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Best Lure Colors For Night Fishing

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Nighttime fishing can be one of the most challenging yet rewarding ways to fish. Night is when the big predator fish come out to hunt. This means that you can land some of the biggest fish in the lake or river at night. But don’t think it’s going to be easy, the bigger the fish, the smarter they are.

You may need to pull out all the tricks to get one on the hook, but that’s why it can be so rewarding when you finally land a monster.

One important consideration is lure color. Night fishing lure colors may be different from what you are using during the day. And it may surprise you what colors stand out best in the darkness.

Quick answer:

The best colors for night fishing are dark colors like black, red, and purple. These colors surprisingly show up better than bright colors because they leave a clear outline against a moon lit background.

Can Fish See Lures at Night?

You may wonder if fish can even see a lure at night when it is so dark. I know I have. The truth is that they can, at least to some extent.

Fish that are active at night are predators. They have great eyesight and need to be able to catch prey in order to survive.

However, they rely not only on their eyesight, but on their lateral lines as well. These lateral lines are like high powered sensors that alert the fish of any disturbances in the water. It helps them to find prey when they can’t see clearly. Since all lures will create at least some sort of disturbance, it is unlikely your lure will go unnoticed.

If you want to learn more about the lateral lines of fish, check out this article from the University of Florida.

Do Fish Bite Lures at Night?

Most predator fish bite lures at night. Nighttime is when most of the bigger fish come out to hunt their prey. They are actively searching for baitfish, which many of our lures are imitating. Therefore, they can be easily tricked into biting a lure at night.

Since visibility is limited, it helps to use a lure that puts off some sort of vibration. This vibration could come through spinning blades, built in rattles, or lips that cause a swimming action.

Using the right lure colors for night fishing is also very important, and that is what we’ll get into next.

Does Lure Color Matter at Night?

It may seem like since it is too dark to see color, that lure color doesn’t matter. And in some situations it may not. I would say that the vibration and movement is more important, but having the right colors will definitely help.

Lure color is very important during the day because fish are hunting mainly by sight rather than feel. But when night fishing, you still want to employ all the tactics you can. Predator fish are smart (especially the big ones that hunt at night) and you need to make your lure as convincing as possible.

The colors you use at night however, don’t need to be as realistic, or flashy. What’s important is that they make the lure more visible.

What is The Best Color to Fish With at Night?

When fishing at night it is important to use solid dark colors. Think black, purples, reds, and dark blues. The reasoning is that these colors will stand out against any moonlight or starlight that may be penetrating into the water. It will leave a clear silhouette for the fish to target.

You should definitely avoid any clear see-through lures or baits, as these will be almost impossible for fish to see at night. Black lures will show up the clearest when a fish is looking up at it with the starlit sky as the background. So if you are fishing topwater lures at night, then black is your best bet.

Use black lures for night fishing
A silver blade can add some flash

You can experiment with silver blades on bright moonlit nights. These will flash as they reflect the moon light. This flash can either attract fish to it, or scare them off as a natural fish wouldn’t put off as much of a flash just from moon light.

What is The Best Lure For Night Fishing?

The best lure for night fishing is going to need to meet three criteria. First off, it should put out some sort of noise or vibration. Second, it should match the profile and/or size of the fish’s prey. And third, it should be a dark color which will show up well in the water.

I can’t say any one specific lure because it depends on a lot of factors such as what species you are targeting. What prey you are trying to mimic. And whether the fish prefer something fast, slow, loud, or quiet.

I recommend using the same styles and sizes of lures that work during the day, but using the darker colors like black, purple, and dark blues. In actuality, the fish are targeting the same prey whether it’s night or day so there is no need to change lure types other than color.


Dark colors work best for night fishing because they will stand out the clearest to the fish you are trying to catch. Try to use a lure with a profile that matches the prey of the fish you are targeting. Sound and vibration is also very important when night fishing. Predator fish will be using their lateral lines to sense any movement or vibration in the water as they hunt.

Night fishing can be fun but challenging. It can potentially be dangerous as well. Make sure you know the area well, and don’t wade in the water if you are unsure of potential drop-offs and dangerous currents.

All in all stay safe, and have fun. I hope this helped you out.

By John

Hi I'm John. I'm the author of I have been obsessed with fishing since my dad took me to catch bluegill in the creek as a little kid, over 20 years ago. I love learning and perfecting all kinds of fishing techniques. I have spent time living in different countries learning their unique traditional fishing methods, and then combining the best of all worlds to catch as many fish as possible. My hope is that this website can help you, or someone you are teaching, to have a better fishing experience early on so that you too can be hooked into this wonderful sport.

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