Can Fish See In The Dark? (The Facts That You Should Know)

can fish see in the dark

Can fish see in the dark?

Although this question sounds funny and amusing, it is really worth answering. To finally debunk all the myths and speculations, I will have to elaborate on the science behind the vision of a fish.

So if you are quite interested in how a fish can move around without hitting any objects, you should read on.


Some find this matter frivolous. They don't pay too much attention to this particular aspect of a fish. However, if you are a serious angler, you would pay a dime so that you can just know the answer to this query.

Others believe that fish can only see during the day. When there is limited illumination, their vision becomes limited. As a result, some anglers think that the best time to fish is when the sun is up. After all, that's the only time that their baits can be seen by their targets.

However, is there merit to this claim?

You see, if you are going to analyze the fish physiologically, you will realize that their eyes have almost the same shape as mammals and birds. However, you can notice that the eyes of a fish are quite more spherical than those mentioned creatures. Furthermore, it is worth noting that many fish species have a colored vision. Others can see through ultraviolet lights while others can effectively perceive polarized lights.

Let me tell you that many fish species have lateral lines. These are the one that contains their neuromasts. The neuromast, by the way, is an organ unique to fish that they use to sense or perceive their environment. This particular trait of a fish enables them to locate their food or shelter. Of course, the neuromast functions even if it is dark.

So does a fish see in the dark? Technically, that not might be the case. However, their bodies and systems have been adjusted so that they can move freely in poorly illuminated surroundings. A lot of fish find dark areas as their natural habitat. Because of this, their physiology was able to evolve to adapt to these seemingly hazy regions.

You don't have to worry if you fish in the dark. You don't need to keep the lights of your aquarium either so that you can guarantee that your fish can see. Even in the absence of light, the fish can still "sense" their surroundings. They won't get bumped. They will immediately find something even if it is dark!

How Can A Fish Move Around In The Dark?

How Can A Fish Move Around In The Dark?

Always remember that the natural surroundings of many fish species are areas where light is limited. Corollary to that, their vision is entirely dependent on their existing habitat. For instance, there are deep sea regions that are called bathypelagic, abyssopelagic, and lower midnight.

Interestingly, there are various creatures that live in these areas. Some good examples would be daggertooth and bristlemouth. The viperfish and anglerfish are also known to inhabit deep regions. Of course, the light on these environments is almost non-existent already. Therefore, these underwater creatures don't rely on their eyes anymore. Instead, they use their hearing to make sense of their surroundings.

It is notable that the inner ear of the fish is its most important sensory organ. The latter helps the fish determine if there are changes in water pressure. The deeper they swim, the more immense the pressure becomes.

Also, take into account that fish also use their sense of smell. They sniff whatever they can find. They can find their predators and preys with their scent. They also use their keen sense of smell to avoid dangers and adapt to sudden changes in their environment.

Interestingly, there are fish species that are using bioluminescent lights for their vision. They use this special light to detect their surroundings and find food.

Can You Fish During The Night?

Can You Fish During The Night?

There are varying opinions when it comes to night fishing. Some anglers push the idea that fishing in the night is a bad idea because of the inactivity of the fish. Some anglers believe that getting a good catch during nocturnal conditions is still viable.

You see, the success of an angler on night fishing has a lot to do with his/ her skills. It is not about the fish because they are just there waiting for your lure to sink in. Take into account that illumination of the moon is more than enough to give fish enough the visual clarity that they need. If they are swimming in shallow waters, catching them on the night is quite doable.

Many find night fishing convenient and advantageous. The temperature during the night is more refreshing than in the day, which makes things more comfortable. For me, fishing under the scorching heat of the sun is a big no. Moreover, night fishing entitles you to lesser competition. There are only a few boats that you can spot during the night than on the day.

However, there are things that you have to be wary of. For instance, you need to be well-versed of your fishing ground. Since your vision is quite limited, you won't be able to spot obstacles and other objects that can cause your boat to capsize. If you are on a kayak, the absence of light will not allow you to see incoming low-head dams. And that could be a dangerous thing.

Experts from the Boyslife.Org and ThoughtCo have different suggestions when it comes to night fishing. It is better that you take heed of them before you actually engage in a series of nocturnal angling. In this way, you will avoid the dangers that could potentially happen while you are in the waters. Besides, you want your efficiency to be on top even while it is still dark.


Can fish see in the dark? Technically, the answer can be a yes or a no. That depends on the fish species. However, you can guarantee that they have different mechanisms to conquer the dark. They can still move smoothly even in the absence of light. Even in deep-sea regions, some fish can still avoid their predators and hunt their preys even if the sun is out!

That's it for now. If you have some questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comment section below.

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