Night Fishing Tips: Ultimate Guide every fisherman must know

Fishing is a regular pastime many do either as a vocation or for pleasure. Some prefer to fish during the day while a few others do so at night. If you have not gone night fishing before, you are surely missing a lot. Fishing at night is indeed a whole new experience as it brings you clear to nature in a tranquil state. 

In this guide, we will provide you with all you need to know about night fishing along with some helpful tips to make your next night time expenditure a truly rewarding experience.

Why is night fishing better?

For starters, fishing at any time of the day is practicable. Furthermore, some fishermen choose the time of the day they engage in fishing based on the species they are looking to catch. However, night fishing has become quite popular over the years, and many prefer it today fishing for the following advantages of night fishing.

Night fishing advantages

Less Wind: At night, the wind is not as strong as it is during the day. Since there is less wind, the water is a lot calmer, which makes it easier to handle your fishing rod and to direct the line towards the direction you want.

Fewer Boats: If you are fishing in a lake or a river that is known to attract a lot of fishing boats, night time fishing offers you an opportunity to fish uninterrupted. Fishing at a location with a lot of boat traffic makes it increasingly difficult to catch fish. But at night, however, the process is a lot easier with fewer or no boats to contend with.

Cool-weather: Night weather is a lot more cooler, so fishing for longer hours is feasible compared to the day, especially when the sun is up and burning hot.

Piers are empty: For those of us who like to fish from fishing piers, the thought of doing so in a crowded pier is unappealing. If you want a free pier with little or no one around, you should consider fishing at night. However, do make sure that you carry your fishing permit along as the warders may still pay you a visit even when it’s dark.

Free from Sunburn: When you fish at night, you protect yourself from sunburns. As you already know, fishing takes a lot of time, so standing under the direct glare of the sun for a very long time can do a lot of damage to your skin. Fishing under the moonlight is a smart way to prevent such an occurrence.

Active fish: Fishes are very active at night because, at this time, many species swim close to the surface to feed. The tide and moon phase plays a significant role in the behavioral pattern of many fish species. Another reason why fish become quite active at night is also down to the water temperature. A cool temperature translates to cool and calm waters, and this encourages them to feed closer to the surface for much longer than they would during the day.

Less Competition: Most fishermen fish during the day and not at night since man, by nature, is not nocturnal. So if you go night fishing, you are most likely going to find one or two other people at your location in worse case scenarios. In best-case scenarios, you may find no one. With fewer fishing lines vying to attract fish, you definitely have the entire lake to yourself for several hours.

Night Fishing Disadvantages

For all its advantages, night fishing still has a few disadvantages to bear in mind. One major disadvantage is limited light, which makes it difficult to spot fishes swimming close to the water surface. To succeed in this venture, you need to be familiar with the good fishing spots in the area to catch fish.

Some fishermen also claim that fishes sleep at night for a short time, thereby making then inactive. This claim is disputed, however. Those who agree that fishes sleep claim that it isn’t really deep sleep but a light doze. And we also know that some species are not so active at night. Some other disadvantages or difficulties associated with night fishing include:

Bug invasion: Bugs are known to be very active at night, and if you are unfortunate to fish at a location with a large bug population, your fishing expedition will not be as pleasant as planned. This is why it is advisable to bring a bug spray along to combat an invasion. Bug invasions are to be expected if you are fishing with a fishing light as bugs are attracted to light. A huge invasion will prevent you from seeing the ester clearly.

Navigation: If you are going to fish on a boat, navigation becomes a lot more difficult with little or no light. To help your case, attach fishing lights to the front and rear of your boat for visual clarity.

Where can I go for night fishing?

When it comes to fishing at night, there are a number of locations you can visit. Here are some common examples.

Night fishing parks: There are fishing parks open to fishing enthusiasts during the day and also at night. Fishing parks are lovely locations to fish at night because there is a level of security in place to make visitors feel comfortable. Parks are also well planned and properly managed to prevent hazards common at ponds and public waterways.

Night fishing ponds: Ponds are also another option. You can fish for free at some point, but in others, you will need a license to do so.

Bight fishing rivers: Fishing in rivers increases your chances of making big catches due to a significant fish population. Rivers contain a higher number of active fishes at night. Just as you have with ponds, you may need to obtain a license to fish in certain rivers. Make sure you make inquiries to be sure before you visit the location at bight to avoid incurring penalties.

When to go night fishing

There really isn’t the best time to go night fishing. However, choosing the best time to go night fishing should depend on the season in question. During the warm weather months, night fishing is best during the period between sunset and midnight. Fishing at this time during summer is ideal. During winter, fishing after midnight increases your chances, but you will have to take certain safety measures to protect yourself from the harsh weather.

Night fishing Permit

Fishing at many locations requires a fishing permit provided by the local government. Without the permit, no one is allowed to fish at those locations. A permit can go for as low as $20 to as high as over $100 depending on the location. Permits are also closed for certain periods of the year to allow the fish population to replenishes itself. Fishing at a restricted location without a permit can lead to sanctions. Also, note that there is a certain amount of fish you are allowed to catch per trip. Exceeding that number is also a violation.

What to wear for night fishing

Wearing the appropriate clothing for night fishing not only protects you from the weather and other physical elements, but it also enables you to fish for much longer. Protection clothing protects you from the hazards of all kinds. Here is some essential clothing’s not to ignore when next you go out for night fishing.

Raincoats: During the rainy season, make sure you come along with a raincoat. Even if it isn’t raining, just keep the raincoat close; otherwise, you may have to cut short your trip should the rainfall while you are at it.

Overalls: This is protective clothing. Overalls are great because they shield your hands, upper body, and parts of your lower body from the weather.

Jackets: Jackets are not necessarily protective wears, but they help you facilitate your fishing. You can keep fishing items in your jacket that you frequently use for fishing. This increases your speed as you will not have to reach for your fishing bag every time.

Thermal clothing: Thermal clothing can be any type of clothing that helps to keep you warm. They are helpful during winter.

Waterproof boots: When fishing, the last thing you want is to get your feet wet. A wet foot can cause your body temperature to drop. Protect your feet by wearing waterproof boots.

Hat: Fishing in windy locations require the wearing of hats to protect your head.

Hand gloves: Hand gloves should also not be left out as they protect your hands from getting cold. Beyond that, they also reduce the risks of injuries.

What equipment and Gear to use when night fishing

Every profession requires certain specialized tools, and the same is the case with fishing. Some of the tools to include in your fishing collections for night fishing are listed below.

Night fishing rod: A fishing rod is a very long and flexible pole. Some poles are as long as 20ft. The rod is attached to a fishing line and is upended to a hook. Fishermen direct the fishing line by tilting the rod from one direction to another.

Fishing hooks: Hooks are used to catching fish by impaling the fish’s mouth with it. Hooks come in different shapes and sizes, and they have been in use for centuries.

Night fishing bobbers: The best fishing bobber to use for night fishing are lighted bobbers. Lighted bobbers are essential because they attract the fish to the hook.

Bight fishing lures: Fishing lures are artificial baits that attract the fish to the hook. Night fishing lures are designed for use at night. Experienced fishermen choose lures based on the color of the moonlight. During pitch-black nights, the best-colored lures to use are blue, brown, or solid black in color. If the moon is up in full, a bright color combination like red/blue, green/orange, green/ black, etc is better.

Night fishing lights: Night fishing lights essentially aid fishing. They serve two purposes. One, they help in tracking the fish population, and secondly, they attract fishes to the lures. There are different types of fishing lights, so the on to go for depends on the type of fishing you wish to engage in. If you plan to fish on the surface, a surface fishing light is ideal. On the other hand, if your plan is to fish in deep waters, you will need an underwater fishing light. Underwater fishing lights are waterproof and can remain underwater for several hours.

There are also different fishing light colors in use today. We have white, blue, red, and many more.  But based on experience, the best fishing light color is green. It is on record that fishes find a green light to be quite attractive.

How to go night fishing

Now, let us bring to your notice some very helpful tips on how to fish at night successfully. Adopting the following tactical tips will increase your chances of making as many catches as possible.

  1. Scout the location ahead of time: If you are not very familiar with the area, take some time out to scout the location first. Doing so will help you identify the good fishing spots as well as spots to avoid. Location scouting also helps you avoid the possibility of accidents too.
  2. Be right on time: A successful fisherman understands the importance of keeping to time. Make sure you arrive at your spot and set yourself up before sunset. Although you may have artificial lighting with you, using the natural light of the moon is also very important if you want to arrive on time and commence fishing as quickly as possible.
  3. Be organized: Organization should also be your priority. Arrange your fishing tools properly in your tackle box. This way, you will be able to locate an item by reaching for it in the right place. Furthermore, you are also less likely to trip over due to items strewn all over your boat’s deck or the pier.
  4. Start slow: You have all the time in the world to make a healthy catch, so do not be in such a hurry. Take your time by starting slow and then gradually work your speed up.
  5. Concentrate in the shallow spots first: Do not be tempted to cast your hook into the deep but focus on the shallow waters first. Jiggle the line from time to time and then extend the line to the deep water. As long as you are fishing with green light, the fishes will take notice of the light and swim towards your hook in no time. Patience is a virtue in the art of fishing.
  6. Unsettle the water a little: It will do your cause no had to unsettle the water a bit, especially if it is calm. Prop your bait up and down with the fishing rod. Regular movements will attract the fish to the surface. The closer the fish is to the surface, the better the chances that it will go for the lure attached to your hook.

There are several ways to be successful at night time fishing, but we believe that adopting the following tips listed above will increase your success rate. If you have more tricks up your sleeves, you can utilize them as well. The idea is for you to catch as many fishes as you can within the shortest possible time.

Nighttime fishing safety

Safety is a priority and something that should be planned for. Fishing at campsites or at parks carries some measure of risks. Of greater risks is when you fish in lakes and rivers. As exciting as night time fishing is, it carries some east of risks that you should plan for. Due to limited light, accidents do occur like it could if you are out in open country after dark.

Fishing during the day, so one thing, fishing at night presents a whole new set of challenges not to be discounted. Find below some safety tips to imbibe when next you go out fishing at night.

  1. Move the bait consistently: Fishes have very strong senses, and they can sense movement even in the dark. The lure you use is important during the day for day time fishing, but it is less important at night, movement is. Consistent move your bait from time to time so the fish can detect the movement. Regular movement of not just your bait but your body posture as well can scare away harmful reptiles or insects.
  2. Early scouting is key: Once again, we cannot emphasize this point too much. Scouting the area long before you g fishing at night is a protective measure. Checking out the fishing spot during the day will help you identify potential hazards you should not ignore. Get a nap of the area fro the local fishing shops or locales to serve as a guide. If you plan to fish with a boat, highlight the areas to avoid and the areas you will like to cast your anchor. Early scouting helps you avoid potentially hazardous areas such as tree stumps, low hanging tree branches, power lines, dams, heavily weedy areas, and rocks.
  3. Tell a close friend or relative where you will be: Telling a close acquaintance about your plans is highly advised. In case of an emergency, someone else should know where to look for you. It also creates within you a sense of calm, knowing that someone else is aware of your location.
  4. Avoided significantly isolated areas: Areas with little or no telecommunication access should be avoided, especially if you are not familiar with the area. Should the need arise, you may need to use a phone to send an SOS message or to make a call. Even if the fishing location has no communication lines, avoid straying far from where these lines exist. Nearness to civilization is vital, except you are an experienced fisherman who knows the area really well.
  5. Wear protective clothing: Wear protective clothing to protect yourself from weather elements as well as to prevent injuries. A hat for your head, gloves for your hands, thick shirts and pants long enough to protect your arms and limbs. Also, make sure that you wear waterproof boots to protect your frets from getting wet.


Fishing is a very exciting activity; no wonder many engage in it not only for economic reasons but also for pleasure. When it comes to night fishing, it opens you up to a whole new experience altogether. You become one with nature during the duration of the fishing exercise, and also, your chances of making healthy catches increase too. Planning and organizing your trip in advance is necessary. Another important thing to organize is the necessary tools required for night fishing. Specialized tools like underwater fishing lights (green) and specialized fishing lures are important. In addition to all of these, scouting the area is vital, and so is adopting safe practices to protect yourself in the dark. With the tips we have provided in this article, we believe that your next trip out into open waters should be a successful one if you imbibe all the tips listed this far.  Happy fishing.