man shoreline fishing a lake at night sitting next to a tent scene illuminated by a FLi-Pro telescoping light

What is the Best Light to Use for Night Fishing?

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Fishing at night can present its challenges, but lighting is one thing that can make everything at night a little bit easier to manage. Finding the right light is not as hard as it may seem, but there are things you should know when considering your fishing lights. Below are my recommendations for the best lighting when fishing at night.

White or green light with a brightness of at least 80 lumens is ideal for fishing at night. Lights that are hands-free, telescoping, or able to float are also desirable. Great examples include the FLi-PRO Telescoping Light, ILLUMiDOME lantern, FLEXIT Pocket Light, and FLEXIT Headlamp as they all provide ideal lighting for night fishing and can create an even better experience when used in combination.

I’ll expand more on the features of these lights and why they are the best lights for fishing at night. But first, let’s look at some desirable traits in a night fishing light. 

What should I look for in a night fishing light?

As well as having a bright source of light, there are also some other features to consider when coordinating the light for your next night-fishing trip.

Firstly, the color of the light makes a difference. It is usually green or white light that will attract fish to the area. It is thought that green light penetrates further into the water because of its shorter wavelength, attracting fish quicker. However, white light provides the greatest contrast in the water, which also attracts fish.

Another point to consider is that you won’t want to be operating or holding your lighting with your hands when you are fishing. You will most likely have your hands full with the rod and reel. This is why hands-free lights are a very convenient option for night fishing. Either a wearable light or a telescoping light is nice to have for this reason.

As I mentioned before, having a combination of lights, instead of one single light source, will allow you to further brighten the area and attract more fish without finding one light that does everything. With multiple lights, you can appreciate having background lighting as well as portable lights and light sources in the water. Having these different types of lights allows you to have a range of options for lighting if one method is not suitable.

One final feature that helps when fishing at night is having a light that can float. This will bring the light as close to the fish as possible and allow the light to penetrate as deep as possible. Although it’s not essential to reach the bottom of the ocean, having a deeper reach will still help attract more fish-bait and bigger fish.

With these features in mind, here’s a combination of LED white lights I would recommend taking on your next night-time fishing trip.

So what is the best light to use for night fishing?

male shoreline fishing the ocean at night pulling hard on his line. Next to him is a FLi Pro telescoping area light by STKR Concepts lighting up the space around him.

Best Light for Shoreline Fishing - FLi-Pro Telescoping Light

The FLi-Pro Telescoping Light is a great light for shoreline and beach fishing as it creates a 40-foot umbrella of light. It comes with a lightweight fiberglass telescoping pole that attaches to an aluminum tripod. This setup lets your light raise eight feet up into the air to create that huge umbrella of light.

Because it’s way up in the air it features a wireless remote that lets you control the light with ease. You won’t have to worry about losing this remote as it magnetically attaches to the bottom of the tripod. The tripod itself works well on uneven surfaces as each leg has independent adjustability and the top has an adjustable ball joint to make your light stand straight up and down regardless of the terrain.

On top of all of these features mentioned, the light can be removed from the top of the tripod setup and because it has downward-facing and upward-facing LEDs, it can be used as a traditional handheld flashlight as well.

STKR's FLEXIT Pocket Light attached to a backpack strap worn by male. Extra close up on just the light.

Best Night Fishing Pocket Light - FLEXIT Pocket Lights

FLEXIT Pocket Lights are a very versatile option to take on your fishing trip. They are hand-held lights that can also be clipped onto clothing, hung from a hook, or magnetized to a metal surface.

They also have a flexible head, meaning the source of the light can be tilted 180 degrees. This flexibility and versatility make this light perfect to be used as background lighting. Whether on your clothing, clipped to the side of the boat, or hanging from a pole, it can light up the general area around you.

If you do manage to have a hand free, you can also use these lights as a flashlight to look in dark and awkward places. If using for background lighting, you can put in anywhere you like. Once in place, you can direct the flexible light source toward the floating ILLUMiDOME lantern. This can be very helpful in increasing the brightness around that area.

The FLEXIT Pocket Lights come in a 400-lumen or a 650-lumen option. Depending on what you need, you can have as many of these as you need to reach the desired brightness around your boat. They are dimmable and also have a red light option if you wanted to light up the inside of your boat with less harsh light.

fisherman looking thru tackle box using a flexit headlamp pro red lighting mode by STKR Concepts

Best Headlamp for Night Fishing - FLEXIT Headlamps

FLEXIT Headlamps are a great option for fishing because they will light up the area in front of you, without needing to hold a flashlight. These headlamps are available in either the ‘AAA’ battery-operated 250-lumen FLEXIT Headlamp 2.5, or the rechargeable 650-lumen FLEXIT Headlamp PRO 6.5.

They both feature focused lighting with a central spotlight and peripheral lighting with LEDs spanning your forehead/temple areas on both sides of the main light.  The PRO 6.5 has upgraded LEDs on both the spot and flood lights for even more visibility on your boat. The central spotlight can be adjusted to angle the light source higher or lower, depending on where you need the light directed.

Both models have a comfortable strap and are lightweight to prevent the headlamp from shifting on your head or collecting sweat. Headlamps without this feature can be very frustrating when your hands are both tied up fishing and it falls over your eyes. The FELXIT Headlamps are also weather-resistant, so they will not be damaged by rain or sea spray.

The FLEXIT Headlamp PRO 6.5 has a few more features than the Headlamp 2.5. These features include 55 hours of run-time, red light night vision if needed, and an easy light control located near your temple that gives you completely custom brightness settings.

Fishing Poster for the STKR Illumidome showing it sitting on a dock at dawn. Lake and boat fisherman in background. Tree line and mountains in very background. Small table and drinks in foreground.

Best Night Fishing Lantern - ILLUMiDOME Mini Waterproof Lantern

The ILLUMiDOME Mini Waterproof Lantern is a waterproof light with an IPX6 rating. It is designed to float on the water, so is a good source of light to attract the fish from the surface of the water. This light emits 220 lumens, which is certainly above the minimum for attracting bait-fish to the surface of the water. It also has a hook and Velcro strap to keep it secure.

The ILLUMiDOME takes AA batteries, but with LED technology, it can still run for up to 100 hours on the lowest setting. This will equate to many overnight fishing trips, meaning you don’t have to replace the batteries often and it’s very cheap to run.

Along with three brightness levels, it also has a flashing light mode. This light can therefore double as a hazard light if you are in distress and need to attract attention.

How Many Lumens do You Need for Night Fishing?

Fish are attracted to the light from a fishing boat. This can be one of the benefits of fishing at night. With the sun gone, your light is the only light the fish will be attracted to. Therefore the light does not have to be as bright as the sun.

Another good thing is that your light does not need to go deep to attract the fish. A light on the surface of the water will illuminate particles of food for bait-fish, attracting them to the surface of the water. This then attracts bigger, more desirable fish that want to eat the bait-fish. It may take time, but wherever the light is, the fish will follow.

Even though you don’t need light to penetrate into the darkest depths of the water, you still want as much light as possible. Therefore, the brightest light you can find will be the best light for fishing at night. But as I mentioned before, with everything else dark, anything above 80 lumens will still attract bait-fish.

Lumens measure the brightness of the bulb. LEDs display their brightness in lumens, but if you choose a different type of bulb, like incandescent for instance, then you might be confused by the correlation of brightness to the wattage. To clear up any confusion, check out our lumens article here.

Regardless of which type of bulb you use, the brightness (in lumens) of any given area is made up of all the light sources in that area. This means that if you want to produce a brighter light, you can just add more lights. You don’t have to buy one expensive bright light.

Wrapping Up

Any combination of a FLi-PRO, ILLUMiDOME lantern, FLEXIT Pocket Light, and FLEXIT Headlamp can give you a combined brightness that will far exceed your night fishing needs. You could essentially have the floating light source, an area light, a headlamp, and a pocket light all centered on one area to increase the brightness of the water and attract more fish. I hope this helps you find the best options to light up your next fishing trip.

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