Angler’s Guide to Fishing Lights
Night fishing comes with mystery and adventure that you just don’t get during the day. The sounds and energy of the night are simply unmatched. Some anglers even argue that fish bite better between dawn and dusk!
If you’re not used to fishing at night, there are some important considerations to make, particularly when it comes to fishing lights! Here’s a guide to fishing lights, why they’re important, and how you can choose the right one for you.
What is a Fishing Light?
Fishing lights are portable or permanently mounted lights that anglers use when fishing at night. They come in a variety of colors, light types, and price ranges. Probably the most important piece of night fishing gear, these lights are essential for more reasons than you may think.
Why Use a Fishing Light?
The purpose of fishing lights may seem obvious for night fishing: to help you see what you’re doing. However, the practice of fishing with lights is useful for another big reason that will improve your fishing game.
Shining lights into the water creates a mini “food chain” reaction that ultimately attracts more fish to your boat. The light begins by attracting microscopic organisms like plankton. Small fish are then attracted to the light to feed on the plankton, including minnows and herring. Finally, the larger fish you’re looking to catch will arrive to snack on the baitfish.
This practice dates back to early anglers who would hang a lantern over the side of their boat. They theorized that the light attracted bugs, which then attracted the larger fish. However, this theory has been largely disproven in modern times in favor of the “food chain” concept.
While attracting fish is the main use of fishing lights, each type of light has its own unique benefits. Here are the three primary types of fishing lights and their uses:
Types of Fishing Lights
1. Floating Fishing Lights
The original fishing lights used by early anglers were classic floating fishing lights. These lights are used both to light up the water for better vision and also to attract fish. This basic light design is the most inexpensive fishing light and still used by anglers worldwide.
The advantages of floating lights are that they are portable and easily float next to your boat to attract plentiful fish. However, many anglers have noted that the swarms of bugs these lights attract can be annoying, which is their biggest drawback.
2. Submersible Lights
The annoying bug problem of floating lights led to the invention of submersible lights. These lights are weighted to sink underneath the surface of the water, avoiding the bugs and lighting the water to a much greater depth. When it comes to submersible lights, LED and fluorescent bulbs are available to choose from. LED lights run much cooler than fluorescent lights and are more energy-efficient. Fluorescent lights, on the other hand, provide more light output and intensity.
3. Black Lights
Black lights, or ultraviolet lights, have differing benefits from other lights that make them a favorite for many anglers. Ultraviolet lights light up monofilament line at night making it easy to spot slight movements in the line indicating you might have a bite. Rather than floating in the water, many of these lights are actually mounted on boats through suction cups or plugins. One trick many anglers use is to dab some fluorescent paint on their tackle so small items can be found easily in the dark with the blacklight!
Fishing Light Colors
Historically, anglers have used white light with great success, and white light is still widely used today. However, it has some drawbacks that have made some shift away from it. White light is absorbed very quickly into the water and doesn’t shine very deep, meaning it’s not as effective for attracting plankton, baitfish, and ultimately large fish.
Green light has become a popular alternative due to its distinct advantages over white light. Green light is colorful to the fish for a longer amount of time than white light, and also penetrates deeper into the water inviting more plankton and fish to reproduce. Studies have shown that, compared to a wide range of light colors, green light is the most effective for attracting fish. Don’t worry if you’re using white light, it still works well, but if you’re looking to buy some new fishing lights, go with green!
Best Fishing Lights
Based on your criteria for how and where you plan to fish, there are endless options for great fishing lights out there. To help narrow your search, here are three of the best fishing lights:
This submersible fishing light is popular and affordable.
· Attract prawns, squid, and fish to your favorite spot with these super bright led fishing lights
· 5-Sided LED Fishing Light (360-degree view)
· 10.8 watts, 180 SMD Super Bright LED Lights, 900 lumens brightness ultra-low battery consumption (runs 8 X Longer than halogen)
· 50,000 Hours of continuous use
Another submersible fishing light that’s easy to install and user friendly! This light is quite a bit pricier than the first option, though.
· A whopping 7500 lumens output with a 360-degree viewing angle. The Green Blob Fishing Light has a very unique self-weighted system, so no pesky weights are required to deep drop your light.
· Includes a "waterproof" 110 volt AC adapter with 30 ft power lead
· Designed for both fresh and saltwater 24 7 continuous use.
· The Green Blob LED's are rated at 50,000 hours of continuous use and use very little electricity, unlike the old power eating and unsafe overheating halogen lights
Here’s our pick for the best fishing black light on the market that’s durable and effective!
· The lenses are made of a high-grade acrylic which is highly scratch-resistant, and end caps made from fiber-reinforced nylon offering superior strength and durability.
· 30-day money-back guarantee and a 3-year warranty against defects in materials or workmanship.
What’s the Best Fishing Apparel to Wear?
On any fishing trip, it's important to wear performance fishing apparel when you plan to spend hours on the water in the heat, rain, or cold. The fishing apparel you choose ultimately affects your performance and health. Long sleeve fishing shirts should have UV protection, moisture-wicking, anti-odor, quick-dry, and ventilated features. You should also have fishing shorts with multiple deep pockets, 4-way stretch, moisture-wicking, and stain-resistant fabrics. Sun protection is extremely important, especially if you fish frequently.