The Saltwater Magazine for Gulf Coast Fishing!

It's a Nighttime Thing

by Capt. Nate Skinner
Fall 2016


The bait was everywhere. Glass minnows, shad, shrimp, you name it-all things baitfish were attracted to the light. We hadn't been set up for more than half an hour and already there were long silhouettes darting near the edge of the lighted water, where the green rays from the LED light and darkness met. Then I heard it. That familiar "Pop" of a trout smacking at the water's surface.

The feeding frenzy started gradually, as the incoming tide was just beginning to pick up the pace. A few busts and swirls at the surface turned into nonstop commotion as the current found its rhythm. The scene sounded like a really loud popcorn machine as the noise from the surface-feeding fish echoed across the calm water in the still night. We found ourselves frozen for a few seconds, in awe of the show before us.

The "viewing" didn't last long as we scrambled for rods. It was time to start catching. We chunked a variety of lures, all of which seemed to prove effective as the trout engulfed them just about every time they were drug near the outer edges of the light. Smaller fish could clearly be seen smack dab in the middle of the brightness, while the better trout lurked in the shadows.

The most exciting action came from tandem rig presentations where twin soft plastic jigs often fooled the fish two-at-a-time. Fighting two eighteen inch trout hooked on one line with the swift current was a chore, but more than anything it was an absolute hoot. This was what we came for. The underwater LED green light made by John Drawe was doing its thing and our bent rods were proof. Going green at night never made more sense.

Fall brings some of the best fishing of the year to the Gulf Coast. Baitfish like shad, glass minnows, and pogies along with crustaceans like shrimp and crabs will be on the move. Cold fronts and gradually cooling temperatures will spark a migration within these populations. They leave the marshes and back lake estuaries to make their way towards the Gulf as the winter season approaches. This gives anglers an opportunity to find trout and reds gorging on these swarms of fry in a variety of locations throughout the next few months.

There are numerous options for anglers to take advantage of the excellent fall fishing opportunities, as fish will be following the bait up and down the entire Gulf Coast. One of the best ways to catch a ton of fish is to attract the bait to one location, rather than going to look for it. This in turn will bring plenty of game fish and make for some great memories.

One of the best ways to bring a bunch of baitfish to one location is to use a green light at night. Scenes like the one mentioned above can be replicated just about anywhere along the Gulf Coast at night where there is plenty of tide movement. And, it all centers around one piece of equipment-an underwater green light. One of the best, most effective, and durable green fishing lights on the market is the Drop Light LED 300 made by John Drawe.

Drawe's products can be seen and purchased from his website at and the reason behind their effectiveness is fairly simple.

"It's all about the food chain," explains Drawe. "The green light draws in the smallest organisms within the saltwater food chain like plankton. Then baitfish and shrimp are drawn in to feed on the plankton and before you know it, here come the predators like trout and redfish to feed on the bait fish and shrimp that were attracted to the light."

When asked why a green colored light works the best, Drawe informed that the frequency of green light on the color spectrum travels further through water than any other frequency of light.

"Green light has a frequency that penetrates through the water column and less of this light compared to other colors is absorbed by the water," he explained. "Because of this, green light attracts more fish than any other color of light."

Drawe's Drop Light LED 300 is extremely easy to use and can be powered by a 12 volt battery. He suggests using a good, dual purpose battery separate from the cranking battery when using the light from a boat.

"A fully charged 12 volt battery should power the light all night long, but I can't promise that the same battery will have enough power to start an outboard after several hours of use. It is best to use a separate battery to power the light, and reserve the cranking battery or batteries for powering the motor.

The Drop Light LED 300 can also be used from a dock, pier, or other waterfront structure, and it can be powered by a 120 volt AC source with an adaptor.

There are several ways to use Drawe's drop light throughout the water column. The light can float at the surface, it can be suspended under surface, and it can be sunk all the way to the bottom. Information and graphics on how to employ these different uses of the light can be found on Drawe's website in the "Tips & Tricks" section at

Using the green light from a boat opens up a world of opportunities for anglers. The best areas to set up are places that receive an ample amount of tide movement. These can be channels and cuts leading into bays, passes lined by jetties, or even the Intracoastal Waterway. Another thing to consider when choosing a location is its fish producing history. Anglers will want to set up the light in an area that is known for holding plenty of baitfish and also plenty of trout and reds.

Drawe said his absolute favorite place to fish at night with the green light is on the inside of a jetty where bay waters and Gulf waters meet during an incoming tide.

"I like to focus on areas where current is flowing through the rocks of the jetty and there is an outcrop that creates an eddy," says Drawe. "In this situation I will set up at the edge of the swift moving water and float the light on the surface."

Drawe says that in areas with a strong current, the light will be the most effective when it is floated at the surface in this manner.

"A strong current will make it difficult to suspend the light or sink it to the bottom, which is why I choose to keep it floating at the top," he elaborates.

When floating the light at the surface with a moving current, anglers will need to tether the light to the boat by a means other than just the cables that are clipped to the batteries. Some strong fishing line or lightweight rope can easily be attached to the bottom of the light and will do the trick.

As far as bait presentations go when using a green light at night, just about any hardware will work when the fish are drawn in and feeding on the baitfish present. I prefer to use soft plastic paddle tails rigged in tandem on quarter ounce jigheads. Texas Tackle Factory's Killer Shad rig works great and so does the H&H Cocahoe Minnow 3" Double Rig. These tandem rigs will often provoke strikes from two fish at a time and are deadly at night.

Hard bait presentations are a great option when fishing a green light at night because they do not tear up easily after numerous strikes from aggressive fish. Two phenomenal hard baits that work great are the Rip-n-Slash 70 and the Arrowhead 70 made by Unfair Lures. These two baits will produce bone crushing strikes when twitched at the edge of a green light at night.

While working various lures through and around the green light, it is best to vary the speed of retrieve and the angle at which the lure is passing through the light. Sometimes the fish prefer a steady, quick retrieve, while other times they like a more erratic retrieve with many twitches and pauses. Most of the strikes will come at the edge of the light and at times the fish will prefer the lure to pass by this edge at different angles depending on the current direction. Changing up the angle of the retrieve every so often sometimes draws more bites.

Submerged Pier and Dock Light

Apprx 110' away.

120 Volts AC - 50 or 100 Watts

Fall is finally here as temperatures are beginning to make a move towards a more mild direction. Some of the best fishing of the year is taking place right now and anglers can bring the action right to their boat by using a green light at night. Check out John Drawe's green fishing lights at or, give him a call at 830-377-2185 and put one to the test. The next after dark feeding frenzy awaits.



99Copyrite 2016, Harold Wells Gulf Coast Fisherman, Inc