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Why Do Underwater Dock Lights Attract Fish?

on November 10, 2020

If you ever used an underwater dock light, you might be wondering what the science is behind them. Why do underwater dock lights attract fish? There is a simple explanation of how these lights work. Interested to find out how they work? In this article, we will tell you the science behind why underwater dock lights attract fish.

Over the years, fishermen figured out that fish show different behaviors. Fish show in different spots, particularly in areas where their food is found. This observation convinced fishermen to create something that will bring the attention of fish into a certain area. Over time, it turns out that fish are stimulated by certain things, one of these was light.


Light intensity is a kind of light that occurs during the nighttime. At first, it was believed that fish relied on senses like taste or smell when they are hunting for food during the nighttime. However, if an area is lit enough, fish tend to hunt for food anyway. This evidence helped with the creation of underwater dock lights.
How come fish are attracted to light? Many marine biologists came up with a theory of this phenomenon called optimal foraging. The theory states that fish will search for food with the least amount of energy expenditure. To understand this theory. it's saying fish look in areas that have a high quantity of food that is easy to get.


To add to this theory, the lights also attract fish's food. Common fish food that is typically attracted to light is baitfish and plankton. Visual fish can see their food better when underwater dock lights are in use. It also makes it easy for fish who utilize multi-sensory capabilities to find their food easily and precisely.
Now that you get a sense of how underwater dock lights attract fish, what about the food? Why are baitfish and plankton attracted to the light? For both baitfish and plankton, they rely on light to reproduce and to find phytoplankton. Phytoplankton is a source of food for both baitfish and plankton and phytoplankton needs sunlight to grow.


It is speculated that plankton and baitfish hunt at night because they have their own clock. When light is shown, however, plankton is drawn to the light, fish will then be attracted to the light, and then bigger marine life will come by. The cycle continues from there.


In the past, lights didn't go underwater. Rather, it was just a lantern that hung over the side of boats. But with the new technology we have today, lights are now able to go underwater. They also come in different colors which include green, white, and blue. All three colors attract food and fish alike!
With fishing lights, fishermen have the ability to mimic feeding conditions for baitfish.


Why Should You Use Underwater Dock Lights?

There are five reasons why you should use underwater dock lights:

  • They Attract Prey: As we explained above, lights attract food for fish like plankton and baitfish. Because of this benefit, you have a higher chance of catching a fish because their food source is easier to find due to the lights.
  • You Can Put Underwater Lights Anywhere: Once you get your boat set up, you can move the underwater light wherever you want. Underwater lights typically stay only a few feet down from the boat, but not all the way. One thing to note is to make sure the food chain is active, so be patient.
  • They Are Made With Tough Materials: Underwater dock lights are made with materials that can withstand strong weather that happens in the water. This includes any tides, bumps or bangs from fish, or underwater debris.
  • Lights Attract The Big Game: If you want to get a bigger game, then underwater dock lights are ideal for you. Baitfish and plankton cannot escape due to the light intensity, which will then get the fish. The fish won't notice that they captured your hook, making it easier for you to catch them.
  • Lights Help You Stay In Water: During fishing, you most likely get bitten by insects since they are also attracted to light. However, with underwater lights, you can keep them in the water, eliminating the insects. This will help you stay in your boat longer and catch more fish.


In conclusion, fish are attracted to light because the lights bring their food to a certain area. Fish like to find their food easily. Therefore, fishermen prefer to use underwater dock lights so they can get tons of fish that they can bring home.

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