Best Color Light for Night Fishing

t’s long been known that some fish are curious, and attracted to moonlight, and some artificial and ultraviolet light as well as color. Especially at night time. What is the best color light for night fishing?

Most Anglers agree that Green or a mixture of Green & White used with a Submerged Fishing Light is best for attracting phytoplankton that attracts insects then attracts baitfish like minnows & shad then will attract the bigger Sportfish at night.

Predator fish such as bass, crappie, walleye, redfish, speckled trout, and other species can be lured into your dock or boat for a late-night snack if you got the right colors and types of Fishing lights that can turn them on creating some good night time action.


Are Fish Attracted To Light At Night


Just like mosquitoes, bugs, and shrimp moving up the food chain, the light will eventually attract bait fish then bigger fish. It’s a matter of the life in the food chain. Scientists have studies that say that the smallest members of the food chain have fish receptors with sensitivities to different colors of the light spectrum. These colors are blue and green.

Since the era of cavemen, they also knew that light affected insects more than the animals or fish that ate the insects. For fishing cavemen didn’t have the luxuries of colored LED lights for experimenting with this theory so they used what was available to them. Torches threw off a white light which also has a positive effect on attracting fish. That’s why fishermen who use lighting in saltwater and freshwater fishing, use both colors for that reason.

Then later in time, fishermen hung oil lanterns off the bow to light the area ahead and attract fish. The light will attract phytoplankton which will attract bigger insects that will attract baitfish like minnows and shad that will attract bigger fish. It’s as easy as that.

Floating type Fishing Lights that have been used for a while used Styrofoam encasing a fluorescent light and were powered by a 12-volt battery. The light was round and shined down from the surface of the water. The lights now are made to submerge and are powered with alligator clips to connect to the terminals of a 12-volt battery.

Floating Fish lights can run on Alkaline batteries or from a cigarette lighter adapter, if you can still find them, is an easy way to power them up and run them and run them at night. The lights are generally made in Green and White light and sometimes Black lights are also used. The submersible ones are weighted down while the floating surface lights are able to move around topwater. The lights are made for Fresh or Saltwater fishing.

I used to hear that concept in an old hunting story if you are going to shoot a flock of geese you shoot from the back of the flock and work your way up to the front. That way you don’t spook the flock. The predator in most cases where I lived was the Bluefish or Stripe Bass that would come down the canals in between the homes where I lived on the Island.

The baitfish would actually jump a few feet out of the water to avoid being eaten. During the day you can see the schools of baitfish coming down the canal in large groups but not at night. The Island was well known for bugs. I tried to use lighting at night on the edge of my dock to attract the schools of baitfish that I knew were in there. The result was being eaten alive by the bugs that rule the Island.

Night Fishing Light Setup


Most dock owners prefer that the lights illuminate upwards. The lights are installed 5 or 6 feet out and away from the person on the dock who is fishing.

This keeps the bugs away from them. The submerged type lights normally are DC power and need to be underwater to operate. Like The Green Dock, 3000 found here on our Recommended Page at MyWaterEarth&Sky  

They are usually used in backyard ponds or under piers and docks. Some sit directly on the bottom and others are meant to hang 10 or 12 feet down underwater. The Halogen light is a beautiful popular type of underwater light that needs to be underwater when lit because its operating temperature is soo high. These lights will showcase your bulkhead or dock giving it a whole different look at night.

Fish Attracting Light


 The above Water Lights are better at opening up more square footage across the water that is being laminated. There is also less maintenance involved. If you don’t fish blue colored lights are ascetically nicer but won’t bring the fish into the dock.

The Above the Water-type lights are generally 120 volts and be set up right out of the box. Most people in the shore areas with pier or docks use a sodium type of lighting that pull 1000 or 1500 watts that are expensive to operate.

You can change them with the newer overhead lights that pull around 150 watts which will give you a huge saving. Use the overhead lights higher up in the air. The higher the water surface coverage. It will do the same square foot coverage as the Sodium bulbs do for a lot less money.

Fisherman claim that Above Fish Lighting in Green can cover more area, the higher the light is projected from, the more area it lights up the and the more fish it attracts but it also will attract more bugs making for a long night. There is no evidence or comparison of whether the Above or Below Water Lights can attract more than the other one can. There are different pros and cons between the two.

There are too many types of outside variables that can affect performance. There just might be more fish in the area that night. The main difference with lights is in the color of the light and how it’s absorbed in the water.

For that reason the intensity difference or how much light is penetrating through the water would be the main difference.  Floating Fishing Lights are affected by the reflection which also affects the intensity of the penetrating light. Here are some issues.


  • Above Water Fishing Lights cover the most area of water on top but are can be reflectedThe wave action and choppiness of the surface or calm seas would affect how much light penetrates from the surface of the water. How light is directed onto the surface of the water. The sun at noon shines directly over the ocean and penetrates the water deepest at that time. Artificial Light would work the same as the sun in that, some light would be absorbed and reflected by the water and the remaining light would be reduced. Wind also reduces the light intensity from the surface of the water.


  • The depth of water affects the colors and the intensity of colors underwater. Some more than others.
  • Submerge Lighting is projected at lower levels underneath the surface. This would eliminate most of the problems associated with intensity surface lighting. Mainly Reflection and surface turbulence. The Green Dock 3000 found through Amazon, is a super light 600 LED Underwater and MyWaterEarth&Sky 110 Volt AC with 3 Prong Plug and Timer Dock Night Fishing Light LED Fish Finding System with 30ft Power Cord, Bait rig Fish attractant Ponds Fish Lure.


Does Fishing Line Color Matter

Light In the Sea

Water absorbs different wavelengths of light to different degrees. The longest wavelengths, with the lowest energy, are absorbed first. Red is the first to be absorbed, followed by orange & yellow. The colors disappear underwater in that order as they appear in the color spectrum. Even water at 5ft depth will have a noticeable loss of red.

Colors that Disappear the deeper you go:

  1. Red-15 foot
  2. Orange- 25 foot
  3. Yellow 35-45 foot
  4. Green-70-75 Foot

Fishing Lure Color Selection Chart



What this Color Chart Says about Fishing Lures says about the color of lures while fishing is that at certain depths. Watercolors are absorbed from different characteristics in the water. Because of this at around 100-foot depth of the sea, you can see that the multi-colored lure would only contain two colors from the spectrum.

The rest of the colors would be absorbed by the ocean water. What is important to ocean fishing is that any kind of wind overcast or variables that may affect the amount of light that penetrates the water will lessen these depths even further.

Whether fish are attracted by Greenlight because the Color Green is the strongest in the spectrum that is not absorbed in water, may be true. But it doesn’t change the fact that when the Green Fishing Lights are turned on, the Fish do come. So If you want nice, pretty colors, Buy Blue. If you want fish Buy Green


Are Bass Attracted to Light at Night


JimGalloway Author/Editor







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