Smallmouth Bass are very well designed and able to detect shapes and movement, especially from lures that replicate the vibrations of a wounded fish.


You’ll be more successful if you use baits that help Smallmouth see the lures most clearly at night, by reflecting light and creating vibrations.


In dim light bass are unable to detect colors such as red, orange, yellow and chartreuse. They all become shades of grey at night. Much the same as it is for people when there’s little light. As twilight fades, blue is the last discernible color.


Smallmouth Bass detect the presence of prey in their vicinity by vibrations, noise and sight. When hunting, smallmouth bass focus on sight. However at night sight is dramatically reduced and the sense of hearing is relied upon much more.

  • Use black or dark patterns that will produce maximum contrast against the clay bottom or against a starlight surface. Baits that can reflect the glints of dock lights and a full moon work best.
  • Spoons and spinners are very successful at attracting their attention

Top 10 Night Fishing Lures

These lures have proven successful at night

  1. 5/16 ounce Black Secret Weapon Buzzbait with a black plastic trailer rigged with a weedless stinger hook
  2. Black Jitterbug, black Hula Popper or black Tiny Torpedo
  3. 1/2 ounce Midnight Snack Secret Weapon spinnerbait with black/blue tipped skirt and a black #5 or #6 Colorado blade tipped with a dark pork or plastic trailer for dark-of-the-moon nights or in the shadows. An alternate gold Colorado blade can be clipped on for fishing around docks
  4. On moonlit nights and around dock or parking lot lights, 1/2-oz. Moonlight Snack Secret Weapon spinnerbait with purple/blue flake skirt and either a black or nickel Colorado blade attachment
  5. Bandit Series 100 crankbait that runs 2-6 feet deep.On cloudy or new-moon nights, as the bait runs overhead, the black profile is easier for upward-looking bass to spot rather than other colors against the starlight sky. Around dock lights and under the full moon, switch to the Chrome/Black Back pattern
  6. Black 7 inch Berkeley Power Worms, Texas-rigged or on a Title Shot jig head
  7. Black 4 inch tubes, T-rigged or on a Title Shot jig head
  8. Black lizard or other creature bait Carolina-rigged
  9. 3/8 ounce to 3/4 ounce black and blue jig with rattles, tipped with either a black plastic grub or a purple pork frog or eel
  10. We also like the black popper. It’s an effective night lure.


  • When fishing Smallmouth Bass in areas of some vegetation, reel in your spinner pretty fast, just below the surface, over the top of the grass.
  • If the fish are more subdued or buried in the grass, reel the lure like a crankbait and try to tick the tops of the grass a little bit.