Do Bass Bite at Night? A Guide to Bass Fishing After Dark

Bass fishing at night is probably one of the most rewarding aspects of bass fishing. That’s because fishing in the dark can be challenging for many anglers.

However, night fishing it’s not very hard to master. It’s only a matter of learning more about the fish you’re targeting and being prepared with the right kind of gear to get the fish to bite.

So, do bass bite at night? Bass fish will bite at night. Because of their impressive sight, they are good hunters during nighttime. To catch more bass fish at night you need to know where to target them and prepare the right gear for night fishing. You also need to know how lure color can affect your chances of catching bass

Keep reading to learn more about how bass fish see color and the best gear you can use to target them.

What Are the Popular Types of Bass Fish?

largemouth bass to show how do bass bite at night

The most popular types of bass fish are the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.

Largemouth Bass are green and they have horizontal stripes and spots on their body. The dorsal fin on the top of their head has a break in it which makes it look like two separate fins and they have a long jawline that extends past their eyes.

They like warm water and slow currents. They are not selective when it comes to their diet and will generally eat anything.

Smallmouth is brown and they have vertical stripes on their body. Their dorsal fin doesn’t have any breaks. Their mouth is small and their upper jawline doesn’t extend past their eyes.

They like cold water with fast currents and they’re limited with what they eat because of their small mouth.

Can Bass Fish See at Night?

Bass has surprisingly impressive sight and they can see at night because of the special physiological characteristics they have.  Their nighttime vision is stronger when there’s ambient light or when the water clarity is high.

The construction of their eyes makes them successful hunters at night. It also gives them the ability to see some colors well and make decisions with high selectivity based on these colors.

What Colors Do Bass See at Night?

The composition of bass’ eyes responds the most to two colors which are red and green.

Outside these two colors, other colors may appear quite similar to bass, so they won’t be able to make decisions based on them.

Why Does Color Matter When It Comes to Bass Fishing at Night?

The ability of bass to see colors at night will affect which lure color to use when you target them.

It’s a good idea to choose lures with colors that are within the range of colors that bass fish can see to significantly increase your chances of getting more bass to bite.

How to Fish for Bass at Night?

Where to Target Bass Fish

Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass can be found all across the US.

However, Largemouth bass is more commonly found where the water is warmer and the current is slow.

When you’re fishing for largemouth bass on a lake or a river, it’s best to target them near cover or shelters in calm patches of water such as logs, rocks, brush, and weed beds

Smallmouth Bass, on the other hand, are more commonly found where the water is colder and the current is fast.

When you’re fishing for smallmouth bass on a lake or a river, you can target them on the edges of cover or around large rocks, stumps, and weed beds.

The kind of Gear You Need to Fish for Bass

You need heavy tackle including a strong fishing rod, reel, line, and hooks because bass are large in size and are also known to be aggressive fighters.

You can check the best Bass Fishing Rods here, these are the ones that have stood the test of time with me and brought me my greatest catches. I also have another guide on the best Bass Spinning Reels here which is definitely worth checking out as well.

The kind of lures you need to use when catching bass are spinnerbaits, jigs, vibrating jigs, soft plastics, crankbaits, jerk baits, and topwater lures. You need to make sure the color of the lures is

You need to bring pliers to bend the hook to the right shape to get it out of the bass fish’s mouth after you hook it and to easily cut your fishing line.

You need to bring a headlamp since you’re going to need both your hands to be free when you’re reeling in bass, so it would be more convenient than a regular handheld flashlight.

You also need to bring extra batteries in case your headlamp batteries run out while you’re out on the water along with bug spray to avoid having to swat mosquitoes all night.

Safety Tips for Fishing at Night

Here are some important tips that you need to follow to ensure safety while you when fishing for bass at night:

  • Make sure you arrive at the location you’re fishing at at least 2 or 3 hours before sunset to familiarize yourself with the area and to finish setting up your gear.
  • Make sure you’re wearing your PFD when you’re night fishing and always check the weather report before going on a trip.
  • Keep your deck organized so that you have more space to move around without tripping on net or your tackle box
  • Make sure to double check your equipment and the state of your boat before going out on the water at night.
  • Make sure to keep your gear organized on your boat so that you can quickly and easily access everything you need with limited amounts of light.
  • Make sure you have two sets of navigational lights when operating your boat at night.
  • Make sure you tell someone where you are going and what time you are expected to return back home.

Related Questions

Is it Legal to Fish for Bass at Night?

Yes, it’s legal to fish for bass at night as long as you have the proper navigational lights for your boat and freshwater fishing license. If you’re not sure whether fishing for bass at night is legal in your area, you need to contact your state and check local rules and regulations regarding bass fishing after dark.

Do Moon Phases Affect the Behavior of Bass Fish?

No, moon phases don’t directly affect the behavior of bass fish. However, moon phases can determine how much light you have while fishing at night, which will affect the color of lure you use along with your chances of getting bass to bite.

What Do Bass Fish Feed On?

Largemouth bass is not selective with their diet so they will eat anything. They usually have a preference for shad, bluegill, crawdads, worms, lizards, snakes, and even small turtles. Smallmouth bass, however, is more selective. So their diet is mostly limited to small shiners, crawfish, sunfish, perch, worms, and minnows.

Helpful Resources 

Cold Muddy Water Bass Fishing Guide (With Pro Tips That Gets Results)

Big Book of Bass: Strategies for Catching Largemouth and Smallmouth – ( you can also check it on Amazon here)

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