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night fishing for largemouth bass in south eastern mas


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I fish for largemouth in the south eastern part of mass and RI.  I do OK but would like to do better, especially for larger fish.  I have tried fishing at night but with few results.  I have fished striped bass and am very used to night fishing, in fact I prefer it.  The places I fish are small relatively shallow ponds 15 to 10 foot max.  The water ranges from muddy to clarity of a foot or so.  I have tried every thing Plastic worms, spinnerbaits, jigs big glides mice big glides.  I remember Rolland martin writing that waters that are not clear are not good for night fishing could this be the problem.  I fish till about ten or eleven should I be fishing deeper into the night or start earlier say three or four in the morning.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  

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So.... I'm on the same learning  curve as you.

My night LM fishing is mostly successful when I fish a top water. A bit of surface movement and a wake. This gets hit. 

Also, I'll throw frogs and lizards along the shore. Look for a place you think should hold a fish and throw a bait high and drop or on land and pull it off.

I find fish waiting for something to fall from trees or something taking to water. They bash it.

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In dirty water fish tend to hold tight to cover as their sense of sight is greatly reduced and they rely more heavily on their lateral line to sense vibration.

 

with that being said I’d be throwing bigger wake baits that push a lot of water, crawlers, bigger rats like the Spro 50. 
 

Here’s a few pics showing examples of the younger man i fish - the one pic is a 6” waking trout profile bait  ( there’s no trout where we were fishing but it pushes a decent amount of water ) and the other is obviously a 3 piece rat that makes a lot of noise. 
 

Also, regarding the time to fish - understand the moon phases and you’ll definitely improve your odds. 
 

I rely heavily on lunar phases but remember there’s other factors that can “ trump moon phase “ like wind, barometric pressure etc. 

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This is pretty much the fishery I grew up in. Except in northwest CT, not eastern Mass. I can't imaging they're much different. 

 

My pops and I would fish from a 15ft jon boat and work the edges of pads weedlines etc from early evening till dark, fishing plastics, spinnerbaits buzzbaits, etc. Once it got dark we would almost exclusively fish 3 lures: man's 1-minus, jitterbug, hula popper. All in dark colors. The 1-minus did the best, I'd say. Retrieve just fast enough to get it walking properly. Same with the jitterbug. Once you hear that plop plop sound, that's the right speed. Just slow and steady. We'd fish those over large areas of submerged weeds. We managed a couple over the years around 6lbs or so, a few more than that around 5, and so on. We always fished topwater though, even that 1-minus is just barely subsurface.

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The Jitterbug is probably about the best you'll have for those conditions. In waters with poor water clarity I'd advise you to fish it s l o w and steady. Stop and go will get attention, but they will miss it at times. A more steady retrieve will always let them know exactly where the lure is. I'd also have a 5" Cordell jointed Redfin with me. Sometimes that'll outfish the Jitterbug by a good margin. 

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When I first started guiding it was at night for Lg mouth and small mouth and Jitterbugs have always been a good choice. Most of the time it is best to swap out the light hooks they put on them for one heavy one in the rear and add some glue to the eyes if using a jointed one. I have lost too many nice fish to bent out hooks and the joint of the jitterbug being pulled apart. So far every time I have fished at night with someone fishing big swimbait I have done better in size than them... One tip that has made a big difference on dark nights, that has turned misses into hookups, is putting a "Dot" of glow-in-the-dark tape on the belly of the lure I am fishing. I only charge it when I think I need it, but I know it has made a real difference. Also, don't be afraid to fish a scum frog at night right over the lily pads, lots of fun!

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On 6/14/2024 at 7:30 PM, NewAtIt said:

In dirty water fish tend to hold tight to cover as their sense of sight is greatly reduced and they rely more heavily on their lateral line to sense vibration.

 

with that being said I’d be throwing bigger wake baits that push a lot of water, crawlers, bigger rats like the Spro 50. 
 

Here’s a few pics showing examples of the younger man i fish - the one pic is a 6” waking trout profile bait  ( there’s no trout where we were fishing but it pushes a decent amount of water ) and the other is obviously a 3 piece rat that makes a lot of noise. 
 

Also, regarding the time to fish - understand the moon phases and you’ll definitely improve your odds. 
 

I rely heavily on lunar phases but remember there’s other factors that can “ trump moon phase “ like wind, barometric pressure etc. 

IMG_3327.jpeg

IMG_3326.jpeg

New alt your knowledge has given this young man the keys to the big bass kingdom.

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On 6/16/2024 at 10:59 AM, dannyplug1 said:

New alt your knowledge has given this young man the keys to the big bass kingdom.

That’s kind of a major misconception - that kid is in a hammer in his own right. 
 

we both got into big baits about the same time and shared a lot of information regarding bite windows, what the fish were relating to during certain conditions etc etc - basically we fed off each other’s successes and failures.

 

My next goal with the “ kid “ is to get him a 10# bass - we’re leaving for NC the second he graduates HS and have 10 days to get it done. 

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