How to Make Underwater Fishing Lights

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Underwater fishing lights are used to attract small fish to the site you are fishing. In a study conducted at the University of Michigan, scientists Edward Baylor and Frederick Smith were able to prove that zooplankton is affected by light. Zooplankton is the main source of food for smaller fish. By attracting zooplankton, the light attracts the smaller "bait" fish, and in turn the larger game fish are likely to follow. These lights can be made of things you have around the house or made to be used time and time again. Before you undertake this project, make sure you know which "bait" fish you are trying to attract and how deep these fish live so you know how long the wire should be cut and what weight to use to keep the light down in the water.

Find containers that you can use to make into lights. Make sure that these are large enough to hold the light bulb and whatever you want to weigh the unit down. Some ideas for containers include a mason jar, a spaghetti sauce jar or test tubes.

Drill a tiny hole in the lid of the container. It would need to be large enough to thread the wire through but not large enough for the bulb. Use a 1/16-inch bit for the average size wire. If you are using test tubes, drill the hole through the cork or rubber stopper.

Cut the electrical wire to the length you need to drop the light to attract the right fish. Thread the electrical wire through the hole in the lid of the container. The wire should consist of a red or positive wire and a black or yellow for the ground wire. If you are fishing for catfish, you would need a long length to reach deep water, so you would be attracting crawfish and nightcrawlers. If you are fishing for crappie, use less wire because crappie don't live as deep. Good crappie bait that your line will attract are minnows and worms.

Connect the wires to the corresponding connector on the LED bulb and leave about one inch of space between the bulb and the lid or stopper. LED lights are a better choice for a few reasons. First, LED lights are brighter, use a smaller battery and would have a longer life. Also, LED lights come in different colors so you would be able to make the light blue or green. These colors penetrate water better than any other color, and that means the light can be seen from farther away and will attract more fish.

Use silicone to fill in the space on the lid around the hole you drilled. This will make the lid waterproof. Place silicone on the top and the bottom of the lid, ensuring the hole is sealed. Once the silicone is dry, attach the lid and seal with electrical tape.

Connect the other end of the wires to the battery. A 12-volt battery should be sufficient to power a small light bulb or LED bulb. For extra light, you can thread more than one wire through the lid to another light bulb and use more that one battery to power them.

Weigh the light down with sand, marbles or nuts and bolts. Sand and hardware will block some of the light from the bottom of the container, so these substances are better if you are going deep. You can use blue or green colored marbles to alter the color of the light to attract the bait fish. The best color is the one closest to the environment of the fish. For saltwater, you can attract mackerel, ladyfish and silversides. And in freshwater, you can attract minnows, smelt and crabs.


  • Before submersing, check to see that all of the seals are secure.


  • Tape a few of these lights together to make a brighter light.


About the Author

Danielle Odom is a freelance writer and ghostwriter with more than 12 years experience. She is a certified medical transcriptionist and is working on a degree as a medical office assistant. As a writer she enjoys learning new things daily and is committed to entertaining and informing everyone that reads her work.

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