From striped bass in the Northeast to snook in south Florida, if you find the right lights, odds are you’ll find hungry fish. Here are five keys to successfully fishing lighted docks and bridges.
Not every light on the water holds fish. The best dock lights are no higher than 6 feet over the water and either bright white or green. If they create a concentrated light pool in the water, bait will congregate inside it and predators will wait in the shadows to ambush them.
Speaking of shadows, bridges with a well-defined shadow line will hold fish. For good results, anchor or position the boat up-current and send your baits or lures into the shadow line with the flow.
Time and Tide
Some places fish better on the incoming, others the outgoing, but no matter what the water has to be moving for a good bite.
Match the Hatch
Bait flowing through and congregating around light pools is typically on the smaller side, be it shrimp or crabs or baitfish. Ascertain what the fish are hitting in the lights and use a lure or bait of similar profile.
Beef Up the Tackle
Hooked fish will use the dock or bridge pilings to their advantage. Use a heavier rig with a shock tippet that can withstand chafing.