and Story by Margie Anderson
NIGHT LIGHTS -- A lot of
bass fishermen like to use black lights on their boats. These are
mounted to the gunwales with suction cups, and they make fishing
easier in two ways: they cast a glow on shore so you can see where
you’re casting, and they make fluorescent line light up like a rope
of fire. This makes it really easy to see even the shyest bites. The
absolute gold standard in black lights is the NucliEye. These are
the smallest, brightest fishing lights ever, and they are absolutely
Once it gets over a hundred and ten in
the shade, fishing during the day isn’t too much fun. Fishing at
night starts to sound inviting, and night fishing has other
benefits, too: not only is it cooler, but also there are no jet skis
or water skiers around, and the fish are more active.
Some anglers are nervous about going out on the boat at night,
but if you have the right equipment and you use caution, you’ll be
fine. If you really feel uptight about it, try launching the boat
while it is still light, then stay around the marina area.
The fishing near the docks is usually pretty good, and the area
will be lit all night long, too.
There are some basics that you’ll need to make night fishing fun
and safe. Lights are key, obviously. Arizona law states that you
need to have your nav lights on all night long, even if you aren’t
on the move.
If you are the angler in the back of the boat, the light can be
an annoyance, so be sure to bring a broad-brimmed hat to keep the
light out of your eyes. Even if you are positioned with the light
behind you, it can reflect off your glasses.
Also bring along some insect repellant in case the light attracts
For moving around the lake, you’ll need a spotlight. A
rechargeable million-candlepower light is a great investment because
you don’t have to worry about cords getting in the way.
The spotlight will illuminate any navigation or hazard buoys, as
well as allow you to see shore. Take care not to shine the light
directly at another boat – you’ll ruin the guy’s night vision.
Remember that traffic signals are derived from nav lights on
boats. If you can see the other boat’s green light, you have the
right of way. If you see his red light, give way.
And remember the rule: to avoid a collision, bear right. In any
case, go slowly at night and never insist on the right of way. It’s
better to be cautious in the dark.
Once you’ve arrived at your fishing hole, you’ll need different
kinds of lights. For crappie and white bass, you’ll probably want a
floating light to drop into the water.
These lights attract insects, which attract baitfish, which
attract the crappies. So, give them time to work.
Optronics has some dynamite new floating lights that run on
batteries. Go to www.optronicsinc.com to see them. They’ve also got
the spotlights there, or you can visit your local tackle shop or
Sportsman’s Warehouse and they’ll probably have a variety of lights
to choose from.
Besides a spotlight and floating light, you’ll need a small light
for when you need to re-rig. There are all kinds of options here.
Some lights strap around your head, others clip to the bill of
your hat, and others hang around your neck on a lanyard. The small
adjustable LED lights that clip to your cap work really well because
they leave your hands free.
If you decide to stick with a flashlight, make sure it’s small
enough to hold in your mouth so you can use both hands to re-tie.
A lot of bass fishermen like to use black lights on their boats.
These are mounted to the gunwales with suction cups, and they make
fishing easier in two ways: they cast a glow on shore so you can see
where you’re casting, and they make fluorescent line light up like a
rope of fire. This makes it really easy to see even the shyest
The absolute gold standard in black lights is the NucliEye. These
are the smallest, brightest fishing lights ever, and they are
absolutely incredible. They’re a little pricey at $250, but rumor
has it they’re coming out with a model that will run about $125 to
$150 pretty soon.
You can get a NucliEye at Fisherman’s Choice Pro Shop in Phoenix
(602-993-1139), or go to www.jumpingchollajigs.com for more
information. Sportsman’s Warehouse also carries NucliEye.
Last but certainly not least is this: Wear your life jacket at
night. Even if you take it off when you stop, please at least wear
one while you’re motoring.
Take your time, use common sense and courtesy, and you’ll find
that night fishing is a lot of fun.