We often get questions from people asking us how lights work and how long will it take before the lights start to attract fish to our dock.
How Lights Work
There is nothing magical about why and how lights work. Applying light on or in the water simply starts a natural food chain which fish have been using since the beginning of time. Any light, whether it be moon light or manmade light attracts plankton which is a small microscopic animal that lives in the water and is the primary food source for baitfish and minnows. Once the baitfish arrive to feed on the plankton, the larger game fish soon move in to feed on the baitfish. Regardless of what some people may say, any and all light shine in or on the water will attract fish.
Fish Need to Know When Feeding Time Is
Fish are very territorial so the lights will quickly attract any fish that may already be hanging around your dock, but it will take a little time to attract and lure fish in from a greater distance. The key to having more fish around you dock is to have the light come on at dusk and then shut off after 6 to 8 hours. If you leave the light on all night long, the fish will come and go at their leisure and you will not have as many fish around your dock as you would if the light turns off at the same time every night. If the fish know they only have a limited amount of time to feed, there will be more fish around your dock during that 4 to 6-hour window when the lights are on.
Therefore, we always recommend the use of a Photocell Timer which turns the light on at dusk and then turns them off in 2 hrs., 4 hrs., 6 hrs, or 8 hrs. The timers can also be set for dusk to dawn operation for those of you who prefer this setting. Having the lights turn off automatically in 4 to 6 hours will not only help acclimate the fish to know when feeding time is, it will also save electricity and help prevent unwanted fisherman from fishing around your dock after hours.
Which Color of Light is the Best Color to Use?
Green Light and White Light are the most common colors used to attract fish to Boats, Docks and Piers because they are brighter and will attract fish from a greater distance. Blue Light is less bright and is typically used more for aesthetic and ambient lighting and is commonly used around restaurant and resort area’s. However, there are some fisherman who think Blue light does the best job of attracting swordfish in deeper water. For more information on Colors see Does Color Matter