Throughout my years night fishing with our underwater LED fishing lights I have come to realize that there are a few tricks that can be utilized to increase the odds of success. I have seen everything from boats constantly pulling the light in and out of the water, to people throwing lures 10x the size of the bait swimming around the light. I am hoping that the few fishing light tactics below will allow you to create many lifelong memories while fishing with your friends and family.
Have patience. The chain reaction will take time. Phytoplankton and bait may show up very quickly, but predator fish that are attracted to the easy meal may take longer. Microscopic marine algae called phytoplankton attracted to the light starts the chain reaction off and is soon followed by larger baitfish. These baitfish will be either attracted to the microscopic meals or the LED fishing light itself.
If the light is in an area of minimal current, you will notice the bait ball swimming in a mesmerizing circle around the light. This is when your best night fishing begins! With so much action around the light, nearby predator fish can't resist coming by. Underwater LED fishing lights are perfect for attracting massive bait balls and a variety of bass, snook, crappie, trout, shrimp, squid, various offshore species, and more!
Fishing the outer edges in the "shadows" of the light produces more bites than directly in the light. Predator fish like to swim just outside and dart in for the easy meal. You will notice that some species of fish such as snook and perch like to hang out directly in the light while others tend to navigate the waters just outside in the "shadows."
Getting too close to the light while fishing on a dock or boat will spook many species of fish so stay just inside of casting distance to ensure you don't give away your position. Casting directly into the middle of the light and then retrieving into the shadows will make your bait very tempting for finicky fish.
Matching the bait size and color that is swimming around the light will result in significantly more strikes. Generally, the smaller the bait, the better. "Matching the hatch" is the goal when night fishing with lights. Determining what species, size, and colors of bait fish are swimming around the light will help determine what tackle to use. Matching the bait exactly is not always required, but getting very close to the live bait swimming around the light will help you fool smarter fish. If you prefer live bait, just easily net a few fish swimming around the light for even better results!
Use a deep cell battery with high amp hour (AH) rating if you plan to fish all night. It is not recommended to use your boats starting battery. The higher the AH, the longer the light will last. Deep cell marine batteries are meant to be slowly drained over time, but not to empty. Running the light until a deep cell battery drains out will shorten the life span of the battery. For shorter trips, any smaller 12v battery should suffice. Additionally, if you have access to an outlet, you can also use the optional 110v -250v converter and run it all night!
Keep the light clean. Depending on the environmental conditions that the light is subject to, it might require occasional cleaning. Giving it a fresh water rinse after use and using the attachment hooks for a lowering line and additional weight will extend the life of the power cord. Keeping all the waterproof connectors clear of debris is also necessary. Taking good care of the light will ensure it creates lifelong memories for many years to come!
About the Author: Ryan Gingrich is an avid night fisherman, and owner of IllumiSea Aquatic Lighting Co. Growing up in Lancaster Pennsylvania, his passion for fishing started at a young age spending time fishing freshwater streams for trout and farm ponds for bass and crappie with his brother and dad. Fast forward 30+ years, and it was his turn to create the same memories with his four boys. Only the outings were fewer and further between due to having commitments to the U.S. military. His boys truly love being on the water and fishing, and during his time at home, he wanted to take full advantage of it. One night his oldest son Brody caught his very first striped bass on a green underwater light. A few weeks later, IllumiSea was born. After looking into underwater lights for fishing at night, he was super disappointed to find everything on the market was cheap "single-use" quality, or priced at a range only Saudi Kings could afford. So he took things into his own hands and started designing a reliable and ultra bright underwater light to lengthen fishing trips past dusk. 18+ months later and he now has the most reliable memory-making light on the market. It has been put through some severe military-grade testing too. His kids love it, he loves it, and even his wife thinks it looks great... plus the fish can't get enough! Now, he is bringing it to the market so that other families can enjoy building the same lifelong memories just like his family has!