Night fishing can be productive and a lot of fun, but it comes with its own specifics. And overlooking some of the aspects of a night fishing trip can lead to a completely disagreeable experience. Therefore, here are a few bits of advice regarding night fishing.
Headlights, flashlights, spotlights. Evidently, if you’re going to be fishing in the dark, the light will be one of the most important things that you’ll need. When it comes to this, you’re going to need a pair of headlights, and not the ones that come with a car, but an illuminating device to attach to your hat, glasses, or simply strap onto your head. Such a lighting device is extremely useful for unhooking, changing bait, tying hooks, etc. However, even if you will be using your headlights most of the time, it’s a good idea to bring a flashlight with fully charged batteries, just in case. Also, even if you fish from a boat, which should have its own lighting system, a portable spotlight can be very useful when handling bigger fish, navigating, or simply having a better overview of your fishing spot.
Memorize the surroundings while the sun is still up. If you’re going to be fishing from a riverbank, the shore of a lake, or beach, before the dark sets in, it’s a good idea to throw several good looks around your fishing spot, and memorize it well. Knowing where certain stumps or rocks are situated, you can easily avoid tripping over them and injuring yourself.
Install your tent/shelter while the sun is still up. It goes without saying that your tent or shelter should be put up while it’s still day. In fact, if you’re fishing from the shore or river bank, it’s best to actually prepare your whole fishing spot, before the night sets in. In other words, you should remove any objects that you won’t need for the night fishing session. That’s because the more stuff you have in a fishing spot, the higher the chance to trip over on something.
First aid kit and bug sprays. Whether you’re fishing at night or not, a first aid kit is absolutely necessary. On top of that, if insects can become a nuisance, a bug spray or lotion can come in very handy. But take note that it has been proven that insect repellents can be very effective fish repellents as well. So, avoid spraying or applying such substances on your bait.
Tackle and bait. Most anglers have quite a collection of rods and like to bring along more than a few on each fishing trip. But during a night fishing session, it’s best to use only 1-2 rods if you’re actively fishing with jigs or other artificial baits, and 3-4 tops, if still fishing for catfish, carp, burbot, or other fish.
Have a smaller box that can easily fit into your pocket, to keep only the lures you’re going to use. This also stands for hooks, sinkers, swivels, or other tackle elements that you may need. Leave the rest in your main tackle box, or in the car. To put it differently, carry tackle only for the fish you are after.
It’s better to use heavier lines than you normally would, for a certain fish, when night fishing. They won’t be able to see it, and the heavier line is less prone to become tangled up than a lighter line.
If you know you’re going to use only lures, it’s pointless to bring along a whole bucket of live bait, or basically any other bait. As opposed to that, if you won’t be using artificials, make sure you keep bait organized and in one place.
When using lures, retrieving slowly and steadily is the way to go. It allows you to feel the lure better, and help avoid missing a strike. On top of that, fish can pinpoint better a steady-moving vibration source.
Sit down to fish. Especially if you’re fishing from a boat, you can easily lose balance and fall. So, even if during the daytime you would normally stand to fish, avoid this during nighttime fishing, and use a chair or at least a butt seat.
Weather. Bad weather with heavy rain and wind can result in a non-pleasant fishing trip. Adding night to such bad weather can result in a horrible experience, and evidently, increase the chances of an accident or injury. Therefore, be informed about the weather.
Clothing. Even if you’re fishing during summer, and the weather is pretty much hot, you should always bring warmer clothes. At times, it can get quite chilly at night. Cotton clothes are comfortable, however, cotton dries slowly compared to other fabrics. That’s why it’s best to wear mostly polyester. Always have a raincoat or at least a tarpaulin.