Summer Night Fishing
Fishing at Night
Night fishing can be very fun and doing so in the summer is the best time to do it. Some Summers I fished at night probably more times than fishing in the day. You can escape the heat and the crowdedness because of recreational activities during the day. It can be very peaceful at a lake when you’re just listening to the sounds of the night. Aside from being relaxing, it is a great opportunity to catch fish!
Before you go out and start fishing at night I would suggest considering these safety tips.
· Bring someone with you. It is not a good idea to fish alone at night.
· Bring flashights or a lantern and possibly extra batteries just in case.
· Bring cellphones in case you get separated or lost.
· Bring warm clothes because it might get chilly.
· Know the lake you're fishing at. It is probably not a good idea to night fish at a body of water you have never been before. Pick one you are familiar with.
Where are the fish at?
Most species of fish are active at night. You can go after bass, pike, and other fish but walleye, catfish, and even crappie bite especially well during the night. They come in closer to the shore to feed on baitfish. So I would key in on shallower water that has cover. Wood cover like brush piles and tree stumps are great for largemouth bass, crappie, and catfish. Rock piles near the shore are prime habitat for smallmouth bass and walleye. You don't necessarily need a boat to be effective at night fishing. Just set up on the bank and you are in casting range of the fish.
Mostly the same baits and techniques that work during the day also work at night. This includes live bait and artificial baits. When using live bait at night my choice are minnows or shiners but night crawlers or any other bait will work as well. If you ar fishing on top, light up bobbers are a must. If fishing on the bottom from the bank, I'll use a rod holder and attach bells to the line between the second and third eye on the rod. If a fish takes the bait, the bells will sound so you know you are getting a bite. With this setup an egg sinker and swivel work because the fish can take the line without feeling any tension which may cause the fish to be suspicious and leave. The diagram below shows how to rig this way.
Jigging a shiner or minnow on a jig head is very effective too. Cast it out and don't reel in right away. Let it fall to the bottom. I like to keep my finger on the line when it's falling to detect any bites. If I feel a tick, I'll wait a second or two, then set the hook. If I don't get a hit when it's falling, I'll reel in while bouncing it off the bottom.
When it comes to artificial lures I like to use something that produces a lot of vibration. Crank baits like the Rapala X Rap produce results at night. Change up presentations until you find out what works. I found out that most of the time the fish strike when i reel in very slow without any jerks of the rod. And the X Rap is perfect for this because it is designed very well that it's able to maintain its wobble at slow speeds when similar lures can't. Another "go-to" artificial lure I use at night is a jighead with a soft plastic curly tail grub. I use the same techniques as I mentioned above for a jig head and live bait.
These techniques will work with almost any type of gamefish including bass, crappie, walleye, pike, and catfish. Take advantage of fishing at night. It's a fun experience and if you follow my tips, you'll be on your way to catching more fish after the sun sets. Thanks for reading and good luck!