Will Glow Sticks Improve your Night Catch

Pulling a crappie out of the water that is illuminated by a glow stick

Fishing has always been a favored pastime for many. Various tips and tricks come out every now and then on how you can improve your chances of catching fish. 

If you are anything like me, or thousands of other anglers you are always looking for a way to improve your odds. One area that is often considered is ways to attract fish.

Perhaps you have recently considered glowsticks for fishing and wonder if the fish are actually attracted to them. 

So do glow sticks attract fish? 

Similar to the way fish are attracted to sparkling lures they may react to light produced by glow sticks. The benefit of glow sticks is that you can see your rod, tackle, and catch much easier. There are some ways that you can use each of the three main sizes, whether 1-inch, 3-inch, or 6-inch of glow sticks to improve your catch. 

With that being said, let’s dive into glow sticks and how you can use them when fishing. 

What is a Glow Stick

Yea I know, everyone knows what a glow stick is. But just in case they are new to you.

A glow stick is a plastic tube that is sealed and contains a small glass capsule, when you bend the glow stick the glass inside breaks and two chemicals are mixed. This produces a glow in one of several colors, usually, these are either green red, or blue. 

The light produced by a glow stick normally lasts 10 to 12 hours for the larger versions and an hour or two for the smallest ones. This makes them great for camping and emergency use. But they can also be great to bring along on your next fishing trip. 

How are Glow Sticks Beneficial for Fishing?

There are several ways in which you might use glow sticks for fishing. Some of these include;

  1. Attracting Fish

Since many fish feed based on sight, it would seem logical to assume that they might be attracted to areas of light in an otherwise dark area. 

Having thrown glowsticks in the water before, I know that they are often swarmed by smaller minnows and bait fish. This would likely attract larger fish as well that feed on these bait fish.

In addition to the bait fish, the light reflecting off of their scales is likely to travel further and entice those fish such as crappie and bass that hunt primarily by sight into coming to the area. 

Another awesome way to use the 1-inch glow sticks is by rigging them to a jighead, crappie seem to love jigs about this size, and by using a red or green glow stick you are almost certain to provoke a strike if they are feeding at night

  1. Marking Your Location

Using glow sticks to mark your location is less about improving catch, and more about safety. By tying a glow stick to the front and rear of your boat or your location on the shore, it makes it easier for other people in the area to see you without using a bright light such as a lantern or flood light. 

  1. Marking Your Gear

This is one of my favorite uses for glow sticks, being relatively inexpensive they are great for marking jugs when jug fishing. Simply snap the stick and drop it inside of the jug, if using opaque milk jugs, this will make the entire jug glow. 

They can also be used to mark the trail down to your fishing spot from a parking area if necessary.  

  1. Improving Visibility

The final use I have here is improving overall visibility. This can be done by hanging several of the glow sticks over the water so that your fishing site, tackle, and water are lit up. I prefer the 6-inch glow sticks for this use. They give off the most light and will last the longest. 

You can also tie a smaller glow stick to the end of your rod enabling you to see rod flex if bottom fishing. 4-inch glow sticks work great for this.

Using a 1-inch glow stick you can affix it to your bobber or float so that you see when a fish pulls it down. 

Each of these techniques will have varying levels of effectiveness depending on water conditions, the type of glow stick used, and even the color you pick to use. 

Conclusion: Should you Use a Glow Stick When Fishing?

As can be seen, glow sticks can be a useful tool to add to your fishing tackle. They can be used in a variety of ways to improve your chance of catching fish. 

These include attracting fish to your site and marking your location, gear, and tackle. They can also improve the visibility of your site without having to use a brighter light source. 

The effectiveness of using glow sticks will depend on factors such as water conditions and the type and color of the glow stick used. I would suggest experimenting with a few different sizes and colors to find what works best for you. 

As a disclaimer, be sure to check your local fishing regulations, while nothing immediately jumped out at me in the United States, Keep in mind that there are 50 states each with its own laws and I did not go over every single one of them.

I did however see a posting where it is illegal to use spotlights and other lights in British Columbia to attract fish unless the light was attached to the line, submerged under water, and within 1 meter of the hook.

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