Night Fishing Tips And Techniques

Night fishing is becoming more and more popular as people's lives get more hectic and they find themselves stuck in the office for longer and longer each year. 

There's often just no way you can tear yourself away from your busy schedule during the daylight hours these days, so fishing at night offers a wonderful solution to this problem.

Maybe even the boss can find time to let his hair down a little...

Picture this...

You and your buddies from work load your fishing gear into the car and hit the highway that leads to the lake.

None of you have ever been night fishing before, but the company you work for has chartered a boat for a night fishing excursion. 

You get to the lake, board the boat and find that there are a couple of guides on board that are experts in night fishing. 

You are excited and hope to land a couple of the big ones that you've been told come in to shore to feed at night. Maybe you'll even take up the hobby of night fishing more regularly if this trip proves to be as successful and relaxing as you hope it will be.

Night fishing is fishing at night, usually, but not always when the moon is full. 

Night fishing is quite often done from a boat, but can also be done from shore or in rivers and streams. 

In some areas, you can use artificial light to lure the big fish. However, the use of artificial light for night fishing is prohibited in many areas these days, so be sure to check the rules and regulations for the area where you are planning to night fish.

Night fishing is often more of a thrill for the angler than fishing during the day time. 

Imagine hooking and landing a large fish in almost total darkness. Anglers love the thrill of a night catch and the challenge that it presents. 

The best time of the year to night fish is from mid-April to October. The summer months are the prime time for night fishing excursions. 

If you've never been night fishing before, there are a few preparations you will need to take care of before the excursion. 

Firstly, make sure the running lights on your boat are working well. Running lights are mandated by law in most areas. 

Next, check the fuses and bulbs and be sure that there is no acid corrosion on your battery terminals. 

Also check your boat's engine and be sure it's running smoothly. It must be in top running condition before going on a night fishing excursion. It's not good to be lost on the lake during daytime, but it's even worse if you are stranded in the middle of a lake at night. 

Pack two flashlights that have new batteries inserted and take along extra batteries as well. This will ensure you are not left in the dark if your flashlight or batteries fail.

Be sure there is a pair of needle nose pliers in your tackle box because at night you can't always see your line and the fish may swallow the hook or it may become deeply embedded in its mouth. 

Having a pair of needle nose pliers will make removing the hook a much easier task. 

Pack a couple of cans of insect repellent with your gear as well. This will give you protection against mosquitoes and other hungry insects. 

If you take extra repellent, you will have plenty to share with other anglers who forgot theirs and are slowly being eaten alive.

Make a mental note of where to find everything in your boat. At night, it's next to impossible to find pliers or tackle if you don't have some idea of the area where it's located. 

Pre-tie flies, leaders and terminal rigs. If you tie too many, you can always use them on your next trip. If you don't tie enough, you'll be hard pressed to tie them in the dark. It's best if you head out onto the lake before dark. It's difficult to anchor properly on a reef or ledge if it is pitch black.

There are several advantages to fishing at night...

Night fishing affords solitude and tranquillity, as most anglers go to the lake during daytime when it is overcrowded. 

Fishing at night gives you a chance to fish in peace and leave the stress of the world behind. 

During daytime when it's hot, large fish tend to avoid shallow water. At night, they move into the shallows to feed. Night fishing often produces a larger catch because of this. 

If you are night fishing, anchor your boat over reefs and ledges, or pull your boat within casting distance of the shallows. Big bass and trout lurk in weedy areas and wait for prey to pass by. 

The lights of nearby docks or street lights attract microscopic marine animals into these areas. Larger fish will follow these animals into shore to feed upon them. 

Cast near retaining walls, docks and brush areas to catch fish that are feeding. They tend to hide in shadowed areas while waiting for prey. 

Another good spot for night fishing is the entrance to a bay or harbor. Fish move into these areas from deeper water in the night hours in order to feed.

There are several fish species that can be fished at night. 

In the spring, smelt fishing is a popular sport. Other species include bass, trout, catfish, walleye, king mackerel, snapper, shark and bullhead. 

Because the fish that feed at night are sensitive to both sound and smell, there are a wide range of baits that can be used. 

Nightcrawlers, crustaceans and chum lines all work well, as do minnows, shiners, cut bait, prepared bait, egg sacs and bug hatches. Artificial bait includes spinners, streamers, and wet and dry flies.

If you would like to try night fishing and need assistance choosing equipment, tackle or bait, ask an experienced night angler to help you. This might be a family member, friend, neighbor or a guide on a chartered boat. 

We hope this guide to night fishing has given you the basics you need to tackle your next fishing adventure...To read more about fishing, click here to return to the Fishing Home Page


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