Even the most seasoned angler will gripe about fish taking their sweet time to come to the surface. At night, it's even harder. You can't see a whole lot without lighting. But naturally, TikTok has reminded us of an easy solution.
Massimo DeBello, @massimosaquatics, recently posted a video showing a green light he purchased from Amazon to attract fish to his dock at night. He clearly states that his goal is to attract "monster fish" to his dock.
The green light attracts bugs, which small fish eat, and those smaller fish attract larger fish, DeBello explains.
And as soon as the light is turned on on, you see fish speeding toward the surface. The video shows a plethora of tiny fish skimming the water's edge. Not too long after they arrive, the larger fish join them: The first to come up to the surface was a 4-foot tarpon, who would later be joined by not one but two more healthy friends. Quickly swimming up behind the first tarpon was a large catfish.
How Green Lights Work to Attract Fish
The light DeBello picked up had an easy setup, but there are a few rules to it: The light needs to be pulled up out of the water once every two weeks to be cleaned with soapy water. And it can't be turned on outside of the water; it's water-cooled, so using it on dry land could be hazardous. The light must also be hung at least two feet above the ground.
So, while you can't see much during the day, the light radiates green through the water at night. And as DeBello explains, it's a natural snowball of bugs who are attracted to the light and bigger and bigger predators coming to join the feast.
Should You Fish With a Dock Light?
Of course, there's the question of whether this magical fish-attracting light should be used for sport—something Massimo posed to his audience. Many viewers said he should leave the fish alone and just enjoy their company.
In reply, DeBello posted a video updating that there were now two large tarpon hanging out by his dock. He would love to feed them, he said, but he recognizes that would create a bad habit for the fish, and he wouldn't be able to keep up.
He added that now that there are two, he would rather not catch them. Instead, he'd prefer them to come back again night after night to hang out. He's also hoping more tarpon show up to hang out at his dock.
At the suggestion of many commenters, DeBello grabbed his GoPro to record some underwater footage of the impressive fish.
In the underwater video, you can now see three tarpons swimming around near the green light. The three fish were not shy about coming to the surface and didn't mind Massimo's presence. One even came straight for his arm and the GoPro.
Is it Legal to Use Dock Lights?
As cool as the experience was, many viewers also mentioned the legality of using lights to attract fish in order to catch them. One even said it was illegal and warned him not to fish with the lights on. However, there are plenty of states where using lights to fish is legal, but you made need a fishing license. Here are the states where fishing with lights is legal:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
Other countries, especially Canada, where the commenter who raised the issue of legality is from, have stricter rules when it comes to fishing with lights. It's best to check your local state guidelines before attempting to use lights to attract fish.