Can Underwater Lights Improve your Fishing?

When it comes to fishing, we all need as much help as we can get. Those cunning fish seem to know all the tricks, so we’re willing to try and outsmart them whenever we can.

A new lure…you’ll take five, thanks very much

A high-performance echo sounder is released…you’re first in line to order one

Someone has a secret fishing spot…you offer him a year’s worth of beer for the location

But what about using submerged lights for night fishing? Can lights really improve your fishing results?

How Coloured Lights Work

Night fishing with lights attracts zooplankton to the surface that are chasing the light source. The bait fish follow the zooplankton and then the game fish (which we’re chasing) follow the baitfish. Soon you have a lifecycle happening right before your very eyes.

Which Colour Works Best

The zooplankton is attracted to submerged green and white lights. Similarly, small flying bugs like the same colours so keep the lights submerged if you don’t want a swarm of them. Green is also a good colour in areas where the water clarity is poor. The green light will make the water appear cleaner and reflect less.

Colours penetrate the water at different lengths. Red light can’t be seen past five metres, orange disappears at 10 metres, yellow is 20 metres, green is one of the longest at 30 metres, but blue is by far the furthest at 50 metres.

The human eye is sensitive to green and blue shades so both colours stand out and are quite spectacular at night if you are looking for the fishing and party effect. However, if you usually boat in clear water, white LED lights are stunning at highlighting the beauty of the water.

Fishing at Night

The submerged lights only work at night and can’t compete with sunlight to attract the plankton. The boat must not be moving otherwise the plankton can’t gather around the light. Use an anchor or preferably two anchors so the boat doesn’t pivot. The stiller the boat (and lights), the better.

It’s ideal to use more than one light to give you a wider radius of illumination. Even better, two different coloured lights will allow you to test which light is attracting more fish then make both lights the same colour.

It’s not just boats the lights can be used on. Attach the lights to your dock or jetty and see the kids’ enjoyment as they watch the different fish come in. Use the lights to hold their attention and teach them about the life cycles. Just remember, the water around the dock has to be deep enough to hold fish.

Why LED?

Submerged LED lights are the most popular for a few reasons.

  • Minimal power – these lights won’t chew up your battery power.
  • Low heat – only a minimal amount of heat is produced so they can run longer than traditional lights.
  • Tough environment – LED lights stand up to humidity, vibration, shock, impact and rough weather.
  • Longevity – an LED’s life can span more than 40,000 hours so they almost never need replacing.

Types of Lights

Submerged lights can take many forms from a portable light dropped over the side of the boat, strobe lights attached to fishing lines right through to surface-mounted and permanent thru-hull lights on the sides of boats.

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