Surf fishing at night is a ton of fun. Night fishing has challenges (and opportunities) that you don’t have during the day. Choosing the best lure is the first step to catching more fish at night. We’ll talk a little bit about the differences in surf fishing at night then get into our picks for the best lures.
If you’re in a hurry, here are our picks for the best nighttime surf fishing lures:
- Daiwa SP Minnow (Purple/Black)
- Bomber Long A (Purple/Black)
- Cotton Cordell Red Fin
- Ocean Born Flying Popper
- Metallic Spoons
- 247 Lures 7” Needlefish
A Quick Overview on Surf Fishing at Night
During darkness, fish feed by using their exceptional eyesight and their ability to detect the slightest of vibrations in the water through their lateral line. Taking into consideration how fish feed plus their willingness to move into shallow water at night to feed, you can have great success targeting predatory species in darkness with lures.
As a general rule, darker lures work better at night as these create a defined silhouette under water and on the surface.
Many small baitfish find shallow water during darkness and become inactive making them an easier target for various predatory species. Artificial lures imitate these small baitfish that the predatory fish feed on and the angler can have great success when using lures during darkness hours.
A distinct advantage of using lures during darkness hours is that there is much less of a chance that the angler or any tackle will be noticed by the targeted fish.
The 6 best lures for surf fishing at night
DAIWA SP MINNOW
This sinking lure from Daiwa was originally produced for targeting striped bass in the surf, but it is highly effective for a wide range of other predators too. These lures are 6” in length and are pre-rigged with size 2/0 saltwater treble hooks.
Available in a range of colors, these lures are designed to cast great distances, even in windy conditions. They sink in a horizontal position which can entice strikes from fish as they fall through the water column.
BOMBER LONG A PURPLE/BLACK
This lure is 4 ½” in length and has a very realistic wiggle when retrieved which replicates the swimming action of a minnow. They also have a built in rattle which also helps to encourage predators to strike. All lures come pre rigged with Excalibur treble hooks and will dive to around 4’.
They are exceptionally good when targeting striped bass but will also catch a wide range of other predators, for example snook, snapper, redfish and drum.
COTTON CORDELL RED FIN
This lure can be fished slowly on the surface or twitched erratically just below the surface in the surf for a range of species including striped bass, redfish, snook and speckled trout. There are three lengths available, 4”, 5” and 7” and all three are very shallow divers making them ideal for fishing in shallow water.
OCEAN BORN FLYING POPPER
This lure is a topwater popper that has a narrow neck and a cupped face and is known for its casting ability and the versatility in which it can be used. You can make the Flying Popper spit and pop on the surface which creates maximum water turbulence. Or you crank the reel hard and let the lure dive just below the surface.
This type of lure is especially good to use in the dark due to the fact that it not only silhouettes very well against the night sky, but the surface disturbance will also attract a vast range of predators in the surf such as striped bass, snook, barracuda, drum and jacks.
Spoons are very productive during the hours of darkness due to the fact that all available light is reflected from its metallic surface as the spoon wobbles from side to side as it is retrieved. Matte colored spoons can also be used at night but are not as effective as the metallic variety as they have a duller sheen.
All predatory species will take a spoon in the surf, but they are exceptionally good for jacks, bluefish and redfish.
247 LURES 7” NEEDLEFISH
These lures, made by 247 Lures, are designed to be cast a great distance and are a favorite for anglers who are looking to fish a lure beyond the breakers. They are also designed to sink a lot slower than other needlefish patterns on the market, which assists the angler who is fishing in shallow water.
All lures are available with size 2/0 VMC treble hooks, but the angler can choose different add-ons or upgrades on point of order. They are available in a range of colors, with the black version being most suited for fishing in darkness. They are very productive when targeting striped bass, but also effective for a wide range of predatory species in the surf.
Check out the 7″ Needlefish lure on 247Lures.
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Hello! My name is Tim and I’ve been fishing for over 30 years. I’ve learned a lot about fishing during that time and I love sharing that knowledge with others. I’m also a member of the International Game Fish Association (IGFA). Thanks for checking out the site!