bass at night

Tips For Night Fishing For Bass | Know Before You Go

on . Posted in Blog, Fishing

When it comes to fishing, the tug on the other end of that line can be a rush like no other.

It’s also a great way to find some much-needed solitude.

But, maybe you want to take the challenge of fishing to a whole new level and of solitude?

Well, then there’s night fishing.

lake at dusk

Looking for a new challenge to bass fishing? The sun going down doesn’t have to be the end of the bass fishing…. How about trying fishing for them at night!

Night fishing can be a great way to get away from the crowds and find and even more peaceful setting than daytime fishing offers.

And, what better freshwater species to night fish for than America’s most popular freshwater species… bass!

Night fishing for bass can be difficult for inexperienced and beginner anglers. Let’s cover several tips to help you make the most of your night fishing trips for bass.  

Bring The Right Equipment 

Bass can be a challenging fish to catch, and especially at night. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you bring the right fishing tools when you head out for a night fishing trip.

Get a good-quality fishing rod and reel. Bass are known for being strong fighters, so you’ll need a rod to handle their weight and power. 

man holding bass at night

Whether day or night, you want to land the fish! Having a smooth drag on your bass fishing rod is helpful in avoiding line breaks from things you may not be able to see as well when casting/reeling. (photo credit: Blake Jackson)

Since you’ll be fishing in low light conditions, you’ll want a reel with a smooth drag system to avoid any line breaks.

A baitcasting reel can be a good option for night fishing, as it will give you more accuracy when casting. Spinning reels can also be used, but your casting accuracy may be decreased.


It may seem obvious, but lighting is a must for doing bass night fighting. For starters, a high-quality rechargeable flashlight is essential for seeing your lure and line and spotting any fish that may be lurking in the shadows. Another good lighting option is a headlamp as it frees up your hands and allows you to move around more easily. 


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There are a few other helpful tools you can take on your night fishing adventure. A pair of pliers or sharp utility knives is another must-have, as they come in handy for removing hooks from fish mouths and cutting lines.



Pick An Optimal Fishing Spot 

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of reeling in a big one under the stars. However, finding the right spot to fish at night can also be challenging. Here are a few tips to help you choose an optimal fishing spot when night fishing for bass:

  • Look for areas with lots of structure, such as docks, piers, and submerged logs or rocks. Bass love to hide in these areas.
  • Scout for areas with plenty of baitfish. Bass are predators, so they’ll be inclined to spend time in areas where there’s plenty of food.
  • Avoid locations with high boat traffic, as the noise can scare fish away.
  • In windy conditions, bass may chase baitfish into calmer, protected areas. However always use extreme caution if fishing in windy conditions from a boat, especially in the dark. If there are high winds, it may be best to stay home.


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Choose The Right Light 

Suppose you want to increase your chances of success when night fishing for bass. It’s essential to pick the appropriate light device. Many anglers use a powerful spotlight to illuminate the water, but this can have a negative effect on your catch rate. The bright light can scare off fish, making it difficult to see your line. 

A better option is to use a dim red light. This will allow you to see just enough to keep track of your line without disturbing the fish.

night fishing boat with red and green leds

Night fishing LED lights can help your line/lure glow (photo credit: Bill Walker)

You can also try using a black lights or night fishing LEDs for your boat, which will cause your lure as well as monofilament line to glow in the dark, helping you attract fish without a bright light.

Whichever light you choose, make sure you keep it on a low illumination setting, so as not to scare away the fish. 


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Fish Under The “Right” Weather Conditions 

Night fishing for bass can be incredibly productive if the conditions are right.

Fish are notoriously sensitive to changes in barometric pressure. They tend to bite best when the pressure is falling. So, just before a front moves through can really get the fish feeding.

storm on lake

A falling barometer often puts fish into feeding mode. So, the “right” weather for your night fishing trip could be right before a front moves in.

Stable barometric pressure can also produce good results, while high barometric pressure is less desirable.

High winds can create waves that make it challenging to keep your boat stable. Low light/darkness compounds the risk. So, if there are high winds, consider staying at home.




Use The Correct Kind Of Lure 

When it comes to night fishing for bass, it’s essential to use the right kind of lure. Of course, live bait like shad are always a good option.

Artificial lures that mimic the appearance and movement of small fish or insects can be effective as well.  

One type of lure that can be particularly effective for night fishing is a jigging spoon. Jigging spoons are designed for swimming in a jerky motion that imitates the movements of a wounded baitfish.

buzzbait topwater bass lure

Buzz baits, large plastic worms and jigging spoons can all be good options to try when night fishing for bass.

Another good option is a swimming minnow lure, which can be worked similarly to create a lifelike presentation. 

Darker lures can create a more defined outline against the light of a night sky. Also, lures with glitter or reflective material can be beneficial in giving a lure a life-like reflection from a moonlit sky.

Large plastic worms and buzz baits can also be a good choice for night fishing as well.



Stay Focused 

With the darkness of the night adding another challenging component to bass fishing, it’s a must to always have a good head on your shoulders. So, avoid distractions and stay focused and safe from the minute the boat goes in the water until you get home.

boat ramp at night

Darkness can create a whole new set of challenges when navigating the waters. Always stay focused!

Don’t let your mind wander while you’re waiting for that next bite. Keep a laser-target focus on your line to spot signs that a bass has taken bait/lure so you can put a hook N1!



Final Thoughts On Nighttime Bass Fishing 

Night fishing for bass can be a great way to catch big bass. By following the tips above, you can increase your chances of success.

Fishing is also about learning, so be sure to check with anglers in your area to get any tips you can regarding fishing local waters. Advice from locals can be invaluable and save you tons of time figuring out what someone with experience in that area may be able to tell you.

We hope you put a hook N1!  

man skiing in snow with hunting gun

Don’t Let The Cold Win! | How To Layer Clothing For Winter

There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing for the conditions.

While you might think you only need a warm jacket when venturing into the great outdoors to go hunting or fishing during the cooler months, there can be much more involved in keeping yourself warm and comfortable. 

man drilling hole for ice fishing

Hunting, fishing or camping in the cold weather requires a knowledge of how to best layer clothing so that you can stay warm.

When the time comes to plan your next hunting trip into the wilderness, take a moment to consider the following information, so that you can learn all about how to layer winter clothing to feel comfortable enough to explore all that nature has to offer. 

How to Remain Warm in the Great Outdoors

When you put on warm clothing to head outside, your goal should always be to manage moisture, maintain your heat level for comfort, and create a barrier between the elements and your skin. 

man walking to box stand in snow

You might enjoy being alone in the outdoors… you just don’t want to be COLD and alone!

Not all cold-winter clothing is created equal. So, purchasing high-quality outdoor garments from well-known companies like Kryptek and others is a critical component of remaining warm in the great outdoors, but it’s also helpful to understand the science behind retaining your body heat to know how to wear your clothing appropriately. 

mule deer standing in the snow

You may not have the anatomy of a deer to keep you warm in cold conditions, but you can learn to layer clothing in a manner that protects you from the elements.


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During winter, you’re often faced with many challenging elements, such as wind, rain, and cold temperatures. Heat is easily transferred from your body into the environment, and it’s easier to lose heat than it is to retain it. 

So, whether you’re ice fishing or hunting, you need to have knowledge of how sweat affects your body and heat levels. Body heat can be pulled away from your body much faster when it’s wet with perspiration than if it were dry. 


Prevent Moisture to Stay Warm

One of the best ways to stay warm, regardless of how you layer your clothing, is by being cold before you begin your hunting trip in earnest. If you add all your winter layers and then stand in front of a heater before venturing outside, you might start sweating and lose much-needed body heat.   

moisture

Moisture is the enemy when it comes to staying warm in colder weather, as it robs you of body heat.

So, as challenging as it might be to immediately venture outside to start hiking once you’ve put on your multiple layers, it can be essential for giving your body the best chance of retaining its heat. 



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Layer Your Winter Hunting Clothing Strategically

When you’re trying to dress warmly in cold weather, it can sometimes feel like you have to pack an entire closet full of clothing when you go on a winter hunting adventure or that you have to wear multiple layers until you’re no longer comfortable.

However, if you apply the right layering strategy, you might be surprised at how easy it can be to prepare for an outdoor trip

Before heading out, read up on the weather conditions you can expect. This allows you to take all necessary precautions with supplies and provides insight into the type of clothing you need to take with you and what to wear when you set off. 



You’ll need to continually layer up and down on most hunting trips. Take note of how your body is feeling, and when you’re feeling too warm, take off a layer before you start sweating. 

If weather conditions change and rain or snow sets in, you can add more layers from your hunting backpack, including a waterproof jacket to keep your mid layers warm and retain your body heat. Weather conditions can change rapidly, so you may be layering up and down throughout your hunting trip. 


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Adopt the W.I.S.E System

If you’re new to hunting, it may not be immediately apparent which clothing you should buy to remain warm, dry, and comfortable.

However, you might have a much easier shopping experience when you familiarize yourself with the W.I.S.E system. This system involves:

  • Wicking – Next-to-skin base layers
  • Insulating – Mid layers, such as fleece or a down jacket
  • Sheltering – Rain jacket and rain pants
  • Extra – Additional layers in case of an emergency, such as an unexpected snowstorm  
layering WISE system

The W.I.S.E system will give you a fundamental understanding of the basic garments to purchase, but don’t forget to buy wool socks, waterproof boots, hats, and gloves. 



Choose Your Base Layer

Now that you’re aware of the garments you require for the W.I.S.E system, you can learn more about each layer and how it contributes to your overall warmth, dryness, and comfort.

A base layer is a snug-fitting set of garments designed to wick sweat away from your skin to keep you dry. 

base layer

When choosing a base layer, go with wool, silk or synthetics, rather than cotton (photo credit: Wikihow.com)

While cotton can be a preference for everyday wear, it’s less suitable for outdoor activities like hunting.

Instead, opt for base layers featuring wool, silk, or synthetic fabrics. Your top base layer can be a long or short-sleeve shirt and leggings with these materials, paired with a high-quality pair of synthetic or wool socks. 



Choose Your Insulating Layer

Equally as important as your base layer is your insulating layer. This layer prevents the outdoor environment from taking your much-needed body heat.

insualting layer

The insulating layer will help maintain valuable body heat while in the cold weather. (photo credit Wikihow.com)

Typically, you would wear a wool or microfleece top, a puffer jacket, and fleece leggings. You can also pair your insulating layer with a wool or fleece hat and neck gaiter, glove liners, and insulating socks. 



Choose Your Sheltering Layer

If you are going on a hunting or fishing trip, you certainly like to see favorable weather conditions. However, weather conditions can certainly change, and sometimes rapidly.

sheltering layer

Wearing a sheltering layer is critical in protecting the insulating layer underneath. (photo credit: Wikihow.com)

You might be caught out in the rain or snow when you least expect it, and you need to protect your insulating layer at all costs.

Pack a sheltering layer, and you can be prepared for any eventuality. Typically, this layer consists of a pair of rain pants and a rain jacket, both of which need to be waterproof to remain effective. 



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Best Materials for Winter Outdoor Clothing

When there are so many different types of outdoor and hunting clothing for sale, it can be hard to know what will be the most comfortable and practical. While there are many desirable options, some stand out more than others. 

For example, merino wool, a natural fiber sourced from sheep, is a moisture-wicking base layer that is odor-resistant and temperature regulating.

snow on evergreen trees

When adventuring outdoors in colder weather, merino wool is a great moisture wicking base layer that is also odor resistant.

You might also consider synthetic fleece as a mid layer option, which is both affordable and warm. Although, it’s not an ideal wind-resistant layer. 

Synthetic and down jackets can be an effective insulating mid layer, while nylon is ideal for keeping you dry. Some manufacturers create special membranes for nylon to form waterproof jackets for winter use. 



Final Thoughts On Layer Clothing For Cold Weather

Layering winter clothing is an integral part of preparing for any outdoor adventure or hunting trip.

so, before you begin planning your next trip, take the time to make sure you’ve got a full closet of winter options to keep you warm, dry, and protected from the elements.

Remember the W.I.S.E. system and have fun outdoors!

man holding largemouth bass wearing N1 Outdoors fishing shirt

Give ‘Em What They Crave! | Best Bait For Fishing In Lakes

on . Posted in Blog, Fishing

If you’re just getting started lake fishing, a rod and reel, fishing line, weights and hooks are a must.

But, then what? After all, fishing is fun, but catching fish is even better!

Let’s cover some things you’ll want to consider and be aware of as you choose the best bait for your next lake fishing adventure!

Knowing some key factors is important to setting yourself up for the best chance possible to put a hook N1…

1. Know The Different Types Of Bait

Generally, baits for freshwater fish are classified into two groups, these are:

  • Live Baits

Some anglers prefer live baits over artificial ones because they’re free (if you can catch your own) and contain the smell and texture that most freshwater fish species are already familiar with. Some ordinary, cheap, and easy-to-find live baits are worms, leeches, grubs, and mealworms.

shad for peacock bass

Shad are just one of the many types of live bait that can be used to catch freshwater fish.

These live baits may include clams and mussels, crayfish, eels, insects (caterpillars, crickets, and bugs), shad and other types of minnows.

  • Artificial Baits

Artificial baits are ideal for catching bigger fish and are safer to use. Some of the standard artificial baits are crankbaits, jigs, flies, and spoons.

bass fishing swim jig

Artificial lures that mimic a particular live bait can produce great results when fishing in lakes.

You may also use unique lures and tubes, such as abalone shell types. You may explore more types of artificial lures at a variety of websites, like https://www.meltontackle.com/ and others.



2. Identify The Fish You’re Planning To Catch

Before you grab your fishing rod and gear and head to the lake, you need to determine what type of fish you will be targeting, as this will help determine the main type of live bait or lure to use.

Here are some of the common freshwater fish types and the lures and baits they are typically attracted to:

Walleye

hand holding walleye over water

Adult walleyes feed primarily on other fish like shiners and minnows.

Walleye will likely be attracted by shiner and flathead minnows. For a larger catch, you may use 4 to 6-inch minnows.



Bluegill

bluegill fish

Bluegill are fun to catch and they also will strike a variety of baits and lures… and bread?

Bluegill will feast on a variety of live baits, such as worms, crickets, grasshoppers, meal worms or night crawlers. When baiting the hook, you may want to consider covering the entire hook with the bait’s body.

Even pieces of bread, rolled up into balls and put on a hook can entice bluegill to bite.

Artificial lures like a beetle spin, rooster tail, or (if you’re fly fishing) artificial flies can all be effective for catching bluegill.


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Trout

Trout preys on both live and artificial baits. Because of this, you may use a crayfish, worms, night crawlers salmon eggs, and artificial lures.

Catfish

men holding flathead catfish caught noodling

Catfish will eat worms, minnows, stink baits, cut bait and even… your hand!

There are many types of catfish. But, typically, catfish will eat many different things they can find in the water, including nightcrawlers, leeches, dead and live minnows, and even leftover food (they’ll even bite your hand!) Baits that stink are attractive to many catfish, including flatheads.


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Bass

man holding largemouth bass wearing N1 Outdoors fishing shirt

Bass are one of the most sought after freshwater fish in the U.S.and bassfishing lures and gear is a cornerstone of the fishing industry. But what lures should you use? (see below)

Your can be very successful at bass fishing using both live and artificial baits.

Largemouth bass prefer shad, shiners, and minnows. If you use artificial baits, you may need to pick those resembling live baits that bass feed on.

Plastic worms, swim baits and other soft baits, as well as crankbaits are a some top choices of bass fisherman.

You may also use bladed baits like spinner baits and buzz baits, jigs, and topwater lures for smallmouth bass and largemouth bass.



Crappie

black crappie being held

Crappie are predators and will feed on many different types of live fish, as well as artificial lures that resemble them.

Minnows, insects, and crayfish are all baits that a crappie will eat. In some cases, anglers will add a live bait to a jig for a dual presentation to get a crappie to strike. They will even feed on other immature game fish like walleye, bluegill, pike, etc.




Pike

This fish feeds on baits with a strong smell, such as chubs, alewives, and smelt. They will often strike dead baits as well.

Salmon

salmon jumping out of water

Salmon may go after trout beads, sand shrimp, cut herrings and other fish, as well as crayfish, mayflies and more.



3. Consider The Location

sam rayburn lake

It’s important to be familiar with the depth of the lake you will be fishing when choosing a bait or lure.

Freshwater fish, especially the larger ones, are often attracted to artificial baits. In addition, the deeper the location is, the more likely a fish will be after artificial bait.

If you’re after deep-water bass and similar fish, you may consider using baits ideal for drop shots, such as swimbaits. An excellent alternative live bait for this option is a worm.

You may opt to compact jigs, squarebill crankbaits, and spinnerbaits for shallow lake areas. On the other hand, panfish and worms are the natural baits for this space.



4. Think About The Weather

clouds over lake

The weather can play a big factor in when the fish will be feeding…

Weather affects your bait selection because of the barometric pressure associated with it.

Typically, hotter weather is the perfect time for freshwater fish to hunt for food. Because of this, you may need to use fast-running artificial baits.

On the other hand, fish tend to be sluggish during cooler weather, so you may prefer slow-running jigs and crankbaits.

However, an exemption to this generalization is the bass population. In many cases, bass like to move and feed when there’s an approaching storm. Because of this, you may consider the baits you can aggressively use during this time.


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5. Consider The Season

Worms may work any time of the year, but this isn’t always the case for other baits.

Different seasons may require various types of bait. For example, spinnerbaits work well during the morning and the evening in the summertime.

Crankbaits, on the other hand, are suitable for deep-water summertime fishing. In the Springtime, finesse worms and suspended crankbaits may provide better resulsts. You may also combine lures and baits with jig baits and crayfish.

mille lacs bass fishing lake

The time of day, as well as the seasons also have a major impact on when fish will feed…

Many freshwater fish swim in shallower water during autumn. Because of this, you may need to use shallow-running crankbaits.

The ideal live baits for this season are minnows, bluegills, and shad. Winter fishing could be challenging because of the inclement weather.

In addition, live baits can be harder to find during this season. Many anglers will use shad raps and hair jigs during this time of the year.



6. Check The State’s Fishing Regulations

Every state has different fishing regulations when it comes to baits.

Most states identify worms, vegetable materials, and artificial baits as legal baits. However, some states don’t allow the use of some baits. For example, in California, anglers are prohibited from using bluegills as baits. Live fish, shrimps, frogs, and leeches aren’t allowed in Idaho.

West Wells holding largemouth bass wearing N1 Outdoors fishing shirt

Be sure to check the local fishing regulations of where you plan to fish.

To avoid using illegal baits in your state, you may need to be familiar with your state’s fishing regulations. In most cases, you’ll find rules regarding this matter on the Fisheries and Wildlife Department’s website of the lake you plan to fish.

Generally, these rules may also contain a list of legal and illegal baits and the legitimate ways of fishing and storing baitfish.



Closing Thoughts on Best Baits For Lake Fishing

Lakes are some of the best spots for freshwater fishing. They’re home to some of the best freshwater fish, such as largemouth and smallmouth bass, blue catfish, and Northern pike.

However, for the best chance for fishing success, anglers need to do their homework and be familiar with the above sections before wetting a line.



Of course, for more ideas of what baits are ideal for a particular fish, lake depth, and time, it’s always a good idea to ask local and seasoned anglers about their fishing hacks.

Additionally, fishing forums and groups can also provide helpful information about current angling practices, including the recent and cost-effective lures and baits you may need in a particular body of water

Happy fishing and we hope you put a hook N1!