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Fishing A Night Tournament In Moonlight

Does Moonlight Make Bass Bite?


Fishing A Night Tournament In Moonlight
Last summer in a night tournament 12 members of the Spalding County Sportsman Club fished our August tournament at Jackson. We fished from 6:00 PM to 2:00 AM Sunday morning. The water was 87 degrees and clear. And the bass were still hard to find.

In eight hours of fishing we brought in 18 bass weighing about 26 pounds. Only five of the bass were largemouth, all the rest were spots. There were no limits, the most anyone had was three bass, and two fisherman didn’t weigh in a keeper bass. Billy Roberts won it all with two bass weighing 5.50 pounds and his 3.36 pound spot was big fish in the tournament. Javin English was second with three weighing 4.75 pounds, I had three at 3.81 pounds for third and Gary Hattaway was fourth with two at 3.05 pounds.

Trying to do something different than I did two weeks ago when I zeroed a Flint River Bass Club tournament at Jackson, my partner Jordan McDonald and I ran up the South River at the start of the tournament. It was amazing. The lower lake was crowded with pleasure boats and skiers but the river was calm and quiet. Only a few boats went by us in the three hours we fished there.

Both of us started with topwater and also tried crankbaits and plastic worms and got a few hits but didn’t hook anything. There were lots of gar swimming around and that might be what was hitting our baits. At 7:30 I cast a jig and pig to a small flat and my line jumped and went in a circle. When I set the hook a small bass came to the top and I landed it. I thought it was to short but it barely touched the 12 inch line, so in the live well it went.

A few minutes later Jordan got a slightly bigger keeper so we both had fish but got no more before dark. Just before it got real dark at about 9:00 PM we ran back out to the lake where it was easier to ride in the dark and found there were still a good many people riding around enjoying the cooler weather.

We fished one point right at dark and I missed two bass. I felt foolish, I would be crawling my jig head worm over gravel and pull against something, and it would pull back. By the time I lowered my rod tip and set the hook the fish was gone. It is hard to do that in the dark!

For the next four hours we didn’t get another bite, although we fished several places. It was so bad Jordan went to sleep at about 11:00 PM. It was very dark on the lake and it got more and more quiet. By midnight there were very few boats moving around.

Just before 1:00 AM the moon came up above the trees. It was very pretty and I thought about my article last week. It seemed to make a difference. Between the time the moon came up and the time we had to head in to weigh-in 45 minutes later I got three bites and landed two of them, including my biggest, a two pound spot. I landed another 13 inch spot and lost a fish that jumped out in the dark and threw the hook.

Did the moon coming up make a difference? Maybe. It was easier to fish with some light and very pretty, whether it made the bass bite better or not!

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