I will try to cover LED lights in general, color choices, bugs, light types, where to buy, and prices.
LED lights in general: True color, little heat, and very low amp draw. I can run all my lights for hours and not notice a drop in my trolling motor battery. True color is important as it is not a filter that wastes light and still attracts bugs. All of my lights are hooked to my trolling motor battery and have a 3 amp fuse.
Important: Keep all lights out of your line of sight when fishing or driving. It makes a huge difference in your vision. That means you should not be able to see any bulbs directly from normal seated or fishing positions. Inside the boat you want all reflected light. Outside the boat, keep all lights below the outer edge of the boat. The lights are waterproof so they stay on the boat 24/7/365 and I never worry about them.
Fishability: The right lights at night make fishing easier and safer. They may scare some fish, but I definitely attract some fish also. Many fish hit in the area of the lights so it isn’t a total turn off to the fish. Other boaters can see you better so it is much safer for avoiding collisions also. Plus the drunks coming home from the marina bars can really see you and they give you some room. Plus it is easier to cast, tie knots, and generally manage the boat.
With all the lights on, I can bass fish just the same as in the daytime. I have no trouble pitching a worm, jig, or spinnerbait to shoreline cover with high accuracy even on the darkest of nights.
Amber (yellow): Bright light with minimal bug attraction. These are best to light the boat interior when you need to see well. They are aimed down from under seats and decks to light the floor.
Red: Will not hurt your night vision. Red lights are not very bright, but great to light the boat interior at all times. Helps avoid stepping on things and seeing the floor. They are aimed down from under seats and decks to light the floor (same as amber, but on different switch). Red lights have the least bug attraction.
Blue (called moonlight by some): aimed out to light the banks while fishing. Works well. Makes it look like fishing on a full moon night. Blue lights will attract bugs.
UV (purple): aimed out to light your fishing line while fishing. UV lights work awesome with fluorescent monofilament line. It really glows bright. UV does not make braid or fluorocarbon line glow. UV lights can really attracts bugs.
Green: aimed into the water to attract bait. Really attracts bugs.
White: only for headlights (like a car) and headlamps (hooked to your hat). White lights attract bugs like crazy. It is the best color to see by when you really need to see something.
Bugs: Big concern in summertime night fishing. You need to be very careful about color choice or the inside of the boat will be filled with bugs in a minute. The outside will have a million around it with almost none inside if done right. When you turn a white headlamp on, you have about 10 seconds until you are covered in bugs. Most of the bugs are not mosquitoes so they don’t bite, but it can still be maddening with the huge numbers.
Interesting thing on with the LED lights for bassboats. It seems people are matching the interior color of the lights to the boat’s interior color. Crazy idea as you may end up with a super pretty bug attracting machine. It would be totally unfishable at night with the number of bugs in the boats interior. Style over function for some I guess.
A Thermocell bug repellant is a good addition to any night fishing rig.
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