to help them see better at night. Most fish attach from below, so what they actually are seeing is your lure against the night sky. This means that a dark lure may work better than a light one. This is more true when there is a bright moon


Does light attract squid?

– YES, squid are part of the Cephalopods family. (Squid, Octopus, cuttlefish). For reasons that are unknown all these creatures are incredibly attracted to all light.

The primary study into this attraction broadly concluded that:

Squid are attracted to light for one of possibly three reasons

  • They think pray will be around the lights
  • They are curious about what the light is
  • They like to be in bright light

No one is really sure, however, using light will definitely attract more squid

What Color light attracts squid? All color light attracts squid. However, green light is more readily available, and travels a reasonable distance in the waters. Red light doesn’t go very far in water so should probably be avoided.

Squid Fishing With fishing lights

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References

If you require more information, please check these references

Fishing Light Attractor , article, “en.wikipedia.org”, retrieved on, Sun 08-September-2019
Bait Fish , article, “en.wikipedia.org”, retrieved on, Sun 08-September-2019
Fishing At Night , article, “www.reddit.com”, retrieved on, Sun 08-September-2019
588816 Night Fishing Lights , article, “forums.iboats.com”, retrieved on, Sun 08-September-2019

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