Fishing After Hours: The Beginner's Guide To Night Fishing
When the sun sets, a whole new world of fishing awaits. Night fishing can be an incredibly rewarding experience for anyone looking to snag a big one.
From needing a HeadLamp to wiggling your lure, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about night fishing so you can hit the water confidently and catch more fish than ever!
What is night fishing, and why do people do it?
Night fishing is simply fishing that takes place after sundown. Many people enjoy night fishing because the cooler temperatures make for more comfortable conditions, and the peace of nighttime can be very relaxing.
Originally, night fishing was done primarily for practical reasons - it was cooler, and the fish were more active, making them easier to catch in theory.
What are the differences between day and night fishing?
You should be aware of a few key differences before heading out to fish at night. For starters, visibility is significantly reduced, so you'll need to care more when casting your line.
It can also be more difficult to see your bite, so paying attention to the direction and strength of your line is important. In addition, fish are more active at night, so you'll need to use different tactics to attract them.
However, some people find the challenging aspect of night fishing to be part of the appeal. If you're looking for a new way to test your skills, night fishing is worth trying!
What do you need for night fishing?
Before you grab that fishing pole and head out into the dark, there are a few things you'll need to ensure a successful night fishing trip. Here are some of the essentials:
A good quality headlamp or flashlight
Remember that you're spending time in the dark, so you'll need a reliable light source. While a flashlight can work, we recommend getting a headlamp as it will leave your hands free to fish.
HeadlampPRO’s Rechargeable Head Lamp is a fantastic option to check out for night fishing.
Tip: If you're using a headlamp, consider wearing a hat to keep the light from shining in your eyes.
Bug spray or insect repellent
Some fish might be more active at night, but so are a few bugs and mosquitos. And nothing ruins a fishing trip quite like being eaten alive by mosquitoes.
Be sure to pack bug spray to enjoy your time outside without being bothered by pesky bugs. Get one that is at least 30% DEET for the best protection.
Low light conditions make it more difficult to see your line, so you'll need a line visible in the dark. We recommend using a fluorescent fishing line to be easier to see.
You'll also need a good fishing line to handle the extra weight of night fishing lures and bait. Monofilament or fluorocarbon lines are strong and less likely to break in low-light conditions, so you might also want to consider them.
Bring along a blacklight if you want to up your night fishing game. A blacklight is a portable light source that emits ultraviolet light. This light makes it easier to see in the dark and can also help you attract fish.
While a blacklight is not essential, it can level up your night fishing game and help you catch more fish.
One of the best ways to attract fish at night is to use bright lures. The brighter, the better - fluorescent colors are especially effective. Some good lure options include:
- Glow in the dark lures
- LED light-up lures
- Fluorescent jigs
These lures are designed to attract fish in low-light conditions and can help you catch more fish at night.
Yes, ironically, some fish are attracted to dark lures. This is because they mimic the silhouette of a small animal or fish, which can trigger a fish's predatory instincts.
If you're not sure which is better for your fishing area, prepare some dark lures just in case. Some good dark lure options include:
- Black jigs
- Dark-colored spoons
- Minnow-imitating crankbaits
If you're not sure what kind of lure to use, ask a local bait shop for their recommendations. They'll be able to advise you on what works best in the area.
In general, night fish tend to be more aggressive, so you'll need a rig to handle their extra weight and strength. We recommend using a heavier line and larger hooks than you would during the day.
You might also consider using a sturdier rod and reel designed for saltwater fishing; therefore, you won't have to worry about your equipment breaking under strain.
Camouflage fishing gear
Be one with the darkness and blend in with your surroundings by wearing dark clothing and camouflage gear. This will help you stay hidden from fish while waiting for a bite.
Forget everything else but do not forget your safety gear. Remember that you'll be spending time in the dark, often near water, so that accidents can happen more easily.
Wear a life jacket at all times, even if you're an experienced swimmer. Invest in fishing boots with good traction to avoid slips and falls, and always bring a first-aid kit, just in case.
Night fishing tips and strategies
Not sure how to get started with night fishing? Here are some expert tips and strategies to help you catch more fish:
1. Stay hidden
Since fish are more sensitive to light at night, staying hidden while you're waiting for a bite is important. For this reason, we recommend wearing dark clothing and using camouflage gear.
Keeping quiet is also crucial as noise can travel a long way in the dark. Be sure to move slowly and quietly while setting up your gear, so you don't spook all the fish in the area.
2. Choose your location wisely
When night fishing, choose your location wisely. Look for areas with lots of cover and structure, such as logs, rocks, or vegetation.
These areas provide fish with a place to hide from predators and ambush their prey. It's also good to fish near drop-offs, ledges, or other areas where fish congregate.
3. Wiggle your lures
Remember that the fishes' vision is not as good at night, so they're more likely to use sonar senses to find their food. Wiggling your lure will create a disturbance in the water that can help attract fish from long distances. So, don't be afraid to be extra active with your lures at night!
You can also try using a lure with a rattle to increase the noise level further. This can be especially effective in murky water where visibility is low.
4. Keep steady.
When you feel a bite, it's important to keep your rod tip steady. This will help prevent the fish from shaking the hook loose and escaping.
Once you've reeled in the fish, handle it carefully as their eyes are very sensitive to light. We recommend using a net to avoid touching the fish directly.
5. Prepare all your gear beforehand
Even with a good headlamp, we recommend setting up your gear before it gets completely dark. This way, you won't have to fumble around in the dark and risk making a commotion or even getting into an accident.
Try to find a spot where there's still natural light, such as near a streetlight or moonlit clearing. Ready your rods, lures, and other gear, so all you have to do is sit back and wait for a bite once night falls.
Night fishing can be an incredibly rewarding experience. You get to enjoy the peace of being out in nature, and you also have a good chance of catching some big fish. Sounds perfect to me!