What Is The Best Color Of Underwater Light To Attract Fish?

Sergio Smirnoff

Hello, my name is Sergio Smirnof, and my goal with FishReeler is to provide a valuable resource for anglers of all levels, from beginners to experienced veterans. I hope that my passion for fishing and dedication to the sport shines through in the content I create and inspires others to get out on the water and catch some fish!

XHP50 Scuba Flashlight

What Color Lights Are Best for Night Fishing?

Fishing is a hobby that many people enjoy doing. It can help release stress and keep you busy doing something you enjoy.

The best part about fishing is you can take the fish you caught home to prepare a delicious meal. So, it’s a two-in-one deal where you get to do what you like and eat a delicious dish made of fish.

However, fishing is a challenging task to do. Many people prefer fishing at night to avoid the harsh sun rays during the day. Underwater lights are essential if you want to go fishing at night.

Underwater lights come in a variety of colors. So, what is the best color of underwater light to attract fish? The answer may surprise you.

XHP50 Flashlight

What Are Underwater Lights?

Underwater lights are lights that can be submerged in water. Underwater lights are frequently used for fishing at night and can emanate an aquatic glow when submerged in water.

These lights can lure fish for recreational and commercial fishing applications. A wide variety of underwater lights are used for fishing, including LEDs, halogen bulbs, metal-halide, xenons, and mercury vapor.

Why Do Underwater Lights Attract Fish?

The reason that underwater lights attract fish is because of the two receptors in fish eyes. These color receptors are ideal at picking up blue wavelengths at 425-490 nanometers and at 320-380 nanometers.

Shrimp and insects have both these wavelengths in their color vision and green light receptors at 530 nanometers.

Another reason fish get attracted to underwater lights is phytoplankton, microscopic photosynthesizers that are attracted to underwater lights in search of food, especially at night.

Phytoplankton and Microscopic Photosynthesizers

What Is The Best Color Of Underwater Light To Attract Fish?

Various colors behave differently on the surface and below the water. Their wavelengths differ, and some penetrate the water more than others.

Choose a light source in green or a mixture of green and white for night fishing. These colors can penetrate approximately 70 to 75 feet under the water.

Besides these colors, blue lights can penetrate up to 160 feet. However, they are not the best lights for fishing because they lose brightness when going deeper.

Blue LEDs produce only around 30 lumens per watt. So, they’re suitable to use for ambient boat lighting.

What Makes A Good Fish Attractant

Here are the factors that make a good fish attractant.

●     High Intensity

Underwater lights need high intensity because they’re vital for increased visibility. Increased visibility, along with increased lumen output, will attract more phytoplankton and aquatic life.

LED lights have high lumen output at lower electrical costs and are one of the best underwater fishing lights. Different LEDs release various lumen outputs as a measure of their power.

One factor you need to consider when buying LED lights for underwater fishing is the light color and lumen output.

●     Emit Light Similar In Wavelength To Green And Blue

The best lights for attracting fish are green and blue. Therefore, you need to choose an underwater fishing light that emits light similar in wavelength to green and blue to ensure that fish get attracted to it.

However, green and blue lights are not essential to attracting fish, although it is helpful to have those light colors.

White light also works due to its heavy intensity and broad spectrum, including blue and green.

●     Be Submersible

The best type of underwater lights is submersible ones. Using above-water lights is less efficient than submersible lights because most of the light is lost and reflected off the water’s surface.

The other reason is that water acts as the ideal heat sink allowing light to operate at a higher temperature with more wattage.

Therefore, using submersible underwater lights is the best option to choose.

●     Powered By A Portable Electrical Supply

Underwater lights used for fishing at night must be powered by a portable electrical supply. Fishing at night takes a lot of time, and your underwater light will probably run out of battery power.

Therefore, you must be able to bring it back up in power, especially if you don’t have a backup light or batteries.

An underwater light should be able to be fixed to the boat and hooked up to a marine battery when fishing at night.

●     Aluminum Or Composite Plastic Housing

The underwater light’s housing is also essential when you select a fishing light. The best underwater fishing light housing options are aluminum or composite plastic.

You should not use carbon or stainless-steel housing for underwater lights. Because these lights are more prone to suffer from electrolysis, that can cause the fishing light’s housing can rust fast and disintegrate.

On the other hand, aluminum and composite plastic materials can fight the effects of electrolysis. It allows the fishing light to last longer.

Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying An Underwater Light

Here are some common questions to ask yourself when buying an underwater light. It will help you choose the right type of underwater light.

  • How bright do I want the light to be?
  • What is my water clarity?
  • What beam angle do I want?
  • What is going to be its power source?
  • Is it for a fishing application?
  • What color underwater light do I want?
  • Is it for saltwater or freshwater use?
  • What company do I buy from?
  • Is the company providing electrical information to determine the approximate lumen amount?

Underwater Light

Why Do Lower Color Temperatures Work Well In Dirty Water

Lower color temperatures work well in dirty, muddy, and stained water. The yellowish tint produced by these lights does not reflect off the dirt particles in the water as badly as the whiter or high color temperatures do.

Therefore these lights produce less glare in the water.

Higher color temperatures appear to be much brighter when compared to lower-temperature colors. However, they also produce more glare in stained water.

Types Of Light For Night Fishing

Types Of Light For Night Fishing

There are three types of lights for night fishing; floating lights, underwater lights, and above-water lights. Each has its uses, and you need to decide which one to use based on its features.

●     Floating Lights

Floating lights have a lower voltage and are portable. They are an excellent choice when trying to catch fish in different areas.

You can quickly catch the fish from the water and throw them back at the next location while the lights float above.

However, the drawback of floating lights is that they frequently move due to the waves. They can also be a hazard when they’re in the way of other boats.

Remember to use these lights only at night because they can degrade fast when exposed to the sun.

●     Underwater Lights

Underwater lights are some of the most common lights used for night fishing. It’s because they penetrate deep into the water and allow you to catch bigger fish.

These lights are also prone to fewer accidents and are safer for other boats because they are underwater.

However, the downside is that these lights are prone to barnacle growth when they don’t heat up enough. Therefore, they will produce less light over time because the barnacle blocks the light that emanates from them.

●     Above-Water Lights

Above-water lights are typically fixed on the sides of a boat to illuminate the water. They enhance aesthetics and make it easy to catch fish when they come to the surface.

The downside is that the water’s surface reflects most of the light, making it harder to see what’s below. They also have higher power requirements to illuminate the water adequately.

What Type Of Fish Can You Expect To Attract With Fishing Lights?

Here are the different saltwater and freshwater fish you can expect to attract with fishing lights.

Freshwater Fish

  • Crappie
  • Bass
  • Catfish
  • Carp
  • Perch
  • Other types of bait and game fish species

Saltwater Fish

  • Redfish
  • Trout
  • Snook
  • Flounder
  • Tuna
  • Shrimp
  • Snapper
  • Rockfish
  • Croaker
  • Piggy perch

Read this article to learn about the best electric fishing reels to help you catch the above fish.

Final Thoughts

The best color of underwater light to attract fish is green. Different colors, such as white and blue, are also used to attract fish at night.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Fish Attracted To Underwater Lights?

Underwater lights attract fish because they reflect off water particles that enhance a natural food source for bait.

What Is The Best Color For Underwater Fishing Lights?

The best color for underwater fishing lights is green because it can penetrate around 70 to 75 feet deep underwater. It allows you to catch big fish that swim deep in the water.

Are Floating Or Sinking Lights Better For Fishing?

Sinking lights are better for fishing because they can be used in various water conditions and provide the most efficient light spread closer to the fish.

Sergio Smirnoff
Sergio Smirnoff
Professional fisherman with 40+ years of experience.
Fishing and the ocean is a passion of my life. I am passionate about all kinds of sea fishing: fishing from the shore (spinning, float, baitcasting), from a boat, and spearfishing day and night.

I live in Tenerife (Canary Islands) for the last 10+ years and share my daily fishing experiences on my website. Many years of personal experience as a fisherman and the vast experience of my friends allow me to write professionally on any fishing topics (from choosing a flashlight and equipment to deep-sea fishing).

All of my advice is based on practical real-world experience and will be useful to both novice anglers and professionals. Read more about the author.

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About the author: Each article is verified by the fishing expert Sergio Smirnoff. The articles are written by professional and amateur fishermen with 20+ years of fishing experience.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency. The articles are for informational purposes only, share your opinions in the comments and join the fishing discussions, let's share our fishing experiences together!

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