Every bass fisherman knows the joy of being the first one on the water and being able to have your pick of fishing spots, there us nothing else like it. As amazing as this is, it takes some work to be the first one on the water, usually involving extremely early mornings, late nights prepping and sometimes long drives on the road and water. This article is going to go over some of the best and most useful places to utilize LED lights on and around your bass boat to make the most efficient use of space.
One of the most overlooked usage for lighting on your boat would be decking lighting. There are a few different ways to accomplish deck lighting but one of the most popular new ways is to use accent or Rock Lights. Rock Lights were originally designed for off road vehicles to illuminate rough terrain underneath the vehicle at night to navigate over obstacles. Because of this, the rocks lights are designed to be nearly indestructible making them a perfect fit for a boat. The best place to put them is underneath the lips of the gunwales, allowing them to throw light over the deck, making sure you don’t step on any lures or trip over any rods. Rock Lights are also available in many different colors so you are able to pick the color that suits your boat and needs the best. These lights have a much smaller footprint than led strip lights and have a much higher output, making them a great addition to any bass boat.
Forward Facing Navigational Lighting:
Possibly the most important light for any bass boat would be a forward facing navigational light. Depending on the size of your boat this, can be anything from a light POD to a 20” Double Row light bar. The goal for these lights are to make sure you have no unease about seeing what’s in front of you on a long early morning run up a river or across a lake to your favorite spot. Spotting floating logs and other debris in the water before you hit them is the difference between a close call and a day ruiner. A good 20” Double Row light can throw light out over 1,000 yards which allows you to see any obstacle well in advance and make a course correction without any panic. Forward facing high intensity lights are quickly becoming the most popular boat LED light and for good reason, they take all of the guesswork out of motoring at night.
Reverse and Loading Lights:
One of the more useful led light kits you can purchase for your outfit is a great set of utility/reverse lights for your truck and trailer. These lights are designed to be small and out of the way lights that can be extremely helpful. If the lights are mounted to the rear of your truck, kicking them on when loading up your gear at 4 a.m. can save you huge amounts of time, and possibly saving you from bashing your shin on the trailer hitch. These also allow you to be hands free when loading instead of using a flashlight and make sure you are able to secure everything when it is loaded. Another great use for these lights are when you are backing your boat down the ramp in the dark. If you have ever been to a small boat ramp in the dark, you know it can get a little hairy. Utilizing a few of these lights with a diffused or scene reflector that throws light out in a 90-120° pattern allow you the peace of mind to back and turn your trailer without fear of hitting anything or going off the side of the ramp.
Removable and Mobile Lights:
The final light segment that should be a must have for any bass boat is a small, stowable light that can perform many functions in a pinch. This light should have a few different mounting options as be able to get power from a small source, such as the 12v lighter outlet found in almost any bass boat console. These lights can clamp or suction onto the boat and allow you to illuminate the water or the deck for any reason in a moments notice. These are perfect emergency lights and always to have onboard.
As with anything on your boat, it needs to be durable and stand up to a beating if need be, the same needs to be said about any lighting you add to your bass boat. Make sure when researching lights for your boat they have a high ingress protection rating, IP68 or higher, they should also have a good warranty to make sure they will stand up to wear and tear, and make sure they are marine rated. Regardless of whether these lights will ever see salt water you want to make sure they would be able to handle it. These are just a few of the multitude of options for adding LED lights to your bass boat, but they are some of the best and most helpful.