Day fishing is a cool experience, but night fishing is even more exciting. So, make sure to standby as we give you some tips for fishing in the dark. The challenge of night fishing is different when doing it under daylight. Therefore, you must always be ready, and you understand that fishing in the dark can be a little bit more challenging but more fun.
The best tip when fishing in the dark is safety. Your welfare and protection is a priority, especially when night fishing. It means you should have all emergency flashlights, life vests, and other SOS boat tools. Second, you should be familiar with the route and bring all the essential fishing gear – from rods, lines, baits, lures, to hooks. Bring some extra because you don’t know what will happen, and you definitely don’t want to get back home without catching any fish.
They say that night fishing is not for everyone because it introduces new elements of risks like visual cues and predators that like to hunt in the darkness. It cannot be effortless, especially for beginner anglers. So, before you head into the night, make sure that you read these 25 tips for fishing in the dark.
25 Tips For Fishing In The Dark
Regardless of the fishing tools you use or the fish species you want to catch, you will need various methodologies to fish effectively in the dark. Fishing in the dark is radically different from fishing in the daylight, but it is more fun. So, here are 25 tips for fishing at night to add efficiency to your game.
TIP #1 – Your Safety Is Always A Priority
The night can be dangerous in various ways, especially if you have no service anywhere, all alone and without safety gear. To avoid danger, the first thing you need to do is tell someone where you are going and which place you will stay in fish. It’s always good to have someone who knows where you are, so if you can’t come back when anything happens, people will know where to look for you. Secondly, get night-fishing headlamps and boat lights. In the night, your guide will be the sun.
It would help if you have a cell phone with you when talking about the service to communicate with people in an unsafe situation. Even if the service doesn’t exist for you, call 911! It is another essential thing to have a first aid kit with you because there are injuries that can happen, such as cutting your finger’s skin. Also, do not forget to take your emergency blanket with you.
TIP #2 – Don’t Forget To Bring Your Proper Safety Gear
It is a safety hazard, particularly at night, to climb around and over objects in a boat. Take with you the basics, don’t bring too much. Here are several bits of protective gear that can be taken along if you fish at night.
- Headlamps and extra flashlights
- Boat lights for night fishing
- Backup batteries
- Life Preservers
- First aid kit
- Cell phone
- Emergency blanket
- Pocket knife
TIP #3 – Adding A Black Light to Your Boat
Spooling up with a clear or blue fluorescent monofilament line is one of the first steps in building a high-impact night fishing arsenal. When you use it with a black light, this sort of line is inexpensive and lights up like a flashing blue laser on the surface.
This full black-light adjustable device fits directly on the rub rail of your boat. It is practically undetectable during the day, but nearly 360 degrees of illumination illuminates any possible casting angle with a flip of a switch at night. Plus, it has a dimmer switch that lets you change the strength depending on moonlight and fishing conditions.
Tip: When night-fishing, avoid muddy lakes. Clearwater is suitable for night bass fishing with visibility of 2 to 4 feet.
TIP #4 – Alway Be Ready For Night Fishing
After dark, a bunch of tackle boxes and fishing rods and reels scattered across the boat’s deck may lead to a broken tackle or a short trip overboard. So, by choosing a handful of productive lures for night bass, keep the deck clean and avoid any mishaps.
TIP #5 – Get Up Early And Go On The Spot While There’s Still Light
If possible, you want to get to your fishing spot while the sun is shining to check it out. It’s much more essential if you’ve never caught a specific location before. Try putting together a map of the area before you go fishing. When you’re on a cruise, it helps you avoid surprises and guides you. This way, you know where you are when the sun goes down. If you decide precisely where you’re going to fish, you want to carefully pay attention to the ecosystem and stay away from stuff like the following.
- Power lines
- Low hanging trees
- Excessive weeds
TIP #6 – Choose The Right Lure
If you are a night angler, there are some particular lures that you can buy from fishing suppliers. In particular, online markets give you hundreds of choices. Note, when attracting fish species, the noises, vibrations, or sonar senses are more important. According to anglers, buzzbaits are the ideal night fishing bait. Such types of baits build fracas on the surface so that the fish can get their attention.
Anything that functions this way will be an excellent choice at night time for you to fish for spooks, frogs, or prop baits. Another bait that sometimes works with the same logic is Bladed Swim Jigs. These are the vibrating ones that offer enticing beatings on the surface and help you meet the sea’s hungry fishes. All you need to do is wait for the fish, which will track the vibration source after you throw the bait.
TIP #7 – Pick Some Bold And Slightly Loud Lures
A large single spinnerbait Colorado-blade rigged with a rubber imitation craw, or chunk trailer puts off a lot of vibration that entices fish and can be fished at a variety of depths. A regular jig tipped with a chunk trailer is another deadly nighttime lure that imitates shad and even crayfish’ natural behavior directly. Crawling the jig and popping it around the bottom imitates crayfish coming out to eat at night from under their rocky hides.
TIP #8 – Choose The Appropriate Lure Colors
You can use black lures, but other darker colors are appropriate for night fishing. As the water deepens, the color disappears, and the decreased penetration of light after dark accelerates. You want to present a “contrast” against the backdrop and silhouette. Sound-making lures are a bonus for fishing after dark. Bass is mostly sight feeders, but at night, the noise may help them find your lure. For this reason, jerk baits are not the best idea.
You can also match the lure color to the moonlight. The choice of lure color should be influenced by the moon and cloud cover. Go for solid black, brown, or blue on pitch-black evenings with little to no moonlight. Switch over to noisy color combinations, such as green or orange and even red or chartreuse under a full moon or dark, starlit night. Go for red, black, blue, or green on partly cloudy evenings.
TIP #9 – Keep The Bait Moving
In the night, fish use sonar senses to get around. It ensures that the fish quickly feels any little movement, so spinnerbaits are your best friend. The lure you use is less important than jigging and tossing the bait around consistently. Larger predator fish can not see well in the dark and are much weaker in their sonar senses than smaller panfish. It is a significant benefit of fishing at night because it allows fish such as bluegill, sunfish, crappies, and perch to come in search of food.
TIP #10 – Use Light To Your Advantage
You want to keep the use of night fishing lights to a minimum because they can attract many bugs, but you can use those lanterns to help catch more fish. If you shine a light on the top of the water, you can find phototrophs that race to the surface. It’s a great way to hack the computer a little bit and mess about with your luck. If there’s a spotlight where you’re going to fish, you might try the location as well.
TIP #11 – It Is Better To Use A Sensitive Line And Rod
It is more difficult to see at night, so why not increase your chances of reacting faster? You respond more quickly to a tiny nibble that you might not have noticed in the dark otherwise, using the most sensitive line and possible rod lets. You will not be able to see your line, either, so that adds another degree of difficulty. A line that is ultrasensitive will help to compensate for your loss of vision. Choosing the right fishing rod is critical to catch more fish.
TIP #12 – Reduce The Number of Rods and Lures The You Will Bring
Stick to the rule of no more than three rods and just those pick lures you need when bass fishing at night, or depending on your target. It makes fishing a lot more hassle-free and immensely better at night.
TIP #13 – Go Towards Murky Water
Planning your travel path is a good idea while fishing at night. When you build your map, make sure you have some murky and muddy places because that’s where fish love to hang out. Anything you are bound to capture. Take to that area your jigs and spinners and keep them going over the muddy water. Even a fun way to explore is to throw a spinner along a rocky shore.
TIP #14 – Go Slow In Clear Water
Try a slow-moving lure like a plastic worm for fishing in clear water when bass burrows into the cover or hug the bottom at night. By raising the rod tip to about the 11 or 12 o’clock position, slowly increase the worm and then drop the rod down so that the worm can fall to the bottom.
TIP #15 – Tell Someone That You Will Go For Night Fishing
Don’t go out on the water late at night without telling anyone. Tell a family member, acquaintance, or even a neighbor. Tell them what you’re doing and how long you expect to be away from them. Just in case you don’t come back when you say you will, they will come looking for you. By telling people ahead of time, you have peace of mind, knowing that someone would come looking for you if anything were to happen. It means you can have a good fishing trip, without any doubt.
TIP #16 – Rig Your Rods
You do not want to be fiddling around with hooks and lines in the middle of the night. It will not only be a massive waste of time as you try to set up your rod in the dark, but it is also a significant threat to safety. If you turn up to the lake with as many rods as you can, already rigged with an array of nighttime lures you think you could use, then you won’t have to worry about it while you’re out there. It means more time spent fishing and less time fiddling around or putting yourself at risk.
TIP #17 – Reel In Sitting Down
The odds of losing your balance while fishing in the dark are significantly high since you can’t see where and what you’re stepping. You do not know how far at night your rod bends, so you do not realize that you’ve got a big fish on it. It can lead to you being knocked over or worse. If you’re in a position where you can’t reel in, there are ways to fix it.
TIP #18 – Make Some Noise For Calm Night Fishing
Throw a noisy topwater chugger or prop bait near the surface on quiet nights for suspended bass. Boat docks with lights are prime targets for nighttime topwater tactics. Docks typically have sunken brush piles containing bass, and sunfish are drawn to the surface by the lights shining from the boathouses.
TIP #19 – Stealth is the key
Being silent and stealthy appears to be very useful in most cases. When fishing in the dark, various ways could lead to noise, including engine nuisance, shifting your equipment in the boat, chucking your anchor overboard, and making simple changes to your engine. Noise will hamper your chances of a good catch considerably, as this will spook the baitfish and thus the game, and no focus will bring back spooked fish.
TIP #20 – Keep On Practicing
When you can’t see, casting can be challenging. Practice with cork over your hook in the backyard or with a practice plug. Finally, without even looking at the line, you will be able to tell how far you are casting. It’s also a struggle in the dark to change sinkers, bobbers, and hooks. You won’t lose precious time on the lake when your line splits if you train at home.
TIP #21 – Make Sure That You Are Visible To Other Boats
Running lights are not only legally necessary but essential if any other angler who doesn’t see you wandering around in the dark wishes you not to be run over. You can also bring a spotlight on the console that you can plugin.
TIP #22 – Know The Best Weather Conditions
Day or night, make sure that you know the current weather on that day where you will go fishing. It can be a make or break factor that will decide whether you will have plenty of caught fish or bring home nothing. You can watch the news for the weather forecast, or you can even download some mobile apps to do it for you.
TIP #23 – Familiarize Yourself With The Water
It is always beneficial to plan, and if you are planning on going fishing in the dark, always prepare yourself well ahead of time. First and foremost, you need to go out in the day and feel for the area. Familiarize yourself with the water, go on a boat to have a look around. Imagine yourself fishing there in the dark and gaining as much familiarity as possible while you are out. It is always easier to fish in the place that you know inside out, and in the case of a mishap, you will be in a better position to make potentially life-saving decisions.
TIP #24 – Don’t Rush
In the dark, be careful. Naturally, one tends to end the job as soon as possible and leave for home safety and warmth while fishing in the dark. But maybe the best approach will be to invest as much as you need to work as much as possible in one place before moving to a new location. Not only will hustling all over the place limit your catch, but it will also psychologically and physically tire you and will potentially deter you from any possible nighttime efforts.
TIP #25 – Learn Catch Fish With Little To No Light
Anglers are used to seeing what they’re doing and watching the line or the lure during regular daytime fishing, but this is seldom possible at night. You may use black lights to make fluorescent lines easy to observe, but while this was a common monofilament line several decades ago, today, few anglers use this form of a line. For the most part, at night, intuition and a sense of your approach become more critical than during the day. It makes using a sensitive rod and line and forgoing the use of ultralight tackle beneficial.
The best fishing usually takes place at least an hour after the sun goes down, so if you notice it dying down, don’t get discouraged. The fish will soon be biting again! This advice can only go so far, of course. You have to get to the pool and try it for yourself. As they differ across the country, be sure to check local laws on operating watercraft between dusk and dawn.