Sunset Fishing Guide: Tips, Techniques, Catch More Fish

Early on every fisherman starts to  question why they’re going out at a certain hour. Most of us  hit the water first thing in the morning to get in a long day of fishing.   that really limits how often you can get on the water when you’re working a regular nine-to-five job.

So how can you squeeze more fishing hours into your work week?  You’ve probably heard that fish are more active first thing in the morning. While that’s definitely true they are also going to be just as active right before night.

Every fisherman has their own perspective on the best time to fish. After a long day of work there’s nothing like getting in a few hours of fishing right as the sun starts to set. Not only is it beautiful, you’re sure to have more than a few bites.

Sunset Fishing Guide

1) The Fish are Always Biting

For some reason you always hear about night fishing,  but everyone seems to forget right before sunset. It really is a shame, because that’s one most fish are really starting to bite.

We’ve known for years that the best fishing is either in the early morning or late evening. So naturally, you’re going to have a ton of bites right before sunset. If you can only get out on the water a couple hours a day this is the perfect time to go fishing.

Of course you’ll have to pay attention to the weather to figure out the fishing patterns, but you should be able to get in a few good hours of fishing. Remember that fish spend most of their day hiding from the bright sunlight only to return to the shallows to feed at night. If you can figure out how to time their feeding patterns you’re sure to get lucky.

My Favorite Sunset Bass Lures

Bass are actively feeding right before sunset. It’s all about “power fishing” with fast presentations. Get off as many casts as you can in this short window. Run past as many fish as you can in this short window.

  1. Topwater Lures: Topwater lures absolutely clean up in low light conditions. Doesn’t matter if it’s early morning, Overcast, Before Sunset or just before a storm. Work the shallows with a Hula Popper, Jitterbug, Zara Spook ETC.
  2. Spinnerbaits: Work parallel to the shore covering a ton of water. Big flashy spinnerbaits like the Booyah Super Shad seem to work really well.
  3. Lipless Crankbaits: Hopefully you learned how to work lipless crankbaits early in your fishing career. Lipless Crankbaits are basically weedless and can be worked fast in shallow water. It’s hard to beat the Strike King Red Eye Shad.

2) The Sheer Beauty

Be honest with yourself, one of the best reasons to get out onto the water right before sunset is it’s downright gorgeous. There’s just nothing better than relaxing and watching the sun go down. Even if you completely ignore how the fish are biting who couldn’t love fishing under those orange Skies.

We’ve all seen beautiful pictures of sunset over the open-water, but nothing compares to actually being out there. If you feel like getting lucky, you might even want to invite your wife to tag along. After a quick bottle of wine and a few hours of fishing she might just start to understand why you spent so much on that new fishing boat.

Whether or not you actually catch a few fish shouldn’t matter when you’re out relaxing on the Open Water. Who could be stressed  when the skies filled with such beautiful colors.

3) Fish Feed Right Before Sunset

Throughout most of the summer fish spend their days hiding from the sun in deep water. It isn’t until the Sun starts to go down that they had towards the shallows. lucky for you that’s where all the bait fish and forage species tend to hide.

Doesn’t matter what species your going after they’re going to go crazy right as the sun goes down. It’s like a three to four hour Feeding Frenzy that you don’t want to miss.

Work the shallows fast and hard covering as much water as possible. It’s all about “matching the hatch” and finding those big balls of bait.

4) Have Some Time To Relax

Seems like the best time to fish is when you’re the most stressed. Getting out onto the water for a few hours always seems to cool me down after a long work week. Doesn’t matter if I go out for an hour, or six I always come back refreshed.

Is there anything better than fishing to get your mind off of work? There’s just something about that Cool Breeze and Open Water that settles you down after a long day. Surrounded by nothing but water, birds in the sky and that beautiful sunset oh, it’s the perfect way to unwind after a long day.

5) Less Crowded

Go out on any Lake first thing in the morning and you’re bound to see more than a handful of bass boats. These morning risers can’t stay on the water all day.

Right before dinner, they all seem to head back to the docks and boat launch.  Probably got a call from their wife asking where they’ve been all day.

This is the perfect time to get out on the water. With no fishing pressure and actively feeding fish you’re sure to get more than a few bites. Plus who wants to deal with a crowded like anyway.

6) Peace and Quiet

Less crowds obviously means there’s going to be a lot less noise. You won’t have to deal with all those roaring speedboats, jet skis and pleasure Cruisers with their radios blasting. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference 1 hour makes late in the day.

No more loud mouth fisherman and car horns honking in the distance. just take a quick evening Cruise and all you’ll hear is the sound of waves crashing against your boat. You might even get to hear the sound of bass jumping out in the distance.

7) Just About Any Lure Works

Doesn’t matter what lure you’re trying just about anything is going to work. After a long hot day every fish in the lake will be actively feeding.  

This is the perfect time to try out that new lure you just bought.  Work it fast and get in front of as many fish as you can. In low light conditions you can try just about anything without worrying about spooking off fish.

If you still don’t have any luck, you might need to change up your technique or presentation.

8) No Sunburn But Bring Your Bug Spray

Im proud to be an Irishmen, but my pasty white skin doesn’t do well in the sun.  Doesn’t matter how much sunscreen I lather on I’m going to get burnt. Get out just before sunset and you’ll miss the hottest part of the day.  

That being said, early evenings are the worst time of day for bugs.  Bring along some bug spray and put on a light jacket so you don’t get bit up. Off Deep Woods always seemed to work the best for me.

9) Less Distractions

Going out in the late evening will remove all those distractions. You won’t have to worry about picking your kids up from football practice, making dinner or unfinished homework.

Clear your head of all the stresses of the outside world. Just get ready to head back early when the wife inevitably calls. You can’t get away from the world forever.

10) Get in a Few More Fishing Days Each Week

Back when I worked a normal 9-5 job it was hard to schedule in a few fishing days each week. Most weekends I could squeeze in that early Saturday outing, but that’s about it. Throw in summer birthday parties, hangovers, and those impromptu trips to the flea market and there’s not much time left for fishing.

Throughout the week I always seemed to be busy from the time I got off work until life naturally settles down around 8pm. That’s the perfect time to hit the water.

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