BRIAN JOHNSON ON OUTDOORS: Beat the heat by fishing in the dark

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, July 23, 2019

As the summertime weather heats up, it is not uncommon to see thermometers rise to the century mark.

While I like to fish as much or more than the next guy, as I get older, it gets harder and harder to fish in the brutal heat of the southeast Texas summers. One great way to beat the heat, especially when bass fishing, is simply to fish in the dark.

When fishing for bass in the dark, I have a few recommendations. First, I recommend fishing on or around the full moon. Not only will it be fairly easy to see by the moonlight, but bass tend to feed at night during these moon phases.

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As a general rule, it is good to follow solar charts to determine the primary feeding times. Most of these will occur when the moon is directly overhead. As far as personal preference, I usually start my night fishing trips about an hour before dark so that I can be sure to get in on any action that takes place at dusk.

Next, focus on docks, grass, and underwater structures. These areas that almost always hold bass and are easier to fish in the dark than other above water structures such as trees and bushes where you will likely spend a great deal of your time hung up.

Third, when fishing after dark, a general rule is to use darker colored baits. I’m not sure why a black frog works better in the dark than a white one, but hours of fishing has proven that it does. The same can be said with all other baits as well.  I guess they simply see them better for some reason.

Finally, I will give you my top choices for night fishing baits. In no particular order, I would recommend a plastic frog, a spinner bait, a chatter bait, and a Texas rigged worm or creature bait. These will allow you to fish all of the water depths that are typically productive this time of year.

With the exception of the Texas rig, all of these baits are fairly easy to fish in the dark since most can be simply cast out and reeled back in. Techniques that require you to pay close attention to your line or bait are often frustrating ways to fish without adequate daylight.
If you are looking for a cooler fishing option this summer, night fishing might be just what the doctor ordered.

Brian Johnson, originally of Port Neches, is pastor of First Baptist Church of Winnie, owner of and outdoors writer for The News.