The Guide to Buying the Best Squid Fishing Lights
Squid are a delicacy for the table as well as one of the premier baits to catch other fish of all sizes. The easiest way to fish for and attract squid, is to invest in quality squid fishing lights.
The best lights for squid fishing are capable of casting a bright illumination, with a color spectrum geared towards attracting this nocturnal species. In addition to this, they must be able to hold up in a harsh saltwater environment - which is the biggest enemy of most marine equipment.
If you want to learn about what to look for in buying the best lights, keep reading. If you just want to see our final recommendation of what makes the best squid fishing light, then here you go: Recommendation: Best squid fishing lights
1 - Optimal Light Color for Squid Fishing Lights
Lab Study: How Lights Attract Squid
Commercial Squid Fisherman's Recommendation
2 - Ability to Hold Up in Saltwater
3 - Brightness of Squid Fishing Light
4 - Squid Light Portability
5 - Underwater or Above Water Lights for Squid Fishing?
Features of the Best Squid Fishing Light
Finding the best lights for squid fishing can be tough, so we're breaking it down to finding lights that can meet or exceed these 5 feature requirements.
Optimal Light Color for Squid Fishing Lights
The single-most important factor of choosing the right light is to understand what squid are attracted to in the light, and how to utilize that to attract more squid.
Lab Study: How Lights Attract Squid
In an assessment of squid feeding behavior, the following conclusions were drawn:
- Squid are generally more attracted to lower wavelength light
- Squid are most attracted to cool white and warm white lights.
- Squid responded the best to these light colors, by a long shot.
- The second most attractive squid light is blue light.
- LED manufacturers typically use white light LED chips, but add blue phosphors to make a blue light. This may explain why blue was ~15% less likely to attract squid than warm white or cool white.
- The third-most attractive squid light color is green. However, green was a distant third place.
- Green had less than half the response of the cool white, warm white, or blue lights.
- The control and red light showed no difference, indicating squid were not attracted to red light.
This may be a total shock to the average consumer who receives so much advertising for green lights for squid fishing. Based on this scientific study, it was found that warm white and cool white lights are best color lights for squid fishing.
Commercial Squid Fisherman's Recommendation
Our business was originally based on providing lights for commercial flounder gigging and bowfishing operations, until we received a mysterious phone call one day - from a commercial squid fisherman.
The commercial squid fishermen was from Oxnard, California, and he reached out to us after purchasing several of our Swamp Eye Lights. He told us how great they were at attracting squid, and how relieved he was to finally find a light that did what he wanted.
He said he had been through so many different types of lights from green lights to HPS to Halogen, to other LED lights, and he has wasted so much money trying to find a light that was not only bright, but could hold up to saltwater and actually attract squid.
So - that sparked our interest and we started doing research to see why exactly our Swamp Eye Lights are the best for squid fishing...so we could both better understand it and explain it.
Warm White vs Cool White
We've shown that white light is the best color light for attracting squid. Apart from this, whether you choose warm white or cool white light really depends on the water conditions you are in. If the water is clear and there's minimal wave action, cool white lights work great. If the water is rough and sediment is stirred up, then warm white lights will work better.
The commercial squid fisherman from Oxnard, California utilized Swamp Eye Submersible Lights mounted underwater and Swamp Eye Light Bars above water on his commercial fishing boat. The reason for this is because our Swamp Eye Lights are capable of adjusting from warm white to cool white, giving him the advantage no matter what water conditions he is in.
Ability to Hold Up in Saltwater
Saltwater is the enemy to all marine equipment, if not properly accounted for. Corrosion is an electrical process, and saltwater is extremely conductive. This is the basis for why saltwater and corrosion commonly meet.
In order to beat saltwater corrosion, you have to choose a product such as our Swamp Eye Lights which are designed for it:
- Light housings should be made from aluminum. There is no other material that provides better corrosion resistance and heat dissipation.
- Aluminum housings should be anodized or coated via electrophoresis for a strong, protective coating.
- Dis-similar metals will cause galvanic corrosion, it is best to utilize all-aluminum hardware with all-aluminum housings. Be careful to not over-tighten aluminum hardware.
- Wire should be tinned, abrasion resistant wire. This is a premium grade of wire, but is a must-have when looking for longevity in saltwater.
- Wire outlets and connections should be rated IP68 minimum, this goes for cable glands and plugs as well.
Keep these 5 tips in mind when evaluating if your next squid fishing light can hold up to saltwater. If it meets these criteria, you will probably be ok.
Brightness of Squid Fishing Light
In terms of efficiency, there is no light more efficient than LEDs.
- Most LEDs are capable of illuminating a brightness of 80-100 lumens per watt.
- Premium LEDs such as what is used in Swamp Eye Lights, output 160 lumens per watt.
- Halogen, HPS, and Metal Halide lights have the worst efficiencies, highest maintenance, and require large generators to operate.
At the end of the day, squid aren't going to come to a light they can't see. It's best to go for a bright light option that meets the other criteria we have discussed. If the light can't hold up in saltwater, brightness will obviously not matter. Be sure to consider every aspect of a squid fishing light.
Squid Light Portability
Portability is key when you're fishing for squid. Some do it from a boat, some from a pier. A portable squid fishing light will make life easy.
Battery Portability - 12V DC
- 12V DC is the standard and most commercially available portable power source. It is best to choose a light that can run on 12V batteries.
- 12V batteries are common on boats, and can easily be taken to a pier.
Mounting Portability - Boat or Pier Mounts
- Squid fishing lights, such as the Swamp Eye Submersible, can be mounted to a removable underwater light adapter pole that quickly and easily attaches to a fishing boat or pier.
- Pole is made from aluminum, with a cast aluminum c-clamp attached to it for optimal corrosion resistance and strength.
- The Swamp Eye Light Bar can be mounted on boat gunnels above water while squid fishing, which helps keep squid at the water surface.
Underwater or Above Water Lights for Squid Fishing?
Each light type has it's own strategy when fishing for squid at night.
Underwater Squid Fishing Lights
- Ideal for bringing squid in from greater depths
- Does not encounter light reflection off the water surface, is capable of penetrating deeper.
- Con: requires more involvement in raising and lowering the light.
Above Water Squid Fishing Lights
- Ideal for keeping squid close to the water surface
- Less maintenance, once mounted can leave it place unlike underwater lights which have to be raised and lowered from water.
- Can see top water fish / squid at greater distances.
- Con: lose some light to water reflection
Recommendation: Best Squid Fishing Lights
The best squid fishing lights meet or exceed the 5 features we discussed, and they happen to also come highly recommended by a commercial squid fisherman.
- Optimal Light Color for Squid Fishing Lights
- Warm white or cool white are the best color lights for attracting squid, premium lights such as the Swamp Eye Submersibles can do both.
- Ability to Hold Up in Saltwater
- Corrosion resistance is key to longevity.
- Brightness of Squid Fishing Light
- You can't attract with what squid can't see.
- 12V DC is ideal battery power source
- Underwater Light Adapters for mounting to boat and pier are ideal.
- Underwater or Above Water Lights for Squid Fishing?
- Underwater lights bring squid in from the depths
- Above water lights keep squid at the water surface
The best underwater squid fishing lights that meet all 5 criteria are the Swamp Eye Submersibles. If you're looking for extremely bright, portable lights, look no further than the color-tone-adjustable Swamp Eye Submersible Lights. They were originally made for flounder gigging, but their ability to hold up in the saltwater environment and cast over 20,000 lumens from a small 12 volt battery make them second to none. Check out the Swamp Eye Submersibles for your next underwater squid fishing light setup.
If you're looking for an above water squid fishing setup - then the Above Water Green Fishing Lights are an absolute must-have for squid fishing.
The best above water squid fishing lights that meet all 5 criteria are the Swamp Eye Light Bars. In terms of above water lights for squid fishing, the Swamp Eye Light Bar is not only bright and corrosion resistant but has color tone adjustability from warm white to cool white for attracting squid to the surface. Their popularity in the bowfishing world is due to their color tone adjustability and power flexibility. Capable of being powered by 12/24V DC (battery) or 110/120V AC (generator). Check out the Swamp Eye Light Bars for your next above water squid fishing setup.
Common Questions Related to Squid Fishing Lights
What style of light is best for squid fishing?
The best style light for squid fishing is one that broadcasts a bright warm white or cool white light, is corrosion resistant, and can be used underwater such as the Swamp Eye Submersible Light.
How to mount squid fishing lights on boat?
The easiest method to mount underwater squid fishing lights on a boat is to utilize our removable boat adapter pole for underwater lights. It features a cast aluminum c-clamp that latches on your boat, with an aluminum pole for dropping the light in the water.
What power source is best for squid fishing lights?
The best power source for squid fishing lights is a 12V DC battery.
How to setup squid fishing lights on pier?
The easiest way to mount squid fishing lights on a pier is to utilize our removable boat adapter pole for underwater lights. The cast aluminum c-clamp can latch on to the board plank of the pier, and the aluminum pole drops down into the water.