Night Fishing Light Setup

Fishing at night can be a thrilling experience full of suspense and anticipation. When would anything succumb to the lure? What is it going to be? Will I be able to overcome it, or will it be able to overcome me? 

When you hook a big fish, you hope it’s a prize. You have no idea what’s down there, and you won’t know for sure until you bring it to the surface. That’s what attracts a hardened group of anglers to this late-night sport. 

If you plan on fishing at night, you need lights that attract sport fish to your boat. The latter works by attracting zooplankton, which attracts baitfish, which in turn attract predators. For this purpose, you can choose from three main types of lights floating, submerged and black.

Let us understand more about the night fishing light setup and how it works.

Types Of Lights Used In Night Fishing

Types Of Lights Used In Night Fishing

For night fishing, three types of lights are used commonly, floating fishing lights, submersible fishing lights, and black lights. Fish attractants include floating and submersible lights, which can be used separately or in combination. 

Combinations mean two floating lights over two submersible lights. They are more flexible, lighting different levels of the water column to attract fish. This light also provides more above-the-water lighting for tying knots, hooking bait, and unhooking fish. Black lights illuminate fishing lines, enabling the angler to see, rather than only hear, what is going on below.

So, let’s go through the fundamentals of how to go night fishing and what you need to do to be effective in freshwater or saltwater after dark. Preparation and getting the right equipment are crucial, as always. 

Floating Light 

To light the water where they fished, early Fishermen used torches. Many night Fishermen still use it. A traditional floating model with a Styrofoam flotation ring surrounding a white, sealed-beam light similar to a car headlight was one of the first specialty lights used for night fishing.

This form of light is both affordable and widely available. The majority of such lights are powered by 12-volt systems with alligator clips attached to the battery posts. The angler floats the light (or many lights) beside the boat, with the beam pointing down to attract bait fish and game fish. 

Floating lights with more energy-efficient LED or fluorescent lighting have become more commonly available in recent years. In addition to white lights, green lights are also accessible. Standard 12-volt alligator clips, a cigarette lighter plug, or alkaline batteries can all be used to power these models.

Some of these units have a molded handle that allows them to be used as spotlights, camp lights, or boat lights. Safety fuses and long, well-insulated cords are also features of the highest. Some have a built-in black light on the top to aid in line illumination. 

Submerged Light

For several years, night fishermen relied on floating lights, but users had to deal with swarms of insects attracted to the lights as well as fish. Submersible lights, which slide underneath the surface and illuminate the depths, were created for this and other purposes.

Models with white or green lights are available in battery-powered, 12-volt LED and fluorescent models. 

Others sink after the weight is attached to a swivel clip on one end of the light. Since these lights float without weight, the user can place them in the water column in a variety of ways for improved flexibility. Fluorescent-bulb submersible lights are often available in various lengths (9-inch and 21-inch, for example).

Black Light

Fluorescent monofilament is illuminated by black lights, making it more apparent from a greater distance. When the ultraviolet lights are turned on keep an eye on your line. As even the tiniest twitch or movement might indicate a bite. Under black light, rods with fluorescent tips often shine brightly. 

The majority of black lights are run by a 12-volt system or multiple D-cell batteries.

The inclusion of green or white lights is used while rigging, washing, or performing other general topside tasks. You need switches that allow you to turn on only the number of lights required. 

You also require cordless, rechargeable construction to charge the device at home with a 110-volt charger. These all are features of higher-end models. Many come with suction-cup feet for temporary rail mounting, and a few have plug-in jacks for permanent installation on boat rails for on-and-off use.

Light Equipment Required For Night Fishing

For the most popular night fishing trip, you’ll need the best gear, including a rod, reel, lures, and a variety of light sources. You won’t have to juggle a dim hand-held gadget when tying knots, unloading gear, or untangling lines with these items, making simple tasks simpler and safer. Specialty lighting will also attract large sport fish to your ships. 

Have the best chance of catching a giant river or lake monster next time you take your boat out with these lights:


With a hands-free lighting aid, such as a headlamp or lighted hat, you can finish other tasks like unloading your boat, navigating to that prime fishing location, and reeling in fish while keeping your hands free. 

Hands-free Boat Light

Installing multiple hands-free flashlights around your boat is another perfect way to free up your hands when night fishing. Flashlights can also provide more efficient illumination than a headlamp, and they can run independently of one another to save battery life.

Lights For Attracting Fish

Although it can appear that bright, colorful lights will scare away fish, they attract fish and bait to your boat. Bugs and baitfish are attracted to green lights, which draw predatory fish to your lines. The best products for attracting fish are submersible and floating lights. You can use them for any form of fishing in fresh and saltwater environments, from the boat or the dock.

Installed Boat Lights

If headlamps and a few flashlights aren’t enough light for your boat, consider adding multiple LED lights. For the most efficient long-term lighting, look for ANSI-rated lights that can be submerged for at least 30 minutes. To see realistic colors and to stand out, install blue boat lights for the highest visibility.

Tips For Night Fishing


The chain reaction will take some time to complete. Phytoplankton and bait can appear quickly, but predator fish drawn to the easy meal can take longer to appear. Phytoplankton, a microscopic marine alga attracted to light, begins the chain reaction, followed by larger baitfish. 

The baitfish are drawn to either the microscopic meals or the LED fishing light. 

You’ll see the bait ball swimming in a mesmerizing circle around the light if it’s in an area with little current. It is the start of your best night fishing! Since there’s so much going on around the sun, predator fish can’t help but come by.

Bait Size

Generally, the smaller the bait, the better. When night fishing with lights, the aim is to “match the hatch.” Identifying the species, scale, and color of bait fish swimming around the light can aid in the selection of tackle. 


If you intend to fish all night, invest in a deep-cell battery with a high amp-hour (AH) ranking. Using your boat’s starting battery is not recommended. The longer the light lasts, the higher the AH. Deep-cell marine batteries are designed to be steadily depleted over time, not to be completely depleted. Running the light before a deep cell battery dies will reduce the life of the battery.

Taking Care Of Lights

Keep the light in good working order. Depending on the setting in which the light is used, it can need to be cleaned regularly. The life of the power cord is extended by giving it a freshwater rinse after each use and using the attachment hooks for a lowering line and additional weight. 

It’s also crucial to keep all of the waterproof connectors free of debris. Taking care of the light will ensure that it continues to have lifelong memories for many years to come!


The excitement and unknown adventure of night fishing attract more people to set sail after dark. Is it a world-record-breaking trophy grab or an old boot from the deep when you hook something on your line? 

The thrill of nighttime fishing, combined with the requisite relief from the sweltering summer sun, is catching the attention of more people to try it. You will increase your chances of catching fish by throwing your line at dusk or dawn. 

Night fishing is a unique experience that necessitates the use of the proper tools and equipment. Make sure you have many hands-free lights with you the next time you launch your boat as the sun sets below the horizon.

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