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shorefisher

Tips on night fishing

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For those of you that fish at night I was wanted to ask a few questions. I've never gotten so much as a single bite at night time. One night I put on a mask and snorkle, threw a cheap flashlight in a ziploc bag and went for a swim. I located some smallies and rock bass in 4 ft. of water but they seemed asleep or extremely lethargic. They were suspending a foot from the bottom and not moving at all. I had to literally grab them before they would swim away, and even then they didn't swim very far. So that alone kind of crushed my faith in night fishing. But I did see LBH's video and I've heard some of you that actually prefer to fish overnight.

One of the main things I've heard is to use black bait as it shows up easier against the night sky. I have to say I don't really understand that logic. In the absence of light all colors turn black so I can't see the color making any difference but anyways...

Do you fish with a lantern? What do you use for light?

Is it always on? If not how do you tell if you get a minor overrun? :-?

What is your preferred night-time bait?

What color?

Do your presentations change at night?

Thanks

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The night time is the right time?

A widely held misconception is that big bass feed only at night, or at dawn and dusk. This is simply untrue; in fact, you are very likely to find large fish feeding during the middle of the day. Lunker bass can only bigger by feeding more often and eating more than other fish. They are more in step with the ecosystem, and have to be, in order to be first in line. They are the first to respond to such circumstances as the cloud cover before an approaching storm, the migration of shad to and from open water (usually occurring during mid-morning and mid-afternoon), or even the daily and monthly effect of the moon.

Once you determine the areas you want to fish, the key is to fish carefully and make certain that you frequent them during all times of the day/night. Be especially sure to fish during prime moon periods.

Sloppy technique is much more likely to show up in the bright light of day. These fish can be hard to catch in daylight, not so much because they are shy and spooky, but rather because they are bold enough and curious enough to swim right up and see what you are.

Darkness covers up an angler's presence and most of all his mistakes. Fish don't feed as regularly at night as they do in the day but when they are feeding, it's far less of a problem to catch them.

Do you fish with a lantern? Nope

What do you use for light? Cap light to retie or change worms

Is it always on? Nope

If not how do you tell if you get a minor overrun? Educated thumb

What is your preferred night-time bait? Texas Rigged Plastic

What color? Same colors I use during the day

Do your presentations change at night? Nope

Fish the same baits, same locations, and same techniques you would during the day. The only thing different I add to my repertoire at night is a Q-Beam!

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Some very good questions.  

First off, go big or go home!!!!  When I night fish, my main baits are a 1 oz jig with a big trailer, 13in worm, big brush hog, 9in slammer, 9 in stocker trout.  You get the picture.  My logic is use a bait that displaces the most water.  Since the fish aren't going to see it as well as daytime, you need to interest their other senses, like hear and feel.  Use jigs with rattles, insert your own rattles in plastics.  Noisy topwater baits.  All my night baits are dark in color.

Don't use lights, my logic is anything "un-natural" will scare them off.  Plus white lights tend to attrack bugs.  Your eyes will get used to the little available light.  It helps if you are close to a city that has ambient light or a moon helps as well.  I have a small headlamp that I use after I hook a fish or when retying.  I try to shine my lamp on the water as little as possible.

I don't know the logic about the black bait, all I know is that it works, hopefully someone can give you an explanation.  

Good luck with your night time adventure.  During the summer, it's the only way to go.  Just remember, it takes a little while to adjust to feeling and sensing how to fish instead of seeing everything.

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Is it good to night fish during a Full moon? I would guess the full moon would give more light, but I have heard Fish become much harder to catch during a full moon.

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wooohooo I was just going to post asking about night fishing

Whats baits/lures

What Techniques

No light or some light

I too am appreciative of all of you who help me become a better night time angler

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I normally prefer fishing during the full moon vs. the new moon even though the gravitational pull is three times greater during the new moon. It is more difficult to fish a new moon because it is harder to keep your boat off of stumps and quite harder to be quiet; plus it is harder for the bass & angler to connect. If I fish a new moon I will usually fish open water and avoid shoreline areas. The light from the full moon illuminates the bait against the surface for more contrast. I usually start night fishing during the April full moon and continue through the October full moon.

I normally fish the same areas fished during the day with one exception; night lighted areas. Lighted docks, lighted boat ramps, a row of camps with lights along the bank or a single camp with a light near the water.

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The night time is the right time?

A widely held misconception is that big bass feed only at night, or at dawn and dusk. This is simply untrue; in fact, you are very likely to find large fish feeding during the middle of the day. Lunker bass can only bigger by feeding more often and eating more than other fish. They are more in step with the ecosystem, and have to be, in order to be first in line. They are the first to respond to such circumstances as the cloud cover before an approaching storm, the migration of shad to and from open water (usually occurring during mid-morning and mid-afternoon), or even the daily and monthly effect of the moon.

Once you determine the areas you want to fish, the key is to fish carefully and make certain that you frequent them during all times of the day/night. Be especially sure to fish during prime moon periods.

Sloppy technique is much more likely to show up in the bright light of day. These fish can be hard to catch in daylight, not so much because they are shy and spooky, but rather because they are bold enough and curious enough to swim right up and see what you are.

Darkness covers up an angler's presence and most of all his mistakes. Fish don't feed as regularly at night as they do in the day but when they are feeding, it's far less of a problem to catch them.

Do you fish with a lantern? Nope

What do you use for light? Cap light to retie or change worms

Is it always on? Nope

If not how do you tell if you get a minor overrun? Educated thumb

What is your preferred night-time bait? Texas Rigged Plastic

What color? Same colors I use during the day

Do your presentations change at night? Nope

Fish the same baits, same locations, and same techniques you would during the day. The only thing different I add to my repertoire at night is a Q-Beam!

X2, Catt just about summed it up.

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Night fishing for me is all about topwaters, with one major exception.   A big, black single Colorado bladed spinnerbait will tear em up.

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also,dark colored wacky rigged senkos work well at night sometimes.

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Love fishing at night

3/8 ounce black Jitterbug

Large Black Jitter Stick

1/2 to 5/8 ounce Black Spinnerbaits with a single large colodo blade

Trying out recently

Black Buzz Bait

1 ounce black Jig Head with 6 inch Watermelon seed Brush Bug

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Lot's of good advice here Shorefisher.

Going along with Catt's theme of not changing presentation from the daytime, it's important not to head out at night with a preconceived notion of how the fish will be biting. Most guys naturally equate night fishing with top water. While it's true that top water can be great in the dark you need to search out the fish just like the day.

For topwater it's hard to beat a jitterbug or a popper fished slowly. A good rule of thumb is dark night / low moon use dark colors or all black, light night / high moon use lighter colors since they will silhouette against the light.

For suspended fish, like Muddy said,  a black spinnerbait with a giant Colorado blade is great. I've seen my brother take fish on dark colored flukes as well.

For deeper or slower moving fish large dark colored worms, lizards and creature baits are great. Since you won't be doing much line watching, braided line is very helpful.

An LED light worn around your neck is great for changing lures, tying knots but use it as little as possible and allow your eyes to adjust to the night. You'll be surprised at how well you can see with just the slightest bit of ambient light. I would recommend going when there's some moon your first night out.

One thing that's very different for me at night is when the fish are feeding on shad schools. In the daytime this can be a frustrating exercise at best. At night it can be amazing, non stop fishing. Zara spooks, poppers and surface swimming plus are awesome thrown right on the perimeter of the school.

Finally, not a bad idea to fish with a buddy at night.

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I've got an additional question... what times during the night seem best?  I fish a lot of evening hours right up past sundown till about 9:30-10pm.  Whenever I'm out and catching fish, the bite seems to just die at about 8:30-9pm which is when the sun is just over the horizon enough to see some orange but not really get any light to right when it gets dark.  Then, I don't seem to get anything the rest of the time I'm there.

So basically, are you guys fishing closer to midnight?  or maybe morning hours?  or does it not really matter and I'm just having bad luck?

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My best times have been 1 ½ hour prior & after the raising or setting of the moon on the horizon and 1 ½ prior & after the moon reaching its apex. I fish from an hour or two before dark until an hour or two after sun rise.

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Great information guys! I will put some of this to use this week.

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Last night I picked two lmb up 1 - 5in pink senko 2nd 5in cream white senko

We fished from about 8:30-9:15pm which by that time it wasn't pitch black but, was dark enough imo to consider "night fishing"

I too will take every ones advise and suggestions and try to implement them into my night fishing game

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When your night fishing on a lake with alot of people, do the same rules still apply like having your light on and having the red/green lights?

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When your night fishing on a lake with alot of people, do the same rules still apply like having your light on and having the red/green lights?

you MUST ALWAYS use your running lights in the dark, regardless the amount of boat traffic.

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I love to fish at night. Usually get on by 7-8pm and fish till 6-7am. I have rigged: flappin' hog, a senko, a lizard & a fat ika. And the colors are: junebug and anything with black & red. Good luck

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have been doin really well on crankbaits at night this year as well as jigs, just fish what you are comfortable with, whatever you have the most confidence in. Just tie on and let it fly and pray you hear that spalsh instead of a thud or crash in the tree. LOL hard on the wallet

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Thanks guys for all the information. But, how do you fish a senko? I like to slack line and watch it, obviously that's not possible at night, so how do you guys fish senkos at night?

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Get yourself a flashlight with a red lens.  It will allow you to see to change baits, etc. but won't destroy your night vision.

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