The heat this summer has arrived with a vengeance. And for an angler, the best way to beat the heat is to do a little fishing in the dark.
Typically, daytime fishing is tough during a full moon. I have not consistently been able to pattern fish during this lunar event, unless it’s at night. The darkness offers two advantages, cooler temps and a way for me to catch fish during what I consider the toughest moon phase.
When the subject of night fishing in saltwater arises, it is generally followed by a discussion of lights. PAR 64 1,000 watt or underwater green lights are two of the most common types anglers use. Although I enjoy fishing with lights, in this column I’m going to cover fishing in the dark.
First and foremost, always proceed with caution after the sun sets. This includes boating, kayaking or wading in from shore. Be prepared for the unexpected, let others know your location, bring ample lighting, and make sure phone is fully charged.
I find a headlamp to be ideal, and I can still use it with my head mounted GoPro. Not only does this hands-free light source come in handy for tying knots and unhooking fish, but it also illuminates the area for some cool videos. Another useful tool that helps me find my way back is a satellite map app on my phone. A clear satellite image can lead you back exactly to where you parked.
I prefer to do my night angling from a kayak. Although wade fishing is my favorite method overall, I typically stay in the kayak at night to minimize some risk. I like to start excursions in the late evening, when I can still see and get an idea of where the bait is and the type of structure it is holding over. This not only points me to the right location, it also allows me to catch that sunset bite. Being on the water to see the day fade away is a relaxing bonus.
As far as lure choice, I avoid treble hooks when fishing in the dark. I like to minimize risks when night fishing, and trebles are two more problems than I need dangling around in the dark. I switch out the trebles on my hard baits to single hooks prior to the trip in case the need arises to throw them. Overall, I prefer to fish weedless soft plastics. Often times, if your lure is not in the grass or touching the shell you are not catching fish, and fish are what I want to catch, not the structure.
Beat the heat this summer by fishing in the dark. It adds a whole new experience to catching!
Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Controlled Descent Lures and the owner of www.MyCoastOutdoors.com.
Photo courtesy of Controlled Descent Lures.