By Terri Mackinnon
One of my favourite ways to fish is definitely night time fishing for a variety of reasons.
1. Fish love eating at night.
2. Fishing is much cooler at night escaping some of those hot sticky days that don’t allow fishing and making those fishing days much shorter.
3. Fish love eating at night… Yes, I know but I just thought I would remind you how much this was important. After all catching fish makes going fishing part of the reason we all like going out to fish… so why not make the point a couple times.
Night time fishing offers some of the best fishing that you can find, however with that being said there is also safety that has to be put at top of the list.
It is extremely important to recognize that the following are the reasons majority of accidents take place on the water during night time fishing.
a) It is very difficult to see floating debris on the water such as logs which could easily not only damage your boat but also those that are on board if you happen to hit the item when unprepared. Without proper lighting from your boat this hazard becomes even greater.
b) Consumption of alcohol
c) Improper use of lights
d) Falling overboard
e) Lack of knowledge on the water at night (Daytime / Night-time look completely different on the water and its recommended not to venture unless you have at least a full moon so that you have the additional lighting to help with your first couple night-time fishing experiences.
f) Not wearing PDF or Life Jackets when involved in an accident is responsible for many anglers deaths unnecessarily yearly
Summertime arrives with temperatures that are hot and night time fishing offers a much cooler way of still enjoying to sport. However, fishing your lake at night requires much more preparation. Once the sun sets… the horizon now changes and the shoreline and all of the markers that you once were able to read are not going to be visable. Majority of the water that was once familiar and friendly during the day has now become foreign and unfortunately sometimes even hostile as the darkness descends.
But, with just a little preparation you can find a way to avoid the dangers, be smart and it can be
enjoyed and the results will be something that you too will be glad that you have had the experience introduced to you.
Never be reactive… Night time fishing requires a proactive boater only.
Fishing in a boat requires us to follow proper regulations as follows:
· Personal floatation devices (properly fitted) for each person on board are
at the top of the list and should be worn by everyone when fishing at night.
Finding someone that has fallen overboard in the daytime is generally easy,
but in the dark can be quite difficult. Remember that if you are trolling finding someone that has fallen overboard will be far more difficult, so make sure that you have a flotation device that you can throw handy at all times don’t try and find one when you think you may need it, it just might be too late.
· Lights are required (Bow and stern lights) they are essential equipment on your boat and must be lit when you are traveling and also to be used when visibility is reduced.
· Sound that horn when needed. It can help to warn another boat that you are in the area and also get their attention if you are in distress. Larger boats require flares but they are always useful to carry on any size craft especially for night time fishing.
· Having a paddle available on your boat is required and should be in a storage area accessible if required.
· An approved type fire extinguisher that is currently dated should be onboard
and in a convenient and ready location. During a fire there is no time to have to look for it or to find out that the extinguisher will no longer function because it is out of date.
· Anchor / line recommended for the size of your craft
· Bailing bucket
· Flashlight (WATERPROOF ONLY)
· First aid kits
· GPS if you have one the best way to get around at night time to avoid shoals and to know the shoreline and depths of the water. (Also great to find the way if required)