Bass fishing in the south can seem off the charts during the spring and then one day as the summer begins, it can seem like you cannot buy a bite. Once water temps start getting into the 80’s, bass will begin to be a little more sluggish and look for cover and get tight lipped. A potential cure for this during the summer is to switch over to night fishing.
Largemouth bass will become more active at night, particularly during the summer. Fishing in the dark will increase opportunities for catching fish that are almost impossible to get to bite during the day. Tactics need to change, and generally you need to slow down, but fishing at night can be absolutely a blast and allows the fisherman to use senses that become more pronounced when you cannot see.
Myself and a couple of my fishing buddies got to Quiet Waters (the old Lakes of Danbury for sale by Republic Ranches) at just about dusk this past Friday. It was still scorching, and we were moving pretty slow as we launched the boat and began to move towards the middle of the big lake on the property. Night fishing baits generally run towards dark colors and we were putting on black worms, dark spinner baits with large indiana blades, and frog pattern topwater (I highly recommend not fishing topwater baits with multiple treble hooks, they are not much fun to take out of your cheek).
As we began, we were picking up an occasional fish on a worm or topwater, but the fishing was slow and it was still stifling hot. About an hour into the trip, we started to get a better breeze and heard a lot of commotion a ways down the bank. As we got closer, bass had clearly started to round up a school of shad and fish were blowing up all over the place. Immediately we were into the fish and every cast was getting multiple hits. We easily caught 30 fish in the 30 minutes the bite was on and it did not matter what you were throwing. Although no giants were in the schooling fish, we caught lots of solid fish.
As this bite slowed down, we began to move slowly down the bank fishing along the cattails edge and out to deeper water. Again we went for a while with only the occasional fish, mostly on black spinner baits. Again, we could hear some activity further down the bank and as we got closer we could see some bait being chased on the surface. Approaching quietly, we began to send out black worms and spinner baits and immediately all of us hooked up with one fish being over 7 lbs. (we did not weigh the fish to avoid turning on any lights and losing our night vision). In the next half hour we again were on the fish and caught another 20 until things started to slow down again. It was close to midnight and we are all old farts out of beer so we called it a night.
The lesson learned was fishing for almost an hour in the daylight we had caught only 4 or 5 fish, but as it got cooler and darker the fish began to turn on and we ultimately managed to catch over 50 fish in the dark. You have to remember to be quieter and fish a little slower, but it is a great way to catch some bruisers in the summer.
The Quiet Waters property again proved how productive it is. I have been fishing bass all over the country for many years and several of the best trips I have ever had have been on this property. Would make a great club, executive entertainment and meeting spot or continue as a private ranch and have what may be the best bass fishing in Texas.