Any fishing adventure has a chance to be spectacular, and fishing at night is no exception. In fact, the world record Brown Trout, and the world record Yellowfin Tuna, were both caught at night, and both were hooked using live bait. This is not to say that every night fishing trip will produce a trophy fish, or that lures don’t work in the dark. However, if you haven’t yet experienced the special excitement that goes along with landing a nice fish at night, or by the light of a full moon, you’re in for a treat.
But, before you and the crew race out and hop in the boat, there are a few things you need to be aware of. The first is personal safety, and the extra measures that have to be taken when fishing at night. Life preservers, a flare kit and running lights are standard equipment on a boat, no matter what the time of day. However, at night it’s essential to have a high powered light for maneuvering in and out of coves, or when docking. In addition, a couple of small work lights are a must for things like baiting a hook, or tying off an anchor line.
So check your gear and make sure you have a light, a backup, and spare batteries for both. If the fishing trip is planned for a shoreline, bring along a black light, preferably one with a stand. This will make it a lot easier to change a tackle rig, bait a hook or tie lures. As for tackle, whether on a boat, a dock, or the shore, bring along just those items you will use. A net is required on all fishing boats for scooping under size fish. Be sure you have one, and that it’s kept in a spot where you can get around the boat without stumbling over the handle. Remember, any time you’re on a boat, it’s safety first, and foremost.
Now that we’ve taken care of the boat and the safety equipment, you’ll want to rig up for the particular species of fish that you intend to target. If the weather has been consistent for a few days, you’ll be glad to know the same fish that have been biting during the day, are likely to bite at night.
Making a few inquiries in advance is a good way to find out what species are biting and which bait is working the best. Call or visit the sport fishing landing or the local bait and tackle shops. These people get the word from everyone that comes in and most of the time, they’re more than happy to pass it along.
As far as what type of rod and reel is best, most often a casting or spinning reel with the right test line will do the job. The feel of a particular set up has a lot to do with fishing effectively, so let that be a starting place if you’re buying new gear. As for the right set up, the weight of a sinker and size of a hook is going to depend on a lot of things. The locals will be able to help out with tips and suggestions in that department. And, if you need more information, there are a lot of blog sites that have all the inside info on fishing in almost every lake, stream and bay in the country.
Finally, if the trip is planned for a large lake or the ocean, weather is going to be a factor. For obvious reasons, fishing large bodies of water at night is best during fair weather. Any fishing trip, especially one that involves a boat, should include checking the weather forecast ahead of time. If, for some reason, the weather changes unexpectedly, get back as quickly as possible, and do it in a safe and sane manner.
Remember, we’re talking about fishing at night and having fun doing it. The right gear, the proper safety equipment and some common sense are all a part of a great fishing adventure. Fishing at night just has a little more excitement in store for everyone involved.