Night fishing tips and gear - A bite in the dark!
How I started night fishing.
Having been out carp fishing one morning with my son Sean, we were looking at a carp fishing DVD and he suggested we try night fishing to expand our options and to increase our interest in carp fishing.
I used to go night fishing in the eighties and I was soon reminiscing on how I used to sit on a wicker creel and freeze as the night drew in- the things we did when we were younger!
After a little discussion about the costs that would be incurred we decided to give it a go.
On your first night fishing trip avoid going alone, it's always nice to take somebody along if only for company.
Rods, reels,pod,alrms and droppers
So what fishing tackle is required?
It might be worth noting at this point that all types of sport are expensive however, you can minimize the costs by shopping around and just because you do not have the top of the range gear doesn't mean you won't catch fish!
From the fishing point of view, if you are already a carp/specimen fisherman you will probably have the tackle already. If you are new to specimen fishing then the following will be a good guide;
Fishing rods. Ideally rods made for specimen fishing with a test curve from 2.5lb up to 3lb will do the job. My rods came off an auction site and cost £60 for two rods and matching reels loaded with line - that included delivery!
Fishing reels. Should be bait runner type so when a fish takes your bait it can take line off your reel freely until you get to the rod. Ideally ball bearing action and loaded with 15- 20lb line and can be purchased as part of a matching rod/ reel kit. (see above.)
Rod pod, alarms and droppers. These can be purchased separately or together. The alarms a must as they give out an audible shrill when a fish as taken your bait. I prefer chain droppers as they are better for setting on your line and are more user friendly when striking into a fish.
Landing net.A large triangular carp net is needed in order to safely land your fish. They come in sizes from 36 - 50 inches and surprisingly can be purchased for as little as £10 online.
Fish care; A carp mat to lay your fish on whilst unhooking, Fish first aid kit for treating any injuries the fish may have.
End tackle. Hooks, leads, swivels, weighing scales and any other tackle box related items.
If you are on a budget you can buy your end tackle as a group with your friends and split the cost.
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Our £5 stove Bargain!
"Cook a man a fish-he will eat for a day.
Teach a man to fish- he will be gone all weekend!"
None Fishing Equipment.
This section deals with the none fishing equipment you will need. again shop around and get the best deals and save your money for a good bait that works!
Bivvy/ tent. In order that you enjoy your night fishing in comfort I would advise getting a bivvy or tent. My friend used his umbrella and he reported feeling exposed and cold on a hot summers night. Shame as that could have put him off going again.
Lightweight tents are really cheap now (you can get one from a supermarket for under £20!) I purchased ours off the same auction site, it was a 2 man double skinned for cold nights and cost £50 including delivery however, you could pay whatever you like but our unbranded is great!
Sleeping bag/ bed. A warm nights sleep is important and whilst sleeping bags are reasonably priced, beds can run expensive so to get started we used multi position lounger type chairs and these are just the job at the moment.
The following items are equally important to a successful session but, if you shop around can make great savings.
Cooking equipment. Stove, kettle, cups, utensils etc. Shopping around led to me purchasing a gas stove for £5 what a bargain!
Lights and batteries. Headlamps and camp lights are very important and can be as cheap or dear as you want them to be.
Spare batteries for the above and the alarms are all important to avoid losing light whilst you are reeling in your prize catch.
Food and drink. Take plenty to eat and drink hot and cold as fishing through the night will end out stretching into the next day if you are like me.(Don't forget a water carrier.)
Other items of interest. This list could go on and I am sure you will think of something I haven't listed (please let me know of anything else as I would be interested!) Here go's.
Towels for handling fish etc. toilet roll, first aid kit, magazines to read, camera, tripod for camera, sunglasses, mobile phone, binoculars, wet weather wear, The list could go on.
Keep cooking and hot drinks simple to start off with. Use pot noodles, pot porridge, sachet coffee/chocolate so that you can concentrate on fishing.
A view from our Bivvy.
My latest boilie creation "Crab" flavour.
Bait & tactics.
Where can I start! First of all what are you looking to catch? The most popular target is carp and the bigger the better but, some fishermen go for eel, bream and even pike.
Beware! using seed baits and maggots will keep you awake all night catching small fish like roach, perch etc.
I go night fishing for carp and use bait specifically for them and these are boilies - Homemade boilies! I consider that if I am going to all the trouble of making rigs,etc, then do the full package and produce my own bait too.The cost of commercial boiles can run out to £12 + per kilo and I can make them for £5 - £6 for the same amount and we could use 2 kilos per 24 hour session!
Tactics for a for a night session will always mean ledgering of which there are many methods which I will go through in other hubs but, for a first session I would use a simple running ledger setup with an hair rig.
I would load 1 boilie on the hair rig and scatter loose boilies around my casted out bait.
Remember Keep your first session simple, it will be more enjoyable.
Check out the local fishermen and tackle shop for the most popular bait for your chosen venue to fish.
Walrow Ponds Somerset
Where to fish.
Ideally you would know which venues allow night fishing however there may be additional charges fo fishing overnight. If possible it would be a good idea to do a reccy of the lake and do this at about the same time of day that you are planning to fish. You will be able to see where everybody is fishing and get a feel for what bait/ tactics they are using.
We fish at walrow ponds in somerset. The ponds are controlled by the Bridgwater angling association and they contain carp to 30lbs+.
They are very hard to catch and success is rewarding!
Always talk to the fishermen, ask what works best and ask where the best fishing is.
( If there is nobody fishing, that might be telling you the fishing isn't that good.)
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The most important thing to do is enjoy yourself and not expect too much from your first night fishing trip, count it as a learning process. Check out this video that Chronicles our first night fishing trip.