Fishing at night can be tough at first. All of your senses kind of go out of whack. We get so used to fishing with our eyes. We watch for the bites. At night, we don’t have that luxury. But before you write off the idea of going out at night, hear me out. A lot of people think that the top water bite will only ever kick in at first and last light. What you might be surprised to hear is that the top water bite typically starts at sunset and actually CONTINUES on throughout the night until sunrise. Ill get to the top water bite in a minute though. I have had some of my most productive fishing experiences at night. Especially when it comes to fishing in the summer. Its hot out here in Arizona, and the bass arent any happier than we are about it. So when the sun goes down, the fish will spread out again. They will come up shallow and they usually feed up pretty heavily. So here are my suggestions for making the most out of fishing at night. Enjoy. -Ethan
1. Drop Shot. This technique may be kind of boring but it flat out catches fish. my recommendation for plastics would be desert craw roboworms. They have always worked great for me at night. It is important to stick with dark colors at night. Blacks. Purples. Junebug. Etc… Now, when you are fishing the drop shot at night, fish it slow, and I mean almost PAINFULLY slow. The fish will have to move around to zero in on your presentation. At night, bass primarily feed using their lateral line. This detects movement in the water, kind of like sonar.
2. Texas rig. No other technique out there has caught more fish than the texas rig, and night time fishing is no exception. Now, when it comes to finesse fishing at night, there is one advantage to using a texas rig that the drop shot just cant compete with, and that is SIZE. Fishing a huge worm can be crazy productive. I would recommend using a 7″-10″ ribbon tail worm. I prefer the culprit worms but bass pro and zoom also make some great options. I know some people will even throw those crazy 14″-20″ worms but to me that seems like overkill. Again, fish it slow. I recommend rigging with a glass bead to get that sound factor going.
3. Weightless Senko. Wacky or Weightless Texas Rigged Senkos both work. Fish it the same way you would during the day. Senkos are fish catching machines.
4. Chatterbaits. VIBRATION VIBRATION VIBRATION. Nothing gets these fish more worked up at night than a chatterbait. I ALWAYS rig up my chatterbaits with a craw style trailer. But, I am very particular about the trailers. I only use the Xcite baits raptor tail chunk or the Powerbait Chigger craw. These trailers are super awesome at night and at day. They more around a lot and it moves a lot of water. Fish the chatterbait slow and steady.
Move around a lot.
Travel light. Try not to bring more than two rods.
Bring a headlamp.
Scent can be key. BANG makes a crazy garlic scent that works great at night.
When we are fishing during the Spring time it may seem like all we are doing is catching fish. Then summer hits, and it may seem like all of the fish suddenly vanished. Well that’s because they are on a new pattern. This post will help you find the bass even on the hottest summer days.
Find vegetation and flowing water
Near the grass and reeds you will find a bunch of bass stacked up like no other. This is because during the hot summer days they will have a hard time finding oxygen, therefore, they become very lazy and lethargic. They will flee to vegetation and flowing water (such as water pumps and waterfalls). If you find these areas, you find bass.
The coolest parts of the water will be deep. The more shallow the water, the hotter it is. Some of the more popular lures going deep are deep diving crank baits, Carolina rigs, and football head jigs. Fish these lures nice and slow along the bottom and you’ll find yourself some luck. For whatever reason it is I have had the best luck using ribbon tailed worms on a Carolina rig.
Fish love cover regardless if it is Spring or if its Winter. It doesn’t matter. That is why even during the Summer go for cover. Not only is it something that they are naturally attracted to, but it also keeps the bass cooler and provides them shade.
One of the last things I will try if none of the above are working is using loud baits. Lipless crankbaits, chatter baits, and even jigs with rattles. The point is, if you can’t find fish, let them find you. It may take a while but this can be an effective last resort. If the lake is murky it works especially well.
So there you have it. These are my summertime go-to’s. Give this a shot while you are out there sweating your butt off. Remember drink plenty of water, and as always, tight lines!
On July 6th, Lyle Danuser (Owner of Southwest Custom Tackle) and my self made our way to Bartlett lake at around 3 in the afternoon. He was my guide for the day since I am not too familiar with Bartlett. We first made our way down to where the lake narrows and makes its way to the river. We start off throwing a bunch of different moving baits at different points. After about an hour Lyle was able to pull out two. We ended up driving back towards the southern after some time. I was able to land two of them on points with a crankbait. Once the sun was making its way down we fished towards the damn. Lyle told me to start throwing out Senkos, so I did. I ended up landing another 3 after about 20 minutes in that area. We decided to end it when the sun was completely down. Overall I would say it was a solid day especially in the hot Arizona summer. Lyle definitely knows what he is doing and makes an excellent guide! If you have any questions about baits/what to use when you are out on the water feel free to reach out to Lyle on his website https://www.swctackle.com and fill out the form! Also check out some of the new gear that he added to his store!