A night fishing trip might result in either an amazing session or a terrible one. Always being well-prepared and organized allows you to maintain focus and just enjoy your fishing.
To get all of my advice on how to catch fish at night, keep reading.
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What Species Can I Fish For At Night?
Any prospective night angler must ask themselves this query first. Basically, you can pursue any fish species that you would pursue during the day, particularly in freshwater fisheries. Some species of fish are far more active at night and are consequently more prone to bite.
Where Can I Go Night Fishing?
The response to this query is much the same as the response to the previous query. Basically, as long as a fishery is open and legally fishable at night, you can go night fishing there. No matter where you live, you can try night fishing even though it is more popular in some nations than others (think North America and the UK, for example).
This is why we’re going to concentrate on the kinds of places that are typically great for night fishing destinations, especially for beginners. You can also see what kinds of fishing are available in your area. Find out what options there are for night fishing by getting in touch with a local captain or guide!
Coastal seas: The greatest and safest place to night fish if you’re just starting out is in coastal waters. You can not only go close to them on foot, but you will also be fishing from a relatively level, secure area. This greatly aids in giving you a sense of direction in a strange environment. Your line will be much less likely to tangle with vegetation or a building.
Piers: As I mentioned before, piers are a great choice for novice night fishermen. In addition to having a bird’s eye perspective of your preferred fishery, you’ll probably have lights scattered around the pier to aid in your vision. It’s also a lot more likely that you’ll run into another night fisher. Just make sure that your chosen pier allows 24-hour access.
Docks: For one reason—dock lights—fishing near docks is very legendary in the realm of night fishing. These lights draw game fish because they make their prey visible to them. When you go night fishing, they will also light up your target fish for you and offer a ton of useful advice. Just keep in mind that some docks are affixed to individual residences.
Always go to your preferred fishing location during the day before attempting to fish there at night. By doing so, you can become accustomed to the region and learn where your target fish typically bites. Additionally, you can see any potential dangers.
How Do I Fish At Night?
Learning a specific fishing method is not as important as planning and preparing for your trip when learning how to go night fishing. One of the most crucial things you can do on your journey is to be organized! Since you’re attempting to reel in a fish that has bitten, you don’t want to be fumbling around and tripping over some rods and reels.
Both on foot and on a boat are options for night fishing. Sticking to shallow waters that are accessible without a boat is easier and safer for beginners than trying to steer their own boat. If you’re determined on fishing from a boat, we’d suggest going out with a knowledgeable charter skipper or guide who is local.
Here are some of our top suggestions for both planning your trip and actually being on the water:
The day before your trip, check your equipment. It will make a huge difference if you take the time to set up your rods, re-tie any frayed knots, and take care of any potential problems, like re-spooling a reel, a day or two before you go on your trip. Preparing your gear before you leave can save you time because hooking up with a headlamp or torch can be tricky and frustrating.
Pick a good time to travel. Generally speaking, the best time to go night fishing is between 8:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. The best nights to schedule your voyage are those that are clear and quiet as opposed to those that are windy and have heavy seas. Once the sun has completely fallen, fish typically start to move around.
Get there prior to the sun setting. This will give you time to prepare your equipment and become familiar with your surroundings while there is still some natural light available.
Search for light. Baitfish congregate around underwater lights like dock lights, pier lights, and bridge lights, and it’s likely that your target species isn’t far behind. These kinds of lights can both direct you and give you a better understanding of what’s going on underneath the surface.
Prepare yourself to move on. When night fishing, it’s crucial to keep your movements to a minimum, but you should also realize when the fish aren’t biting and cut your losses. Expert night fishermen advise giving a certain place 90 minutes before moving on if there is no activity.
What Should I Bring With Me?
Bring the same equipment and tackle you would on any other fishing trip in terms of gear and supplies.
Just cut back on any unnecessary items, such as an extra rod, a large, bulky carryall bag, or a bunch of tiny packs and boxes filled with hooks, sinkers, and shots. Those are undoubtedly painful to experience in the dark.
Here is a list of additional fishing gear that you must have for nighttime fishing:
- a headlamp
- extra clothing (for those chilly hours at night)
- lures in bright and/or glowing colors (if you are spin fishing)
- a glow stick or isotopes (if you are fishing with a bobber/float or a feeder rod)
- a landing net
- something to eat
- a cell phone or camera with night mode and flash (otherwise, you and the fish will literally be invisible on the pictures taken)
- a first aid kit
- a thermos bottle with some nice and warming coffee or tea
Six Night Fishing Tips
Do Not Be Late
So that you won’t have to do much navigating in the dark, get to your favorite spot before it gets dark.
Pack Appropriate Gear for Night Fishing
After nightfall, having a lot of tackle boxes, fishing rods, and reels scattered across the deck of the boat can lead to broken tackle or an unexpected trip overboard. By choosing a few effective lures for nocturnal bass, you can keep the deck tidy and avoid any accidents.
Take It Easy in Clear Water
Try a slow-moving lure like a plastic worm when bass hides in cover or hug the bottom at night while you’re fishing in clear water. When fishing 10 to 20 feet deep around main lake points and ledges or steep banks midway back in coves and creek arms, Texas rig a dark-colored 7 to 10-inch plastic worm on a 4/0 or 5/0 worm hook and a 1/4-ounce bullet sinker. Lift the tip of your rod to around 11 or 12 o’clock, then slowly lower the rod so that the worm will fall back to the bottom.
Punch in the Muddy Water.
Concentrate on the shallow cover when fishing at night if the water in your chosen location is discolored. Pitch a 3/8- or 1/2-ounce black jig with a chunk or craw made of black or blue plastic. Reel up the slack line and begin another series of quick pumps after presenting the jig with three to four quick pumps of your rod tip (moving one to two inches at a time).
Throw Spinnerbaits into the Air
On windy nights, a black 1/2- to 3/4-ounce spinnerbait works well for catching aggressive bass. Retrieve the blade bait steadily through standing wood, through buried brush piles, and around rocky banks. As you burn your spinnerbait across the water, the bass comes chomping at it, making these spinnerbait fishing nights some of the most enjoyable.
Make Some Noise for Calm Night Fishing
On calm nights, cast a loud topwater chugger or prop bait to catch bass hanging just below the surface. Boat docks with lights are excellent targets for nocturnal topwater tactics. Bass are frequently found in sunken brush piles near docks, and the boat houses’ lights also draw shad and sunfish to the surface. Bass is finally drawn to the surface by the baitfish activity when they take up position beneath the docks to ambush victims.
When you decide to go out for a midnight fish, this night fishing advice should help you light up the lake. Night fishing has something to offer everyone, whether you’re an experienced angler eager to try something new or simply can’t think of anything finer than the peace of throwing a line as the sun sets. Grab your fishing supplies and a headlamp, and get ready to experience the beauty of starfishing!