The dog days of summer. The sun is hot, and the bass are nowhere to be found. Hot summer days can make for some tough fishing. So when the fish have tucked themselves into heavy cover, or gone in search of cooler, deeper water, what can we do to turn our luck from bad to good?
Most would find the answer in low-light conditions: dawn and dusk. But what about the ultimate low-light condition, the nighttime? Because we know bass to be sight feeders, we often overlook just how great night fishing can be, but with the right lures, night fishing can be some of the best summertime bass fishing around.
Here, we’re going to review some of our favorite lures for night fishing bass. If you’re looking for an in-depth guide to fishing bass at night, be sure to check out Night Fishing For Bass: How To Catch Largemouth Bass After Dark.
Quick glance at the best night fishing lures for bass:
- Best Topwater: Whopper Plopper
- Best Sub-Surface: War Eagle Night Baits Spinnerbait
- Best Soft Plastic: Berkley Power Worm
- Honorable Mention: Strike King Double Take Buzzbait
Table of Contents (clickable)
- 1 Best Lures For Night Fishing Bass Reviewed
- 2 Quick Tips For Selecting The Right Lure For Bass Fishing At Night
- 3 Final Thoughts
Best Lures For Night Fishing Bass Reviewed
Bass are sight feeders, so it might seem counter-productive to be fishing for them at night. But just because they rely on their vision doesn’t mean we can’t entice them in other ways, like sound, vibration, and scent. In fact, when you’re choosing the right lure for night fishing, those are going to be the key features you’ll want to focus on. With that in mind, here are our top picks.
Best Topwater: Whopper Plopper
Size: 5 inch
Key Features: Internal glass beads for rattle, flexible rotating tail
Originally designed with muskie in mind, the Whopper Plopper has become a staple in many bass anglers’ tackle boxes. The lure features internal glass beads that give off a prominent rattle when it’s fished at a slower pace.
The major feature of this lure, however, is the rotating flexible tail that, when fished at the right speed, displaces water and produces a loud obnoxious plopping sound that bass can’t help but be attracted to.
Available in a wide range of sizes and colors, the 5-inch Whopper Plopper in loon color is the perfect combination of size and contrast to appeal to hungry nighttime bass.
Check out our guide on the best whopper plopper colors!
Why We Like It
Day or night, the Whopper Plopper has become a proven big bass lure. The noise that the rotating tail makes is hard for bass to turn down on the best of days, and when it comes to night fishing, it’s that plopping sound that calls out fish and draws them in.
While a steady retrieve is all that's needed in most nighttime fishing scenarios, the Whopper Plopper can also be worked similar to a jerkbait for that extra incentive.
- Irresistible plopping sound
- Flexible tail piece
- Large profile
Best Sub-Surface: War Eagle Night Baits Spinnerbait
Size: ½ oz and ¾ oz.
Key Features: Large single colorado blade, premium silicone skirt
At first glance, the War Eagle Night Baits Spinnerbait may look like any other spinnerbait on the market. While it does have some of the same features, this spinnerbait was designed with night fishing in mind.
War Eagle uses a large, single Colorado blade to maximize noise and vibration, and the Night Baits Spinnerbait features a strong wire frame, premium silicone skirt, and an ultra-sharp and strong Mustad needle point hook.
Why We Like It
Nighttime bass need some extra help when it comes to tracking down their prey, and the War Eagle Night Baits Spinnerbait is possibly one of the best spinner baits at doing just that, thanks to the single Colorado blade that creates all kinds of vibration. Add to that the attached rattle chamber, and bass easily hone in on this lure when light is less-than-optimal.
- Large, single Colorado blade creates the perfect vibration
- Rattle chamber provides added attraction
- Premium silicone skirt creates a large profile
- Customers report that blade can come off
Best Soft Plastic: Berkley Power Worm
Size: 10 inch
Color: Blue Fleck
Key Features: Signature Berkley scent, large profile
Those who night fish for bass know just how effective a large ribbon tail worm can be. While there are plenty of options to choose from in a market flooded with bass worms, the Berkley Power Worm features their signature scent that not only attracts fish but also makes them hold on longer.
This worm comes in a wide variety of sizes and colors, but it's the 10-inch worm in blue fleck that we find ourselves reaching for the most. Combine Berkley’s scent with the large profile and color that contrasts the dark conditions, and you’ve got a worm that's tough to beat.
Check out the best worms for bass
Why We Like It
Night fishing for bass isn’t always about making as much commotion as possible. Just because they have the cover of darkness doesn’t mean that they will always be out cruising around for an easy meal.
When fish are still relating to cover at night, a Texas rigged Power Worm is the way to go. Those fish aren’t going to be chasing down fast-moving topwater baits but instead will need something more finesse. The unbeatable scent of the Power Worm is going to be the trigger for big bass at night.
- Amazing fish attracting scent
- Firm but soft textures means fish hold on longer
- Size and action is perfect for night fishing
- Soft plastic construction doesn’t hold up to multiple fish
Honorable Mention: Strike King Double Take Buzzbait
Size: ⅜ oz, and ½ oz
Key Features: Double counter-rotating blades, pre-rigged trailer hook
The Strike King Double Take Buzzbait is the ultimate in commotion-creating lures. The double blades counter rotate spraying water and creating noise that is unmatched.
Unlike most buzzbaits, this lure adds to the silicone skirt with ‘Magic Tails’ that not only create the larger profile often needed at night but also hide the added trailer hook, a feature that results in more hookups when bass are striking short.
Why We Like It
We’ll be quick to admit that it was a toss-up between this lure and the Whopper Plopper for the best top water nighttime lure, and the two can easily be interchanged with equally good results.
Not only does the Double Take have a larger profile than most other buzzbaits, but the counter-rotating blades create a noise that is unmatched by any other. Those blades also create lift when rotating, meaning that they work just as well at slower speeds, giving bass an easier target.
Even with the noise created by this lure, bass still need to rely on their eyesight to dial in on their target, and that often means they come up short. The added trailer hook is a nice feature to have when those bass do come up short and results in more hook-ups.
- Can be fished slow or fast
- Large profile
- Added trailer hook results in more hook-up
- More expensive than single-blade buzzbaits
Quick Tips For Selecting The Right Lure For Bass Fishing At Night
- Keep it simple. You don’t need to have a ton of lures ready to go, which is why this list is short and simple. A good topwater, something sub-surface, and something finesse will cover all situations.
- Go dark. It’s a common misconception that when fishing in dark conditions, you should be using bright colors. At night, it’s not about color, but contrast, which is why the lures on this list are all black. Of course, they don’t have to be black, but the darker the lure, the better the contrast and the easier a bass can see it.
- Bigger is better. We use sound scent and vibration to attract bass that have a hard time seeing at night. And if your lure is too small, it won’t matter how much noise it makes or how good it smells - fish will have a hard time determining exactly where it is and will often miss it when striking.
- Start with a topwater. Topwater baits are great search baits and can easily help you determine a fish’s mood. If you start with a topwater and fish aren’t responding, then they might need something a little more finesse.
It’s impossible to pick just one lure that is best for night fishing bass. Each one on this list has their own specific applications. What's more important is that you have the water column covered. Do that and the fish will come to you.
We hope we were able to help you narrow down your nighttime bass lure selection and help you be a more successful night angler. Leave us a comment and let us know if we did!