For anyone who’s tried it, it’s easy to see why fishing at night is a popular alternative to daytime angling. Temperatures are lower, things are more peaceful with fewer people around, and the night hours open up opportunities to catch more and different types of fish. Alternative types of fishing like bow fishing are commonly done at night as well and require good light.
For all its advantages, night fishing does force participants to contend with one major hurdle — darkness. That’s why it’s crucial to have the proper set up of lights for fishing at night. So let’s take a deep dive into this vital piece of equipment and explore what you need to know.
What Lights Do You Use for Night Fishing?
When it comes to lights for fishing at night, the solutions can be as varied and diverse as the anglers themselves! On the budget-friendly end of the spectrum, some will simply use a flashlight or camping lantern held or set in their boat. Others may invest significant amounts of money in specialized night fishing lights. Each of these approaches can work and has merit depending on the goals of night anglers, but some best practices have emerged over time.
For specialized applications like bow fishing, LED flood lights are the light of choice mounted around the boat. Light bars that you find on vehicles are a good option as well but tend to be much more expensive.
Different Styles of Lights for Fishing at Night
As you can see, there are a few different styles of lights that anglers can use when heading out at night. Here are the most common and how they work best.
The expression “use your head” turns literal with the help of versatile, affordable headlamps. These are especially helpful in that they’ll immediately illuminate wherever you’re looking at the moment, ensuring you’re never fumbling to angle your light correctly. Plus, headlamps free up your hands for other tasks, from tying knots to baiting your hook.
Headlamps aren’t the only lights for fishing at night that provide a hands-free experience. Other models can hang around your neck or clip onto a shirt or other item. This lets you target light exactly where you need it. A wide variety of styles and brightness levels are available.
Lights That Attract Fish
Looking to catch even more on your night fishing excursion? Certain styles and colors of lights can attract fish to your location. Some are designed to operate above the water, drawing bugs that bring more fish to the area. Others go under the water. We’ll talk more about these and how to use them ahead.
Lights for Your Boat
Lights on your boat can fulfill a variety of needs for those who head out for night fishing. Most obviously, they’ll allow you to move about your boat and find things as necessary safely. Additionally, they’ll help other boats nearby see you. This can avoid a collision in the darkness. Finally, they can also function similarly to the lights that attract fish, even if it’s not their primary goal.
Onboard-mounted lights are usually hardwired and can operate directly off the batteries or at a higher household voltage. Operating at higher voltages allows for more powerful lights but requires a generator or inverter.
Which Color Attracts the Most Fish?
Surprisingly to some, not all hues are created equal when it comes to fishing lights. And it’s not because fish have a favorite color.
The current consensus in the fishing community is that green lights will bring the best results for night anglers. Insects, small baitfish, and shrimp can all see and are attracted to green. This, in turn, draws more of the larger fish we’re looking to catch. Various shades of blue light, along with white light, are also used by some fishers or in spots where aesthetic concerns factor in.
What Kind of Battery Do I Need for Boat Lights?
There are several different types of batteries, but none can compare to lithium batteries’ efficiency, versatility, and other advantages. Lithium batteries are far lighter for their capacity, require no maintenance, and can be more fully discharged than old-school lead-acid batteries.
They can also operate in more extreme weather conditions. Even lithium’s typically higher price point is made up for by the fact that lithium batteries last far longer than lead-acid ones. Over the long run, you’ll find they have comparable or even superior value to a cheaper lead-acid battery.
High-quality lithium batteries like our Battle Born line also provide a much safer power storage application that is critical when operating in remote locations. From reliability to no off-gassing or explosion risks, our batteries are a top pick for many marine applications.
How Big of a Battery Bank Do I Need to Power Lights?
For most general lighting applications, modern ultra-efficient LEDs can really cut down on power consumption. However, if you are planning on using high-power flood lights all around your boat, the wattages can still climb into the high hundreds or thousands. If you put an estimate of the wattage your lights will consume, you can then figure out how long you will want to run them and calculate Kwh. From there, you can figure out how much battery you need to meet this application.
Still, the size of your battery bank should take into account more than just the energy needed for lights for fishing at night. Most anglers tend to have at least a few other things they’d like to power, from communication and navigation equipment to items like heaters, fridges, and more.
Therefore, while just about any lithium marine battery should have more than enough capacity to power your fishing lights for extended periods, the proper size for your boat will depend more on any other items you need to get electricity to.
To figure out your battery needs, we recommend you read our article on battery sizes. If you want the shortened version, however, consider that one 100Ah Battle Born battery can easily provide 1 kWh of energy. Thus, 1000 watts of light will run for 1 hour, or 100 watts of light can run for 10 hours.
Use Lithium to Power Your Lights for Fishing at Night
Night fishing can be a ton of fun, whether it’s an effort to get out of the heat, land new varieties of fish, or just spend a peaceful evening on the water. This information should leave you well-equipped to find the perfect lights for your night fishing setup.
While your particular choice for lights for fishing at night may vary, all boaters should take advantage of the incredible power of lithium marine batteries. There’s simply no comparison to old-school lead-acid batteries when it comes to weight, size, efficiency, versatility, and more. With lithium-powered fishing lights, you’ll be reeling in your catches until the sun comes up!
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