Not more than a couple minutes later and I slammed the hook of a weightless lizard deep into the jaw of about a 16-incher. It too was positioned on the edge of an inside weedline.

The point is, none of the baits we were using were topwater
lures. They were subsurface at best, worked around various sections
of the bank.

Inside weedlines, particularly those that are separating sandy
banks and deep weed flats, are some of the best after-dark hangouts
for bass. The inside edge (the edge of the weedline closest to
shore) offers bass security and a great vantage point for them to
see baitfish that might be cruising the sandy area in front of
them. The void between the bank and the weed edge is where the
strike will occur, so pay attention.

Bass are far less spooky at night than they are during the day,
but if an angler finds himself not getting hits when the conditions
are good, it might be best to go with a weightless worm or lizard.
These baits enter the water quietly and stay high in the water,
keeping their silhouette within a fish’s view.

If fish are more aggressive and don’t seem to be affected by a
bit of a splash, black spinnerbaits are hard to beat. These baits
are best retrieved at a steady rate, so the fish can home in on
them. Find the biggest, most obnoxious blade and keep it just below
the surface. Continue the presentation, and if strikes don’t occur,
slow the bait down, letting it follow the contour of the

Another good choice is a shallow-running crankbait, preferably
one that rattles. Again, a slow, steady retrieve is best. These
baits also work well on inside weed edges, unless a salad comes up
after each cast. Then reserve these baits for flats or structure
where the bottom is less erratic.

Our night trip was a typical one. The bite was a little slow
just after dark, while the fish became acquainted with the
low-light conditions, but soon we found the action pretty

Next time you’re out on a midnight bass run, consider baits
other than surface baits and you might just find that you’ll leave
your poppers and buzzbaits in the tackle box.

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