Best Night Bass Fishing Baits (Tips &Tricks)

There is no doubt that one of the best times in the summer to head out to the water and chase some bass is at dusk and at night. This low light period when sun is going down and the moon is coming up gives anglers some key advantages and provides some great bass fishing opportunities.

Taking advantage of some great night bass fishing often gets overlooked by some anglers. This can be a big mistake as it can be one of the best times to catch big bass. Having the right baits and lures to use at night will help you capitalize on the nighttime bite and will increase your chances of success.

In this article you are going to learn what the best nighttime bass fishing lures are, where to find bass at night and some tips & tricks that will help you catch more fish when it gets dark outside.

Let’s get started.

Where Do Bass Go at Night?

First things first. Where are bass going to be at night and how do you find them? The best place to target bass late at night as up shallow. Big bass will head to the shallows and are looking to feed.

As a result, they are more aggressive and will tend to roam around more looking for feeding opportunities. This feeding window combined with low light conditions give anglers some key advantages and can make for some great fishing opportunities.

Best Baits & Lures for Night Bass Fishing

One of the great things about bass fishing at night is there are a lot of different baits, lures, and techniques you can use to catch fish. However, there are three main bait categories and specific lures that I think give anglers the best chance of success while night fishing.

Here are the top night bass lures organized into simple categories.  

Best Night Bass Fishing Baits (By Category)

  • Topwater Baits (wakebaits, ploppers, poppers, frogs, buzzbaits)
  • Reaction Baits (crankbaits, chatterbaits, spinnerbaits, glide baits)
  • Bottom Contact Baits (jigs, Texas rig,)

Selecting and tying on a couple of baits in each category will help make sure you have success bass fishing at night regardless of the condition and mood of the fish.

The Best Night Bass Fishing Lures

Now for the fun part. Let’s talk about the exact baits and lures I use and would recommend to any induvial bass fishing at night.

Here are the best bass fishing lures and baits to use when night fishing.

10” Berkley PowerBait Worm (Texas Rig)

If you are fishing slow and are after a big bass one of the best way to do that at night is with a 10″ Berkley PowerBait Worm. This bait flat out catches them and will help you catch a lot of big bass during those hot summer nights.

I prefer use a Texas Rig with this curly tail worm and use at least a 1/2 tungsten weight and will peg the weight with a bobber stopper to give me more control and feel of the bait. If I do want some sound I’ll add a glass bead and I’ll place the bobber stopper an inch or so above it so it will clack as it moves through the water.

At night I love using dark colors like black and blue when its super dark outside and green pumpkin and brown colors when there is some moon light.

Whopper Plopper

It’s no secret that one of the most effective and addicting bass fishing techniques are topwater lures. There is nothing like seeing a big bass come up to the surface and destroy your lure.

One of my go to topwater lures to throw at night in open water is the Whopper Plopper by River2Sea. This bait flat out catches fish. The Whopper Plopper is easy to throw, allows you to cover water quickly and has incredible drawing power.

When I’m fishing for smallmouth bass I like to throw the 90 size. The smaller profile makes it easier for the smallmouth to grab. When targeting largemouth or bigger fish I like throwing the 130. It’s a bigger profile that moves more water and gets bigger bites.

At night it’s best to use colors that will help your bait stand and that allow the bass to find it easier. Colors like bone, I know it and loon are great options first low light periods and at night.


When the bass arn’t as active or you are looking for a big bite a jig is a great option to throw when bass fishing at night. Sometimes they are keying in on a big worm other times they prefer to eat the jig. I would recommend trying both until you the bass tell you which one they prefer.

When fishing jigs at night I like to go a little heavier than I normally would when fishing during the day. This is because night fishing can be a little tricky and being confident you can feel and know where you bait is will help you detect more bites as you navigate and fish in the dark.

One of my favorite night time jigs is the Booyah Boo Jig. I like the 1/2 or heavier weight depending on how deep I am fishing. I like to pair it up with a soft plastic creature bait like a sweet beaver or super chunk.


When the water temperatures reach 60°F in the spring, and until they drop below 50°F in fall is when the buzz bait really shines. This can be a great way to catch aggressive bass at night and early in the morning.  

The buzzbait is one of the easiest and efficient topwater lures you can throw. You can fish it over cover, through grass, or in open water. Regardless of where it’s fished, it can produce some big bites.

My favorite buzzbait is the Revenge Buzzbait Klacker. I like to throw it on a paddle tail style swim-bait like the Keitech Swing Impact FAT or a with a frog like the Zoom Horny Toad.

In clear water situations I prefer to remove the buzzbait skirt and just fish it with one of these trailers. On the other hand, in muddy or stained water I’ll use both a trailer and skirt to give it a bigger profile and more action.

If the topwater bite is in play and you are fishing first thing in the morning a buzzbait is hard to beat. You’ll get some of your biggest bites of the day fishing this technique.


A spinnerbait is one of my favorite lures to throw while bass fishing at night. It’s an extremely versatile lure that will allow you to cover water and fish around vegetation and structure. It generates a lot of vibration and is great for triggering a reaction strike by and nearby fish.

There are a ton of different spinnerbait sizes, styles and blade options to choose from. If I could only use one, I’d easily use throw the River2Sea Bling Spinnerbait ½ ounce in the lemonade twist or I know it pattern.

When throwing a spinnerbait in the morning you want to use bold colors like a white and chartreuse or dark colors like a black and red. As far as the blade goes gold blades tend to work best early in the morning and silver works better when the sun is high.

These color and blade combinations will help your bait stand out in low light conditions and will help you get more bites as you pick apart key areas in the morning.  

For more information on how to fish a spinnerbait check out this article: What is a Spinnerbait and How to Fish one Like a Pro.

Spro Rat (Wakebait)

While bass fishing in a night tournament my buddy pulled out this rat looking bait and started throwing it. I thought he was crazy and thought there was no way our bass in Utah would eat that thing. Fast forward 30 minutes later he caught several giants and we ended up doing very well.

Needless to say the Spro Rat Wakebait is an absolute must have when targeting big largemouth bass. This wakebait has a big profile making it easy for the bass to locate and track and will get you some monster bites in the summer time.

The only color that I would throw at night is the black ninja. There is something about the big black profile with the pink tail that drives the bass crazy. I’d highly recommend giving this bait a try it’s a lot of fun to throw and will catch you some monsters.


There is nothing more exciting than to witness the explosion of a bass on a topwater bait and one of the best ways to make that happen is with a Zara Spook.

The Spook is a plug that is shaped like a fat pencil that has a line tie just under the nose of the bait. They come in a variety of different sizes, colors and both a silent and rattling version.

It’s hard to find a lure with the drawing power of this bait. There is something about the side-to-side action and rattle that cause bass to rise and strike from distance.


If you are bass fishing at a pond or your lake has mats, lily pads or heavy vegetation throwing a frog is an absolute must. There is no better way to target fish in these areas than with a topwater frog.

The frog can also be a great option to throw in open water and around other types of cover as well. This isn’t as common but may professional anglers have had a lot of success doing this.

The best all-around topwater frog in my opinion is the Live Target Hollow Body Frog. It’s a super realistic and versatile frog than you can fish pretty much anywhere.

I definitely recommend adding a frog to your early morning bass fishing arsenal. They are super fun to fish and sometimes they only way you can trigger bass into biting in thick vegetation.

Best Colors for Night Bass Fishing

Selecting the right lure colors and baits while fishing for bass at night can be extremely important. The right color combination will help your baits stand out making them more likely to get eaten by any nearby bass.

In my experience the best colors for nighttime bass fishing are white, chartreuse, black & blue, and green pumpkin. I prefer using white and chartreuse colors when throwing reaction and topwater lures and black & blue/green pumpkin colors when fishing slow with soft plastic baits like a Texas rig or jig.

Another factor I consider when deciding on what color to use for bass at night is how bright the moon is and the clarity of the water. If the moon is bright and the water is clear natural colors like green pumpkin and brown are my top choice. When its pitch black out and or the water is murky dark colors like black and blue are my favorite.  

If you want to learn more about how to choose the right bass fishing colors for each technique and situation check out this helpful guide: How to Choose the Right Bass Fishing Colors

Best Line for Night Bass Fishing

There are a lot of line options and sizes anglers can choose from when fishing for bass at night. The best fishing line to use at night depends upon the type of lures and baits you are using, water clarity and the type of cover present.

When fishing for bass at night the best pound test line to use is 12lb test. It’s the most versatile line strength and will be effective in most fishing situations. For finesse bass fishing techniques like the Drop Shot or Ned Rig 6-8lb test is ideal. If you are targeting bigger bass or fishing around cover 15-20lb test typically best. When throwing frogs and or fishing in heavy cover like mats or thick grass 50-80lb braided line is more effective.

For more information and insight on the best line to use for bass fishing, check out this guide: Best Fishing Line for Bass: (Baitcasters & Spinning Reels)

Summer Night Bass Fishing Tips

Fish at & Around Full Moons

Conventional bass fishing wisdom says that the best time to go bass fishing at night is on a full moon. This is generally a good rule of thumb. However, if you really want to dial it in here some tips that I’ve learned over the years.

Clear water = Fish around New Moon (darker nights)

If you are fishing in lakes or reservoirs that have clear water the best time of the month to go night fishing is going to be when around a new moon. This is when its darkest. The low light will give you an advantage over these fish that are used to seeing everything in clear water.

Murky water = Full around Full Moon (brighter nights)

If you are night fishing in ponds and lakes where the water is murky or stained fishing around the full moon when the nights are brighter is best. The extra light will not only help you see better but it allows the bass to see better, and they will often choose to hunt during these conditions.

Be Careful with Lights

When fishing at night be careful about how you are using your lights. In my opinion bright lights and headlamps will spook nearby fish and make it harder for your eyes to see all of the details around you. That’s why I like to fish without any lights when I can. If I do need a light, I’ll use a headlamp and preferable one that has red lights. The red won’t obstruct your night vision and you can easily turn it on and off.

Add Sound

A great way to increase your chances of catching more bass at night is by adding some sound to your presentations. Adding a rattle or bead to your jigs or soft plastics may seem like a minor detail, but it can make all the difference.  

There have been times where a fishing buddy was fishing a jig with a rattle, and I wasn’t, and he would out fish my 10 to 2. The extra sound at night is a great way to get more bites and let the bass know where your bait is located.

Cover Water

To give yourself the best odds at catching fish at night, fish fast and cover water. Bass will be roaming around and feeding up shallow at night. This is going to be the best time to throw reaction style lures. In my opinion it’s a way more enjoyable way to fish and will help you catch a lot more active bass.

Stay Quiet

At night on most bodies of water there isn’t a lot of boat traffic or commotion out on the water. It’s typically becomes calm and quiet.

For this reason, its best to be as quite as you can ben. So be careful when you are opening rod lockers, walking around, or talking. You just might scare that big bass you have been targeting all summer. Even the slightest sound could signal to a fish you are nearby. Be quiet and you’ll end up catching more fish.

Night Bass Fishing Q&A

Are bass more active at night? At night many bass will leave deeper water and head to hunt for food in the shallows. As a result, bass can be more active and easier to catch at night when compared to the heat of the day. 

Can you catch bass at night? Yes, you can catch bass at night or during the day. In the summer one of the best times to fish for bass is at night. The temperatures are cooler, there is less traffic and bass can become more active and easier to catch.

What lures to use for bass at night? There are a lot of techniques, baits and lures you can use to catch bass at night. In my experience the best nighttime bass fishing lures are curly tailed worms, jigs, buzz baits, and crankbaits. The best one will vary depending upon location, season and mood of the bass.

Other Bass Fishing Resources

Final Thoughts

One of my favorite times to go fishing for bass in the summer is at dusk and late into the evening. During this time there is way less boat traffic, bass are more active, and tend to roam around more when compared to other times during the day.

This behavior and situation present bass fishing anglers with some unique and fun fishing opportunities. In fact, one of the best times to catch big bass can be late at night when they are out feeding, and no one is around. So, make sure to stay out late, be safe, choose your baits and locations wisely and go out and have a good time bass fishing at night.

Best of luck out there. 

Aaron Warner

Aaron Warner is an avid angler with over 15 years of experience. He has participated and won fishing tournaments all over the country and enjoys fishing for bass, trout, walleye and other species.

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