FISHING with artificial light has been around for many years.  In the early days the most common
method was to hang a lantern over the side of a boat.  Some of the old timers thought the light
attracted bugs (which they did), and in return the fish surrounded the boat in hopes of getting a
meal.  There are still those who believe the old theory of fewer bugs, less fish, but new technology
has done much to disprove that theory.

Projecting light in or on top of the water simply starts a natural food chain reaction by attracting a
concentration of small microscopic animals called plankton.  Bait fish such as shad and minnows
are drawn to the light to feed on the plankton; and larger game fish move in to feed on the bait
fish.  It's not uncommon to see bait fish stacked in columns 15 feet thick under the lights, with
game fish suspended directly below them.
Enlarge Picture
The Food Chain
Notice: In order for lights to attract plankton,
they can not be competing with sunlight.  
Therefore, fishing lights are only effective at night
or under snow covered ice.
The Basics

Rods, lures, fish locator's and Underwater Lights all help increase your chances of catching your
limits on a daily basis, but they are not magic. In order for lights to attract fish, there has to be
fish to attract. If you have a dock that sits in 2 feet of water and you have never caught a fish in
the area, chances are the lights will not be the magical solution to the problem. If the water is
unsuitable to hold fish, not even lights will help lure fish into unhealthy water.

With that said though, the use of artificial light WILL attract fish to your Boat or Dock if the boat or
dock is located in water capable of holding fish and if you follow the below  suggestions.

Fishing From a Boat

If you are drifting, the plankton and bait-fish will never be able to gather around the light which
will stop the food chain before it ever starts.  ANCHOR YOUR BOAT WITH AT LEAST (1) ANCHOR
stationery the better!

Set Up In An Area Whre Fishing Are The best Lights, Lures and Boats won't help you a bit if you're
not fishing in an area that holds fish. If the water is to shallow, to deep or doesn't have sufficient
structure nothing will help you catch fish. This holds true when fishing from a Boat, Dock or thru
the Ice!  Fish ALWAYS relate to water temperature and some kind of structure. This can be a drop
off adjacent to a river channel, submerged brush or even a pile of rocks.  If you aren't fishing on or
near some type of underwater structure your chances of attracting or catching fish are greatly
reduced.  Remember, 10% of the water in any lake holds 100% of the fish.  The rest of the lake is
dead water....with or without a light.  To fish, an old river channel running through the lake is like
a highway to other areas of the lake and it provides cover and different depths of water for them
to forage in.  Ideally, a point or a bridge that has the old river channel running adjacent to it is
hard to beat.  Try and find a spot on the point where there is a good drop off.  If the top depth is
10' and drops to 50' very fast, you would want to set up in 15' to 25' of water to start.  If you don't
have any luck there, move deeper or shallower until you find the fish.  Attracting bait fish is a
MUST!  If the bait fish do not show up in the first 30 minutes after setting your lights, move to
another spot.  Just because they weren't at one spot doesn't mean they won't be at another spot
further down the lake. Water temperature is a key factor in attracting large numbers of bait fish.  
If the water temperature is below 70 degrees there will be less bait fish around the lights.  As the
water warms up, the bait fish begin to school up and you will attract them by the thousands
around the lights.

Fishing From a Dock,  First, the water around the dock has to be deep enough to hold fish.  The use
of lights will not attract fish to area’s that are not capable of holding fish.  If you have never seen
or caught fish around your dock before, lights will probably not help attract them to it.  In order for
an area to hold fish you have to have sufficient water that will maintain a stable water
temperature, oxygen level, food source and structure for protection.  If you dock does not provide
these necessary features, chances are the number and quality of fish around your dock will be
limited.  With or without the use of lights.

Above Water Lights:  Most dock builders now prefer the use of Above Water lights such as our
DockPro 3500 and DockPro 16000.  Above water lights require no maintenance and still attract just
as many fish as the underwater lights do.  Above water lights not only attract fish to your dock, but
also aesthetically pleasing.  Above water lights can be used to not only illuminate the surrounding
water but also above water structures and boats.

Under Water Lights:  While most dock builder prefer Above Water lights, many people like
Underwater Lights because they give you the ability to illuminate only the water and not the
surrounding area.  Underwater lights are primarily placed a good distance away from the dock and
illuminate the water from the bottom to the top.  The biggest draw back to Underwater Lights is
that they require maintenance.  Underwater lights have to be removed on a routine basis and
cleaned or they will soon be overtaken by algae and or barnacles.

It is very important to find an underwater light that does not require you to put AC Voltage in the
water.  Most Mercury Vapor, Sodium and Metal Halide lights all require 120VAC power to operate
them.  If the power-cord is cut or the light is somehow broken and the GFCI outlet is mis-wired or
malfunctions, high voltage in the water can be deadly to anything and anyone around it.  With the
advent of the new High Intensity LED lights like our
DockPro 10000  that runs on safe DC Voltage,
there is no reason to use high voltage lights.  The new LED lights produce more lumens per watt,
draw much less power and most importantly are safe to use in the water.

Tip:  When fishing from a dock you may see a lot of fish in the light but cannot catch them.  Many
of the larger fish will swim through the light but will not bite until they are in safer surroundings.  
Many fish are skittish of the bright light so they swim through the light in an attempt to scatter the
bait fish into darker water.  So, it's always advantageous to not only fish directly in the light but
also fish on the outer edge of the light.  Many times, more fish will be caught on the outer fringe
of the light then directly under or in the light itself.  This is usually always true of snook that can
be hard to catch when seen in the light.

How Many Lights Do You Need when fishing from a boat?

IF POSSIBLE, it's always better to use (2) lights compared to (1) light in most circumstances.  Using
two lights spread 3' to 4' apart will give you a much wider radius of light and will allow more
fisherman to fish in different zones of the light.  However, if you have a smaller boat, one light will
provide sufficient light.

Using (2) lights will also let you experiment with different colors so you can see which color is
attracting more bait-fish on any given night.  For example, starting with one white light and one
green light will let you see which light is attracting the most bait-fish at that particular time.  Once
you see which color is attracting the most fish, you can switch both lights to the same color.  Our
SuperBrite X2 DUAL Color lights work great when experimenting.


The color of light is also very important just as it is with fishing lures.  Different colors of light
travel further underwater than others in different conditions.  Changing from White Light to Green
Light could make all the difference in the world from the eyes of a fish.  Again, just because
may not be working doesn't mean White Light won't.  And sometimes using Both Color
combine is the best solution to getting a bite.  Our new
SuperBrite X2 DUAL Color lights give you
option of using White, Green or Both Colors at the same time.  As with all fishing, you have to be
patient and try different methods in order to catch fish consistently night after night.

Lures and Bait

You should always try to use a lure or bait that looks like the bait-fish in the water you are fishing.  
You can never go wrong using live bait dipped from the same water you are fishing in, however
artificial baits work as well.  

Keep in mind though, If you are using artificial lures it is imperative to keep the lures looking as
real as possible.  If you are using a 1/8 oz. lead head jig with a rubber body, you want to make
sure the jig ALWAYS hangs horizontal in the water.  If the lure is hanging at an angle it will greatly
reduce the number of hits you have.  So, take time to straighten your lure out after catching a fish,
it will increase your strikes 10 fold.
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