Guide To Lights For Night Fishing

This guide will describe different types of fishing lights. Why do you need a night fishing light? 

Well, night fishing is a great way to catch fish in the Summer and on highly pressured waters. 

Getting away from the midsummer heat and the crowds is refreshing. You won’t have to compete with as many anglers for the same water. Fish are also less wary and are less likely to see your lines.


You’re standard lantern is pretty much a must have for night fishing. This is the type of light you can hang off a tree branch or put on your boat deck. They come in very handy when you’re rigging tackle or organizing your gear at night. 

If your boat doesn’t come with adequate lighting, then carrying a lantern light is a good idea.

Lanterns are also great for bank anglers. Hang one from a tree branch or just set it up on the ground.

These lights are normally battery operated. You can find versions that use disposable batteries. But I would recommend the type that come with rechargeable Lithium Ion batteries. Lithium ion batteries will be lighter than the equivalent acid battery.

They should come with multiple settings so you can select the light intensity you want.

Also look for lights that have a handle that can also be used for hanging the light.

MPOWERD Luci Base Light

MPOWERD Base Light

This light is fantastic as a night fishing light. It’s so versatile, that you’ll probably end up using it for other jobs.

The Luci base light is an inflatable light that recharges with either a USB connection or a built in solar panel. 

This light is 6 inches in diameter and deflates down to about 2 and a half inches high. So, it’s really easy to store. Once you inflate it, it will float and is waterproof with an ip67 rating. It comes with two buttons. One to check the battery level and the power button. You can cycle the power button and get 3 different light intensities. 

The MPOWERD site says you can run the light for up to 20 hours in the low setting on a full charge. 

This is a great light for any angler. You can hang it off a tree branch or hook with 2 included straps. 

I love the innovation this light brings. The inflatable diffuser that makes it float. It will even charge your phone in a bind. 


  • Solar Powered
  • Can charge your phone via USB
  • Floats!
  • IP67 Waterproof


  • None to mention.

Coleman Quad LED Lantern Special Edition Ultra Bright 190 Lumen

Another option in the lantern category is the Coleman Quad LED Lantern. It features 4 LEDs that can each be detached. These LEDs will recharge from the base station and will last for 1.5 hours. The base station itself will run the lights for 75 hours on 8 D batteries.

This lantern is only water resistant and not waterproof.

If your out at night with a group of anglers this would be an ideal light source for individuals to take with them. When someone needs to venture away from the group, they can simply detach one of the LED lights and then reattach it when they return.


  • 4 Lanterns in 1.
  • LEDs Stay Cool.


  • Heavy at over 6 lbs.
  • Required Disposable batteries.


When you’re rigging tackle, you’re gonna need both hands. Tying knots in the dark can be tricky. This is one of the best uses for headlamp. 

You can find headlamps in many varieties most will use disposable batteries, but you can find some that are rechargeable. A common feature in headlamps is different light colors and intensities.

Many headlamps come with a red light setting. Red light won’t hurt your night vision as much as white light will. So having a headlamp with a red setting will come in very handy. 

Some headlamps come with a single strap. Others have an additional strap that goes up and around the top of your head or hat. I personally recommend that ones with the extra strap as the fit will be more adjustable. 

CrazyFire LED Headlamp

The CrazyFire LED Headlamp is great basic headlamp. It will run on 3 AAA batteries and generate 800 lumens. This is as much light as a 60 watt light bulb. This makes is more than bright enough for tying knots in the night. It also comes with the over the head strap for a more customized fit. One of the only downsides is that it doesn’t come with a red LED. 


  • Comes with overhead strap.
  • As bright as a 60 watt lightbulb


  • Doesn’t have a red LED.

Ultra Bright CREE LED Headlamp

This headlamp is stands out because it has 2 red LEDs that can be used to preserve your night vision. This light is also water resistant and will tilt at the base. The tilting feature is great for when you’re trying knots as you can adjust the tilt of the light so that it’s right where you need it.


  • Comes with red LEDs.
  • Lightweight.
  • Tilts for knot tying.


  • Doesn’t come with overhead strap.

Submersible And Floating Fishing Lights 

Submersible and Floating fishing lights are in a totally different category. These lights are normally used to attract fish. 

Submersible and floating fishing lights are meant to attract fish. The work by attracting zooplankton that in turn attracts fish that eat it.

This has a food chain effect. That can end up attracting predators at multiple levels. 

Crappie anglers love to use these lights. They’re great for attracting the small baitfish that crappie feed on.

One great tactic is to use floating lights in combination with submersible lights. This will allow you to light up the entire water column. You’ll be able to attract baitfish from further away. This works by illuminating not just a wide circle, but a deeper one too.

12V LED 1000 Lumens Lure Bait Finder Night Fishing Finder Crappie Shad Boat LED Submersible Underwater Light

If you need a light that you can run off your 12 volt battery, this is a great choice. The light has a green hue, but you can also get it in white.

If you throw this light in the water, it will float. However, it has a ring that you can tie weights to. With weights attached, you can submerge it. There is no specification on how deep it can go. So, I wouldn’t let it go too deep. 

These lights also work well when hung off a dock. They can attract both fresh and saltwater fish.

Many seaside dock owners will put one of these lights out under their dock and attract all sorts of saltwater predators. Fish like Tarpon, Snook and Sharks can be attracted to the baitfish that congregate around these lights.


  • Floats.
  • Can be weighted for underwater use.
  • Effective as attracting baitfish.


  • Some users report leaks.

Light Discipline When Night Fishing

When you’re out fishing on a boat of kayak try different techniques. Keep in mind that you probably won’t want to keep these on all the time. This will depend on the species you’re targeting. For example, if you’re bass fishing, keeping your fishing environment dark can be beneficial.

You’ll be able to effectively sneak up on shallow bass.  And while I don’t have any hard evidence that lights will spook bass, I think staying dark helps you stay stealthy.

Fishing lights can be a great way to attract predators. But when stealth counts, a red LED headlamp is the way to go. 

Don’t forget that you’ll probably need a light you can hang for ambient lighting. A nice rechargeable lantern will round out your night fishing lighting needs.