James Lindner and Mike Hehner head out for some late night crappies and bluegills and offer up a few tips and tactics for targeting nighttime panfish.

Nighttime Panfish

Some of the biggest crappies caught throughout the winter are often caught after dark. In fact both crappies and big bluegills will bite well at night.

When fishing for the panfish at night we often prefer to set up on a spot that is likely going to hold and attract feeding panfish and wait for the schools to cruise through. It’s not to say that hole hopping won’t work, we have just found a lot of success keying in and waiting it out on these certain areas.

Depending on the structure of the lake will determine where you will want to set up a house when targeting these fish.

Good spots to set up for nighttime crappies and bluegills include weed lines adjacent to deeper water, a bottom transition in a deepwater basin, a mud to weed transition.

All are likely spots to attract schools of roaming panfish.

As far as presentations go a simple jigging set up paired with a small jig or small spoon is tough to beat.

When you are set up for these nighttime panfish it is important to have a dead stick setup. Whether you use a minnow or a jig with a wax worm having a deastick beside your jigging rod is going to increase the number of fish you hook into. These nighttime panfish are often always on the move so having another rod and bait to attract them will help keep the school around longer.

Glow colors can also play a big factor. We often use UV or glow colors at night to attract the schools of roaming panfish.

The two main keys to nighttime success is finding the right location, and then utilizing dead sticks and glow colors to help bring the fish into you.