Most Useful Night Fishing Tips and Techniques

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Night fishing tips

As you search for tips and techniques for successful night fishing, you’ll probably come across several reasons for fishing after the sun goes down. Most of them have to do with catching more fish with less effort, which is what advice and guidance should offer.

But there’s one recommendation you should take to heart that doesn’t directly involve catching fish. Yet you should take it to heart, all the same.

According to one veteran of the fishing world, you should be fishing at night because it’s more comfortable than pursuing your passion during the daytime. The air is not as warm and there are fewer people.

This last reason is especially important when you are working a popular, public location. You also benefit from the peacefulness of the evening and night, which allows you to hear the various animals that take joy in this time of day.

Beyond Comfort

However, if you’re like most fishing enthusiasts, you’re more interested in whether night fishing is productive, compared to fishing during the day. The simple answer is “yes” if you do it the right way.

Think about it this way: If you don’t follow the path established by experienced outdoorsmen (and women) it doesn’t matter if you are fishing during the day, at night, if you’re ice-fishing, or cruising a river for a particular species.

With this in mind, what do you have to do, specifically, to be successful at night fishing? Stay awake! Seriously, the first thing you can do is go back to the description of the night atmosphere. You can relax at night, listen to the sounds (of lack of sound) and take the time to catch some of the biggest or most desirable fish.

One long-time bass master in the United States was asked how he caught so many great fish. His answer was short and to the point: “People don’t understand how much time I spent on the water not catching fish.” Fishing takes patience, something there seems to be a shortage of in the world today.

The first thing you should do if you start night fishing is take a cue from the Boy Scouts: Be prepared. Check the forecast and dress accordingly, including a rain poncho if necessary. This preparation is very important because when you’re fishing at the end of March or in September, both great times to catch fish.

Of course, heading out on a summer night is also a great idea, since the weather is more comfortable. You’ll be more likely to spend the time it takes to be successful if you’re not sweating through a 95-degree day. Not only that, but a bad day fishing is better than a good day sitting at home, right?

Don’t overload yourself with tackle when fishing at night. Use a smaller tackle box and make use of two or three separate, small containers for all the necessary items like hooks, weights, small bait etc. Night-fishing success means not using bright lights and being very quiet.

In fact, some veterans suggest using a black light. This will give you enough light to make your bait changes and pick your fishing spots, without penetrating the water below a couple of inches. It’s also important to consider using bait that will stand out against the night sky, since bass especially will be looking upward for food.

Another Target

According to veteran fly-fishermen trout that are all but impossible to catch during the day will be more likely to hit at night. Why? Because these fish are nocturnal feeders.They venture out from under the logs and out of the deeper holes to feed in the shallows. Of course, when you’re seeking trout or other shallow feeders at night you’ll have to take extra precautions to stay safe.

Stepping into even a few inches of water can be dangerous in the dark, even for the most-practiced fisherman. No need to actually get into the water to learn more about fish! You should also take a few extra seconds to check out your surroundings, because of the limited visibility.

You’ll not only need to make sure you have the footing you need, both on land and as you step into the water, but you should also be sure you have room for casting. Obviously, it’s much easier to see if you have room for casting behind you and overhead in the daylight.

When you do cast at night, you may be depending on feel more than you do during daytime fishing, unless you’re lucky enough to have a bright, full moon. Keep in mind that the lack of light will also make your other senses seem like they’ve kicked up a level or two.

As mentioned before, fish often have a better idea about the difference between night and day than the person trying to catch them. This natural skill extends to knowing when certain insects are active (seasonal and night).

Learn and Catch

One comedian said he was particularly successful when hunting edible mushrooms. When asked why, he said, “Because it’s easy for me to think like a mushroom.” There’s more to this than just humor, of course.For successful fishing at any time, it’s important to think like a fish. Actually, you’ll need to give up your human-thinking patterns and imagine what the fish sees and feels when the sun goes down.

Not only are brown trout nocturnal feeders, their activity increases significantly in the spring of the year.It’s also essential to remember night fishing varies from one type of fish to another: surface lures for largemouth bass; glowing lures for deep salmon; lantern in a boat for catfish etc. Use a black light to follow fluorescent line which extends from a more-sensitive rod.

You can also gain a slight advantage in efficiency by using a small headlamp. If possible, you should visit the site during the day to become more familiar with the layout and surrounding vegetation.

Other veterans of successful night fishing suggest keeping two or three rods available with different bait or lure. This keeps movement and noise to a minimum. In more general terms, night fishing will usually be more rewarding if you focus on being quiet and on being very, very patient. This is essential, more so than with daylight fishing expeditions.

Useful Video

Learn all you can about the specific fish you’re after, then apply some of these night-time tips and techniques. Best of luck!

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Louis McCarthy

With over 40 years of fishing experience, I am a true veteran of the sport with a passion for reeling in the big ones. From coast to coast, I have lived in some of the best fishing spots the US has to offer. I enjoy sharing my knowledge and love for the sport, one catch at a time. Join me as I explore the great outdoors and share my expertise in the art of fishing. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

1 thought on “Most Useful Night Fishing Tips and Techniques”

  1. I really appreciate your simple tip to check the forecast and see what the weather is going to be like. My brother is a very avid fisherman, and he recently invited me to go on one of his fishing trips this weekend. I will be sure to check the forecast for this weekend and see what I should expect!


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