For the first part of my life as an angler, I’d never done a lot of fishing for largemouth bass at night. Bass fishing was always more of a daytime pursuit, and I’d fish mostly for catfish at night.
That all changed when a friend of mine put me on to night fishing for largemouth. At first, I was skeptical, but it only took a few trips out with my buddy to see how it’s possible to catch huge largemouth after sundown. In some cases, it’s even easier to catch largemouth at night than it is during the day at the same lake.
Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time testing various lures for night fishing largemouth, and certain lure types and individual lure have stood out from the pack. And the same types of lures that crush largemouth during the day aren’t necessarily what you want to use once darkness settles over the water.
Best Lures For Bass Fishing At Night
Here are what I’ve found to be the best bass lures for bass fishing at night.
1. Black Arbogast Jitterbug
I’ll tell you right up front – You’re going to see a number of topwater lures on this list. Topwater lures are amazing for catching largemouth bass at night, and the best lures seem to almost magically draw strikes when nothing else is working.
But I’ve found that the Black Arbogast Jitterbug is the best lure for bass fishing at night.
When the sun goes down, largemouth rely far more on their sense of hearing to hunt for prey. On top of that, wind generally tends to decrease at night, making for a calmer water surface.
This means that topwater lures draw even more attention at night than they do during the day. A good arsenal of topwater lures is probably the number one weapon when it comes to night fishing for largemouth.
The black Arbogast jitterbug is an outstanding pick for night bass fishing. If you’ve ever worked a jitterbug before, you know the hypnotic back-and-forth retrieval can produce massive strikes as fish leap from the water to hit it.
The black color is perfect for night fishing, when bright, gaudy colors matter little in the darkness. And the Arbogast jitterbug is a fairly large jitterbug, meaning you’ll get a water displacement that draws the attention of bass in the area.
Usually, you want to use this jitterbug when you’ve got a little bit of wind at the most, with waves or ripples no more than around an inch in height. Anymore than that, and the lure can get lost in the turbulence.
If the water is relatively calm, a slow, patient retrieval will likely prove irresistible to largemouth as you run it along a shoreline.
2. Booyah Buzz Bait (Black)
Another topwater entry that can be used in slightly more versatile conditions is the Booyah black buzzbait. Like a jitterbug, a buzzbait is usually retrieved with a constant pace. But while a jitterbug gently and rhythmically displaces water, a buzzbait churns up the water as it cruises along.
This makes it a better choice for windier conditions if you’re still looking to fish a topwater lure. If the water is relatively choppy, you can retrieve this buzzbait faster to thrash through the water and get largemouth noticing the lure through the waves.
And the good news is that it’s a great lure even when the water is calmer – Simply slow down the retrieval and reel in the buzzbait a bit gentler to adjust for the conditions.
You can fish this Booyah buzzbait in just about any condition, though if the waves are too intense, you’re probably better off avoiding topwater lures entirely. But if you’ve got moderate to calm conditions, you can cover huge amounts of ground and attract bass with this lure.
Like with the Arbogast jitterbug, you’re best off going with a black colored buzzbait for night fishing. Your retrieval should be fast enough that you can hear the blade chopping through the water, but not so fast that it sounds like a motor.
The Booyah buzzbait comes with an extra blade for increased action, which comes in handy when fishing at night. That little extra action can tempt a bass into biting that otherwise might not.
3. Booyah Moontalker Spinnerbait
- Great Night Bass Fishing Lure
- Proven color combinations make this a staple for the avid night bass angler.
- 55 strand silicone skirt
For our next lure, we’ll move on to a submerged lure for the first time. Though the spinnerbait can be thought of as the underwater cousin of the buzzbait.
Spinners are a great night time bass lure, as the vibration the spinning blade produces can attract bass in low-visibility conditions. If you’re not having any luck with topwater, switching to a spinnerbait can draw strikes from bass that aren’t quite willing to come to the surface to take a lure.
The line of Booyah Moontalker spinnerbaits are specifically designed for night fishing, and the results bear it out. The line of Moontalkers has a variety of three skirts, all of which are black and another color, ideal for night fishing. I’ve had the most success with the black/blue skirt.
In all varieties, the Moontalker features a dull gray blade rather than the classic shiny silver or gold one, and it seems to be the right choice when it comes to fishing for bass at night time. It’s hard to go wrong with this lure when targeting night time bass.
4. Topwater Frog Lures
We’re back to topwater for our next lure, the last topwater lure you’ll see on the list.
We all know that largemouth bass like cover. That’s no different at night. One of the frustrating things about fishing for largemouth sometimes is knowing that the fish are in areas where you’re likely to snag on weeds, lily pads and other vegetation while trying to target those high-traffic areas.
Weedless topwater frogs should be in every bass angler’s tacklebox, and they’re phenomenal night fishing lures too. With the twin hooks tucked up tight against the soft bodies of the frogs, it’s practically impossible to snag the hooks on weeds.
Fish these frogs with a heavier-than-normal test line in high vegetation stretches of water at night, and watch the bass go crazy. You’ll need the extra line power if a largemouth runs itself into or around clumps of vegetation.
Weedless topwater frogs are great for night bass fishing because you can slop them through any patch of weeds or vegetation without needing to sight cast the way you would with a lure that more easily gets snagged or hung up.
In a lot of circumstances, you’re not going to have good visibility when fishing at night, so on weedy lakes a lot of lures going to give you problems. But you don’t have to worry about any of that when using this lure.
If you haven’t paid attention to some of the trendier new types of lures over the past decade or so, chatterbaits might have slipped right under your radar. If so, now’s the perfect time to get acquainted with one of the best innovations in bass lures in decades.
In case you’re not familiar, a
Chatterbaits have been winning professional largemouth angling tournaments and catching tons of bass all over the country. And they’re perfectly suited to night time bass fishing.
The vibration a
6. Large Worms/ 7”
We’ve covered the new-school with chatterbaits, but the final entry on the list is an oldie but goodie. When fishing for night time largemouth, sometimes the perfect lure is a plastic worm.
If you’re fishing in the right night time conditions, largemouth should be fairly active hunters. But sometimes, they’re just not hitting on more aggressive presentations, nor are they coming to the surface to take topwaters.
In those conditions, a
One particularly effective technique in night time conditions can be a wacky rig. If you’re not familiar with the rig, it’s worth looking up for the specifics of how to set it up. But the basic idea is that the worm is hooked through the middle of its body, producing a distinctive fluttering motion as it rises and falls.
The wacky rig motion is outstanding for night fishing, when you want that little bit of extra action to draw the attention of bass in low-visibility conditions.
Like with most lures on the list, choose blacks and darker colors for night fishing, and make sure to have this type of lure in your tacklebox if you go out angling for largemouth at night.
The perfect lure on any given night can vary based on so many factors. The exact weather, wind and lighting conditions. The temperature. The vegetation and structure on the lake. Even your own strengths as an angler.
But if you’re looking to be a successful night largemouth angler, you owe it to yourself to have some or all of these lures at your disposal. Depending on the circumstances, if you can’t catch largemouth at night with one of these lures, I’m betting that nothing would work.