FishingFishing GearFreshwater Fishing

Bass Fishing the Dark

All-Night Bass Tournament

bass boatI recently had my 4th tournament of the year. It was on a small,natural, weedy lake in Washington state. It was a night tournament and it started at 7 pm and ended at 7 am! It was a twelve-hour marathon! The weather was nice, warm and hardly any wind. I got all my flashlights and headlamps ready to go and packed extra batteries!

bass fishingI started out the tournament fishing shallow reeds and caught a 3-pound fish within the first 5 minutes of the tournament on a Spro Bronzeye Frog 65 that I rigged on a 7′ MH Lews Custom Speed Stick rod, 7.1:1 Lews Tournament Pro reel spooled with 50-pound Sunline FX2 braided line. I got the fish in the boat and retied the frog, made five more casts and caught a smaller 1-pound fish. I thought that since I had only been fishing the tournament for 10 minutes and had 2 fish in the livewell it was going to go great!

bass fishing

Little did I know that it was going to be a grind for the next 11 hours and 50 minutes!!

After I caught the two frog fish I went to a lily pad field I really wanted to fish but there were two tournament boats sitting on it. I fished some docks close to the pad field hoping they would leave so I could get my chance. But they stayed and fished. So I moved to some shallow docks at the other end of the lake and ended up catching my biggest fish of the tournament right before dark; it weighed 3-1/2-pounds. I caught it on a V&M 5″ Chopstick rigged weightless with a 6’10” MH Lews Custom Speed Stick rod, 7.1:1 Lews Tournament Pro reel spooled with 40-pound Sunline SX1 braid with a 8-foot leader of 16-pound Sunline Super FC Sniper fluorocarbon.

bass tackle

About two hours later, I moved to a different stretch of docks after it had gotten dark and caught a 12″ fish on a 1/2 oz V&M Pacemaker Adrenaline Flipping Jig that I fished on a 7’6″ MH Lews Custom Speed Stick rod, 7.1:1 Lews BB1 Pro reel spooled with 20-pound Sunline Super FC Sniper fluorocarbon line. After I caught the jig fish it got really tough for me, not only to see what I was doing and where I was casting but also to get the fish to bite. I continued to fish shallow docks but went two hours without a bite.

So after not catching a bass off the docks I moved back to the place I caught the fish on a frog and fished around the shallow reeds for an hour without a bite! At 2 am I moved to a different part of the lake and targeted shallow docks and caught several 1-pound fish to fill out my limit. About an hour later I moved again to a another part of the lake and fished shallow docks…..(Yes there are A LOT of shallow docks on this lake)!

bass tournamentThen I caught a 3-pound fish on the V&M Adrenaline Flipping Jig and then went another hour without a bite. It started to get light and I caught a small fish on the Chopstick. Once the sun started to come up I caught a couple smaller fish on the Chopstick and culled up five times before I had to head in at 7 am for weigh in.

bass fishing I ended up weighing 5 fish for 12.35-pound and finished in 4th place. I extended my lead in the Angler Of The Year race from a 13-point lead to a 17-point lead! I still have four tournaments left this year so hopefully I can keep it going! I am half way done with the tournament season and I need to hang on for those four remaining tournaments to win the AOY title!

It was a fun tournament and I can’t wait for the next one!

“Do Whatever It Takes”

Nik Autrey
"I grew up fishing with my grandpa in Port Angeles, Washington and by the age of 8 I knew making a career in this industry was what I wanted to do wit...