Can You Fish with Lures at Night? (Facts!)

Some anglers may frown upon fishing at night instead of in the daytime. One of the reasons is because there are often questions on whether or not fish can see and bite lures at night.

In this article, you will find out if you can fish with lures at night. You will also find out if there are chances for fish to bite on those lures.

Lures at Night

Here’s If You Can Fish With Lures At Night:

Just as you can fish with lures during the day, you can also fish with lures at night. However, fishing at night may affect your choice of lure’s color. Depending on how clear the water is and how deep you are fishing, you should consider dark lure colors at night for better visibility.

Are Fish Active At Night?

It is commonly thought that fish are not usually active at night. However, this is far from being true. Fish are active at night just as they are active in the daytime.

Furthermore, how active a fish is during a particular time of the day depends on the fish species. 

Some predatory fish, like snook and tarpon, some predatory fish become even more active at night. The reason is that once the day gets dark, the predatory fish can easily sneak on their prey.

Also, the logicality of fish being active at night can be seen in the fact that some fishermen prefer nighttime fishing. 

Although nighttime fishing may seem like a hesitating idea to many beginner anglers, some tips to make the experience better include;

  1. Using the appropriate lure color

The color of lure you use will determine how well your nighttime fishing goes. Experts often recommend using dark color lures like black, red, purple, or dark blue. 

These colors can reflect against the moonlight. Then the lures are more visible in the water.

  1. Knowing the nature of the specie you are fishing 

It is a great idea to know the nature of your target fish. For example, fish like bass, trout, and yellow perch rely on sight. 

Therefore, the best time to catch them at night would be when there is a full moon. The light from the moon will make the lure more visible to the fish.

Can Fish See Lures At Night?

Since the water is dark, you may be wondering if the fish can sight lures under the water at night. Most fish will be able to see lures at night. However, the extent of the fish’s vision becomes limited. 

In that case, the fish will use their other senses to locate food. But that does not mean they will not find your lure. 

Since most fish rely on their other senses when swimming, you can use noise-making bait like a buzz bait. Also, use chatter baits and other baits with moving parts.

In addition, whether or not a fish can sight your lure underwater will depend on the color of the lure that you use. You may be tempted to use bright colors like orange since it is dark. 

However, expert angles often recommend the opposite colors. Darker colors like deep blue and black are perfect for the luring fish at night. The dark colors can reflect light better under the water,

Also, the natural sight of the fish will determine how well they can see your lure underwater. For example,

  1. Epipelagic fish- These fish typically live within 200 meters of the surface like mackerel, tuna, and herring. They have trouble seeing well in extremely low light conditions. 

So if the water is very dark, it’s better to focus on fishing epipelagic fish with lures with vibrations and sound rather than focusing mainly on color.

  1. Mesopelagic fish- These fish live about 200 to 1000 meters down the ocean surface. This part of the ocean is very dark, and the fish have adapted to the low light condition. 

Thus, mesopelagic fish can be sensitive to even the slightest light signal. The best focus when choosing a lure for these fish would be the lure’s color.

Whether you are using lures visible to fish underwater or your target fish have excellent light sensitivity, most expert anglers would agree that night fishing is more than just vision. Both you and the fish will have to rely on your sense of feeling. 

Do Plastic Lures Work At Night?

Plastic lures work pretty well to catch fish at night. You would particularly find the plastics useful if they have dark colors, are scented, and are on the bulky side.

Many anglers have used plastic lures to fish and recorded success. Since it is night, you may have to worry less about the color and pattern of the plastic lures. The colors and patterns will hardly matter since they will not be visible underwater anyway.

Nevertheless, you may want to pay attention to plastics that give light flashes or vibrations. 

So plastics with spinner blades and chrome finishes will go a long way in making the fishing experience better for you.

Are Topwater Lures Good At Night?

Topwater lures are fishing lures made to float on the water’s surface.

Topwaters are great for fishing at night. Also, they remain many anglers’ lure options for nighttime fishing. If you are targeting bass at night, then topwater is an excellent choice to catch bass. 

The color choice for the topwater lures should be dark colors.

However, you may also use a color like white. Since most of the prey fish of bass have a white belly, a  white topwater has a way of imitating this. 

Whether the hyped topwater lure will work for you at night depends on several factors. One of these factors includes the water condition and technique you use. 

For instance, if the water is murky, the fish will have difficulty spotting your lure. Your best bet would be to use topwater lures that can get fish’s attention by making loud noise and giving off vibrations.

There are various topwater lures available out there. You may have to experiment with several topwaters to find which one works best for you.

What Kind Of Lures Do You Use At Night?

When searching for lures to use at night, you can consider the following factors:

  1. Color: Colors play a huge role in fishing at night.

Generally, darker colors perform better at night. When choosing the lures to use at night, you should go for colors like black, purple, or deep blue. 

These colors help to create a silhouette in the water for the target fish to chase and strike. Although darker shades are ideal for night fishing, some anglers successfully used brighter colors like chartreuse. 

  1. Lure type: Some types of lures are a staple in many anglers’ boxes when going to fish at night. These lures include:
  • Topwater lures
  • Bladed swim jigs
  • Big worms
  • jigs
  • Spinnerbaits
  • Buzzbaits
  1. Movement and light reflection

You may also consider a lure that gives off vibrations and light reflection, including attention-grabbing sound. Your target species can have trouble spotting your lure at night. But these extra features will earn more attention to your lure.


Many anglers new to fishing may not see nighttime as an ideal fishing time. However, contrary to the belief of many, it is not uncommon to have fish active at night. 

Night fishing presents other benefits like a higher chance of catching bigger fish, less competition, and calm water. 

Nevertheless, the kind of lure you use can also affect the success of your catch at night. The ideal lures to use when dark are lures with dark colors like black and deep blue. Darker colors help lures reflect the light in the waters and make their silhouette visible to fish.