The Salty Fisherman

Night Fishing Advice

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I have been fishing for a long time, but one thing that I have never gotten into was the whole after-dark sector of fishing.  I was wondering if anyone has any advice on what to start out throwing at night in the surf.  I feel like (In my past experiences) I have always done very well around dusk, and then the fishing fades as the sun begins to dip way down.  However, I know that some people are extremely successful during the night and I figured that I should give it a try... Keep in mind that I am fishing NJ beaches in the Cape May area.  Not sure if that will have much effect, but I figured that I should put it out there.  

Looking for any tips on:

Lures

Colors

Location (General, I.E. Open beach, Jetties, Structure)

Time (After dusk, Middle of the night, Before Daybreak)

Anything else that may help me find some fish in the dark

Thanks for any help in advance. :th:

 

Salty

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It's more of less the same as the day fishing but lure color can vary. Top water bite is usually out. Swimmers and bucktails are usually pretty good at night. I'm a big fan of darters in moving water. 

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i usually don't have much like that first hour of FULL dark. not always bust bust but more times than not. 

 

don't worry too much about distance. most of the fish you encounter at night will be closer to the beach than during the day. 

 

slow down and reel to your feet. 

 

don't get too hung up on colors, worry more about profile and action of the lure. 

 

In the beginning to help your confidence use a teaser, again don't worry about the distance you lose on your cast with it. 

 

Look for cuts in bars, troughs, points , anomalies in the ways waves breaks etc. 

 

ONLY USE YOUR LIGHT WHEN YOU NEED TO!!!!

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If you use a knot instead of a swivel to connect your braid to your leader, you will feel it going through the tiptop and know when to stop reeling. I use a thumb leveler and a ten foot leader. When I feel the click, i know I have 2 1/2 cranks to get the line to one side of the spool so as to not lose a chunk of thumb on the next cast.

If you use a spinner, you won't crack the insert of your tiptop with the swivel

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1 hour ago, Stewie said:

If you use a knot instead of a swivel to connect your braid to your leader, you will feel it going through the tiptop and know when to stop reeling. I use a thumb leveler and a ten foot leader. When I feel the click, i know I have 2 1/2 cranks to get the line to one side of the spool so as to not lose a chunk of thumb on the next cast.

If you use a spinner, you won't crack the insert of your tiptop with the swivel

Great advice, thanks.

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2 hours ago, Great Egg said:

A quality headlamp with red as well as white lights so as not to impair your night vision.

The dumbest thing that we see, and we see the most often, is the idiots with the gajillion candlelight headlamps that never turn them off. Ever see one of those guys catch a bass? I haven't.

Moving lights and, even worse, moving shadows, scare the hell out of the fish.

Always be aware of your shadow and your headlight beam, on the water

 

I'm a big fan of cheap dim waterproof headlamps that have red light options - the only time you need the white light is to differentiate colors of plugs in your bag.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

1 hour ago, BrianZ said:

don't worry too much about distance. most of the fish you encounter at night will be closer to the beach than during the day. 

 

slow down and reel to your feet. 

How often do we see guys walk down to the beach and charge directly out into the water?

 

I always make my first casts from back by the high tide mark to just past the breakers. So many times the fish are right there in the trough !! You go charging into the water - they're not there anymore !

 

One of my last memories of the jetty at the first lot at Sandy Hook (been gone since they buried it in the 1995 replenishment) is being up on the rocks during a bright moon, watching a few small bass drifting back and forth in the trough with their noses right up against the lip waiting for sand fleas (I'm assuming) to to wash back to them with the receding waves.

Edited by Sudsy

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For Jersey- try one of those beaches that has boardwalk or street lights that aren't falling directly on the water but provide enough light to see. Try a white or visible floating lure and watch it sweep in the current.  Then fish the way that you are used to in the daylight (and use the advice provided above)

It's a good way to prep for fishing in total darkness. 

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On 9/9/2019 at 9:30 AM, BrianZ said:

slow down and reel to your feet. 

Better yet, take 5 steps back.  I've lost too many fish from being bit too close.  

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28 mins ago, ChumSlickJon said:

Better yet, take 5 steps back.  I've lost too many fish from being bit too close.  

 

First time I took my dad at night I gave him this advice.  He didnt listen and was standing where the water would be about 6" deep as a wave came in but completely dry as it receded, a fish followed his metal lip and ate it as it was dangling vertically from his rod tip, spooked him so bad he let out a screech and fell on his ass.  I almost fell over laughing.

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