Night fishing: Pros/cons?

I’ve been finding more convenience fishing after work and just after dusk. To me, it’s about the same as day success, but can go during the week, which is less crowded. Couple of dock fishermen swear it’s better at night. I figured it probably depends on the type of fish. What are opinions out there? Dumb question: Do most fish sleep at night?

not the big ones
they come out at night. They are waiting for you.

Tends to be species specific
in some cases, not others. I catch plenty of catfish in the daytime, but bigger ones at night. Bass fishing at night is less about the quantity or quality of the fish I think, than about the viciousness of the strike. The way a bass pounds a jitterbug or popping bug at night is like no other.

The problem with night fishing is the increased dangers inherent in night paddling and fishing. I limit those to some extent by not fishing big waters and staying closer to shore. Of course, many fish move into the shallows to feed at night, so that helps.

Lighting is very important if, like me, you fish water bodies where motor boats might be operating at night. A good 360 degree light mounted above head height is a necessity. I usually also carry a couple of headlamps. They have red settings so I can see to tie hooks and lures at night and not attract bugs or cause momentary night blindness. Some put reflective strips on kayak paddles and their boats to improve night time visibility.

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Not A Fisherman
I’m not a fisherman, but I thought people liked to fish by what the tides were. If you’re fishing from a pier, you’d probably want a high tide.

Now jigging for squid, I see that done at night w/people using bright lights which seems to attract the squid.


night fishing is good!!!
If it’s salt water you talking about fishing, then it can be VERY productive at night around dock lights, when the tides right. Typically white trout and smaller specks hang out right around the docks and under the lights. However, the BIG guys hang just where the shadow starts from the dock light.

What I do is cast right under the light, let it sink, then reel back moderately until you get just before the shadow. Just before your jig hits the shadow stop reeling steady and beggin to stop, pop, and reel. This should entice the big dogs. Either way, using these tactics should produce good fish.

Also, darker color lures (smokes, rootbeers, smelts)should work better then brightly colored ones.

ALWAYS have a 360 light when out at night. DONT put red/green navigation lights because powerboats may confuse you with a powerboat and think you’ll react the same as they would.

For the light, I HIGHLY recomend and LED light as opposed to halogen. LED’s really stand out against a backdrop of Halogen dock lights and other lights on the water. I would also make it at bare minimum Head height.

For all the reasons the other poster cited, a RED LED headlight/caplight is a FAANTASTIC option to have for night fishing.


Fly’s vs mosquitoes LOL :slight_smile:

I just take someone with light skin
and veins close to the surface along, no repellent. The skeeters bother him/her and leave me alone.

I’ll have to keep this in mind. LOL
For the next time I go out. LOL

Depends on the species
Some species are very light sensitive and the lower light helps a lot. Striped bass comes to mind. Many of the game species of fish sought are ambush predators and just like muggers (another breed of ambush predator) they like low light conditions because it gives them some “cover of darkness” from their prey. Many predator fish hunt by scent or by using a “lateral line” sense that detects vibration, so sight for them is often a secondary or tertiary sense when it comes to hunting their dinner.

There’s good fishing at dusk. I also like a heavy overcast day. I’m a bit lazy for early dawn fishing.

  • Big D

night fishing
Right now, here in the Sarasota area, night flyfishing for snook is red hot. White flies fished near lighted docks are ideal, and the snook gather under the docks.

Night time fishing for snook
wb4tjh - now your singing my favorite tune! I’m just getting back into paddle-fishing (after about a 20 year hiatus), and I’m looking forward to trying to pull a big snook out from under a dock from a canoe. It can be pretty tough from my jon boat!

Gigging flounder much easier at night
Swordfish only caught at night.

I can say that …

– Last Updated: Sep-02-08 8:16 PM EST –

..... 90% of the Striper fishing I've done was in the dark hours between night and morning .

Soon , the time of year will be here , in the Chesapeake Bay (late Sept. into early Oct.) , when the Stripers will run into the shallows of 3'-4' water at places like Thomas Point sea wall . But only well after dark has set in deeply , like after midnight into the wee morning hours . As soon as the first hint of daylight dawns , they are out of there back into the deep , just like that . For one who can sit it out through the night with a buddy and keep casting as much as possible , chances of 60+ big fish are very possible . Your arms and hand will be sore !! A calm night is outstanding ..

They will come in by the hundreds mixed with Blues .
These large schools roam these shallows in a huge circular fashion . It is best to just sit there anchored in about 150'-300' from shore along the rip rap sea wall "just below the surface" (look for it by the splashing of the tide - it runs perpendicular to the point) .

When the tide begins to move out , they start up . Until then it is speradic here there bites . It is not unusual to actually see and hear the water boiling , it's loud !!

Using a 3/4 oz. sinking rattle trap (I like blue and silver) and 15-17 lb. line , just cast and reel it back medium retrieve .

Hold on , and keep casting in all directions . Dress warm , the night is chilly ..

This is a mega tip for Chesapeake Bay fishermen/woman who might want to try it on for size ..

Bottom line is , gotta be there for it to happen ..

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