Try summer night fishing

Published 10:22 am Friday, July 8, 2011

One way I try to understand fish and wildlife is to try and relate them to something I am familiar with, and since I have very little experience as a deer or fish I try to compare them to people.
While this doesn’t always work since humans and wildlife are different in many ways, it does work on certain levels.
I’ve tried to use this thought process over the years and it has proved helpful on many occasions. It applies to summer fishing as well.
When it’s too hot to move during the day, the fish agree. Most people do their activities very early or at night, and the fish follow suit.
Night bass fishing in the summer can produce fish when no other time can. Fish move to shallow water to feed as darkness sets in. Fish can be found surprisingly shallow at night, sometimes within 1-2 feet of the bank in 6-inches of water or less.
It’s common knowledge in the fishing world that black is one of the best colors at night. Sound strange?
Well, it is until you hear it explained. Largemouth are primarily sight feeders and in the dark they see silhouettes or outlines thus the darker the color the more distinct the silhouette.
I have noticed, though, in our clear mountain lakes that fish seem to see better than we think. I have just as much success or more on natural colored soft plastics at night as I do dark colors.
Yes, Green Pumpkin colored worms do just as good at night. Texas rigs, Carolina rigs, even the subtle Senko baits, work well after dark in our clear water.
One of the best ways to get your heart pounding is to top water fish at night. With the eerie calm of night, the water stills and top water lures can draw fish from a distance.
The downside is they tend to miss more at night so it takes an extra dose of patience to not pull the lure away at the sound of a bite. Waiting to feel the fish before setting the hook is easy to write, hard to practice.
The quietness of night seems to magnify the sound of a good bite on top, you gotta love it! Good ole Jitterbugs, Devil’s Horse prop baits, Zara Spook baits and buzz baits are excellent after dark.
Think shallow, think night lights, think shallow points or flats, think isolated cover.
These places can hold multiple fish and some of those hard to find big fish that come out to play in the dark.
As I always say, “you have to do what the fish want, not what you want.” With that in mind, hanging in there till the pre-dawn hours might be just what it takes to catch those wary summertime fish.
The moon also seems to be a big factor in night fishing. I hear of all the good full moon fishing, but it just doesn’t play out for me, maybe it does for you. I prefer a dark moon phase with no wind.
So, if the bass are rapidly disappearing for you, try the night bite. It just might be the ticket.
Rob McComas is a licensed North Carolina fishing guide on Lake Lure  and Lake Jocassee in S.C.  He has been a guide for 11 years and fishing for more than 30. McComas lives with his wife, Amanda, in Sunny View and runs Robs Guide Service. He can be reached at

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