Night Fishing Tips
The best anglers and fishermen know the best times to catch fish. As an example, if you’ve ever bought fish at your local seaside markets, you’ll probably hear the fisherman talking about their fishing haul during the night. Even recreational anglers will very rarely go fishing in the middle of the day. They’ll either take off before sunlight in the early hours of the morning, or they’ll be coming home at dawn after fishing most of the night.
Night fishing is practically the same as daytime fishing. The main difference is the absence of light, which can be quite challenging, and the type of fish you may catch also depends on the time of day or night. If you’re getting serious about your fishing then you’ll want to try your hand at night fishing too. We’ve discovered some essential night fishing tips to help you come home with a big catch and get the best out of night fishing.
1. Learn The Phases Of The Moon
We all know that the different phases of the moon can affect tidal waters, but did you also know that various lunar phases may also have an effect on when the fish are more likely to bite? Some seasoned anglers believe that fish are more active during sunrise and sunset, and even more so during a full moon. Many others also believe that fishing is at its worst for a few days after a full moon. The best way to determine the best times for night fishing is to take notes of the phases of the moon when you do go fishing and keep records of how much the fish were, or were not, biting. Nobody gained this information overnight. Most anglers come to their own conclusions due to their own personal experiences. If you can’t be bothered to wait for the weather report to find out what lunar phase we’re in then your best bet is to look into fishing watches.
2. Know Your Fish
In order to reel in a good catch, you need to know your fish. Understanding what different species of fish like to eat and when and where they are most likely to eat is the difference between catching dinner, and buying it on the way home. This also involves you understanding what type of fishing lures you should be using for certain fish. There are many bright colored lures that have glow in the dark properties, but the best lures for night fishing are actually dark on the bottom. This makes them more visible to fish swimming underneath them as the lure will be silhouetted by moonlight or flashlight. Fishing nets are also handy for night fishing as it will make it easier to get your catch out of the water, particularly with low visibility.
3. Study Your Favorite Fishing Spot
You may have a favorite spot at your local beach where you like to cast your reel, or maybe a nearby lake or stream. To catch the most fish in your go-to fishing spot, you need to study the water to see when and where the fish are most likely to bite. When it comes to night fishing, this process may take a little longer, but it will definitely be worth your efforts. Study the area and talk to local fishermen to find out which fish you are most likely catch close to shore, and which will need a nice wide cast of your fishing rod. Closer to shore, many fishermen have success with casting nets, they simply throw them out, wait a bit and drag in the fish. The bigger fish, however, are more likely to be in deeper water so a sturdy fishing rod will be your weapon of choice. For this type of fishing, you should use fishing bobbers. You cast out your line and wait patiently. Bobbers are easier to see at the top of the water in the dark so you’ll be quickly alerted when a fish becomes interested in your bait. Then it’s just a matter of waiting for the fish to take a bite, before you reel it in.
4. Be Prepared
When it comes to night fishing, good preparation is essential to a safe and enjoyable night time fishing expedition. Not only do you need to pack all your fishing essentials, but you also need to make sure you have enough food and beverages with you. Fishing, in general, takes patience and you could be sitting at your favorite spot for several hours. You’ll need to keep your energy levels up and you need to stay hydrated. Of course, a coffee thermos of hot coffee will be welcomed as at some point you may feel a little chilled and sleepy.
Another way to be adequately prepared to pack everything you need in a fishing backpack. You can have all your tackle and other essentials neatly stored in one bag, and there’s room for some snacks and drinks. When you’re at the water’s edge, good fishing vests are a must so that everything you need such as hooks, extra line and a knife are all on your person and within easy reach. Don’t forget to add some warm clothing as well. The days may be warm enough for fishing, but the nights could be a completely different story.
5. Equipment At The Ready
Serious anglers know that having the right equipment is what separates good fishermen from mediocre ones. Fishing isn’t all that complicated, but you still have to know what gear is essential to keep in your tackle box. That means having a good set of lures, bobbers and a variety of different size hooks. Then too, you want to have a good knife in your box, extra fishing line and sinkers. Imagine the fish are really biting and then having a fish snag your line and break it and not having your replacement gear with you to set up another hook and line. Your fishing trip is pretty much over and the frustration will bite at you worse than the fish biting at your bait. When it comes to night fishing the other essential item you simply must have in your tool box is a rechargeable flashlight. Fish, like many other creatures, are attracted to light so make sure you have something to illuminate your fishing spot with. The added bonus is that you’ll be able to see what you’re doing when you need to get your catch out of the water and remove the hook.
6. Go Night Fishing With A Buddy
One thing you should avoid doing is going night fishing alone. Fishing can be treacherous at the best of times and night fishing come with its own hazards for the obvious reason that visibility is often non-existent. A fishing buddy is a valuable asset to have if you enjoy night fishing. You’ll have someone there to help you reel in your catch, pass you various odds and ends, or simply keep you company. Then too, if you get into any sort of trouble, your buddy is there to help you out or raise an alarm. This is particularly important if you choose to go night fishing in a boat. On a lighter note, a fishing buddy is a great person to have around to stop you from getting bored during the many hours you may spend trying to catch the big one. If all else fails he’ll at least be able to corroborate any of your wild fishing tales. Pack your fishing backpacks and head out for a night time fishing adventure.
7. Keep Your Guard Up
Depending on where you choose to go night fishing, you may need to get to your fishing spot early to inspect your surroundings. This is especially important if you decide on fishing at a lake or river in a secluded area or a forest. Some of the best fish like to come out to feed at night, but there are many nocturnal wild animals that like to do the same thing. It’s a good idea to check with local anglers before you head out so they can advise you of the native wildlife.
The other aspect you need to watch out for is inclement weather changes. In some regions you could head out on a hot summer afternoon for a bit of night fishing and without warning the mercury could drop and the heavens send down a whole lot of wind and rain. Pay attention to even slight changes in the weather and play it safe by taking a fishing shelter with you. At the very least you’ll be able to avoid getting drenched.
One thing you simply can’t neglect when you go night fishing is to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. Keep your smartphone battery fully charged or get yourself a good two-way radio so you can stay connected in case something goes wrong.
Follow these essential tips and you will get the maximum enjoyment out of your night fishing trips, stay safe and warm, and hopefully catch a fish worth bragging to your buddies about.