AH Perry

Use of Personal Lights in the Surf

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Hello again, it's good to be back. I've been here before as "Fish with Pain",  "Sharphooks" now "AH Perry", since I've recently moved into Atlantic Highlands. I've been away from the usual heavy surf fishing I used to do but I am back thank God!  Anyway, my topic is personal artificial light use in the night surf.  Is it me or are there a lot of surfcasters not paying attention to where they are shining/using their lights? I've been into fish pretty good lately and some quite large but they have been super close at times. I've been near others who either don't know or don't care how they use their lights.  If my years in the surf have taught me anything, it is that personal artificial light use can be a turn off to stripers if we are not meticulous with our lights. My rules, for me, are:

-Always turn your back to the surf, then turn your light on for whatever task you have to do.

-Keep your body in such a way as a shield, to prevent any light on the water.

-I usually fish alone but if I ever bring anyone with me this is one of the things I tell them. 

 

Saturday night I caught 6 fish to 23 lbs. and there was a guy a 100 ft. South of me who gave up after an hour. He never turned his back when using his light so I have to assume the fish would not come near or stay in front of him. I felt sorry for him because he is out there in the middle of the night and obviously has some passion for surf fishing.  Anyway, that's my 2c for now.

 

 

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That's why I said "personal artificial light use", because what you say can be true of some situations where bridge lights and the like, can attract fish to a shadow line.  But on a dark night with no lights around, light is the enemy and will send fish away.

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The advent of LED lights has been a blessing and curse.  I love them for a lot of applications, but it allows guys to power the equivalent of the sun on their heads with a few AAA batteries. The intensity of the light is nothing short of insane. And @BillHoo, what's really attracted to light are the little crustaceans, plankton, very small fish, etc., which in turn attracts larger fish and so on...The large fish typically hide in shadows or a shadow line to ambush the smaller fish that go by.  The sunshine brigade just scare the crap out of everything by popping the lights on and off or erratically zigzagging the beam back and forth as they cluelessly scan the water.  

 

The sad part is that they never allow their eyes to adjust to the dark.  People have no idea how well they can actually see in very low light, but you have to give your eyes a chance.  What you forgot to add is to buy a light that has both RED and white light and use a RED whenever possible.  It doesn't screw up your night vision and doesn't scare away the fish. 

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Bill Clinton, a.k.a. Pres., who owned the New Dolphin Shop in Seaside told me about a couple of bait fishermen who were regular customers for 3 years.  Unfortunately, they had not caught a bass in the 3 years they had been fishing.  Bill kept giving them instructions to help them but they just couldn't hook up.  One night they came in for bait and one of them asked, "Do you by chance sell Coleman Lantern mantles?".  Bill told them no and asked why they needed them.  They told him they lit two lanterns at their spot when they were fishing.  Bill told me he just busted out laughing and told them he couldn't believe that he had never mentioned a word about lights in the 3 years they had been trying.  Well, those fellows went fishing that night without lights and they each caught their first striped bass.  Some stuff just can't be made up.  God Bless Bill and may he RIP.

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2 mins ago, Jettyhound said:

Bill Clinton, a.k.a. Pres., who owned the New Dolphin Shop in Seaside told me about a couple of bait fishermen who were regular customers for 3 years.  Unfortunately, they had not caught a bass in the 3 years they had been fishing.  Bill kept giving them instructions to help them but they just couldn't hook up.  One night they came in for bait and one of them asked, "Do you by chance sell Coleman Lantern mantles?".  Bill told them no and asked why they needed them.  They told him they lit two lanterns at their spot when they were fishing.  Bill told me he just busted out laughing and told them he couldn't believe that he had never mentioned a word about lights in the 3 years they had been trying.  Well, those fellows went fishing that night without lights and they each caught their first striped bass.  Some stuff just can't be made up.  God Bless Bill and may he RIP.

Great story! More proof...thanks

Anyway, last night after sunset the boys were out with their miniature suns on their heads shining in every direction except away from the water...just sayin.  I just stay quiet. There are plenty of other places to find fish. It would be nice though if these youngins would read a book or two by Daignault, Robert Post, Muller, etc.

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I was thinking about posting about this over what I observed over the weekend. These led headlamps are getting out of control. I have a small pen light with a red lens on a piece of surg. Tube around my neck. 99% of the time that's the only light I ever turn on. An I still turn my back to the water. I carry a small clip-on hat brim light that I only use in a emergency. Nor will I ever take a picture in the nite unless it's a truly large fish and I haven't even done that in years. 

I was taught you never turn on your light cause 

A-spooking fish

And more importantly -no-one can see what your doing

I switch plugs and unhook fish without ever turning on a light.

Maybe there's alot of people afraid of the dark.....

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A lot of so called surf fisherman nowadays were introduced to this challenging lifestyle, (yes lifestyle, it's more than a sport or a hobby) via a bunker blitz where they bought a $20 pencil popper and caught a 30lb. bass to post on their FB page or instagram. So that is the caliber of surf fishers we have out there who don't care to learn things about surf fishing.  I'm thankful for other surf fishers like you Haycreekrambler who bother to learn.

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On 10/21/2019 at 11:28 AM, AH Perry said:

Saturday night I caught 6 fish to 23 lbs.

This is the most interesting part of this thread, I haven't caught or known anyone to get decent fish off the sand in the last week.

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Years back how many guys brought out lanterns night fishin'......ha, funny you mentioned that....I remember yellin'....turn them damn lights off.

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26 mins ago, kurazy kracka said:

This is the most interesting part of this thread, I haven't caught or known anyone to get decent fish off the sand in the last week.

Idk wtf that means but I guess you know all surf fishers in the area and what they catch??? Is that it?  And it was over a week ago. I've been skunked last few times also. 

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33 mins ago, kurazy kracka said:

This is the most interesting part of this thread, I haven't caught or known anyone to get decent fish off the sand in the last week.

Yeah, it's been pretty ****in lame out there.. I will go with you and keep my light off

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27 mins ago, AH Perry said:

Idk wtf that means but I guess you know all surf fishers in the area and what they catch??? Is that it?  And it was over a week ago. I've been skunked last few times also. 

 

wow a little touchy here, take a chill pill.

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I only use mine when necessary, and more often than not I use the red mode. Last summer I was fishing around 10:30PM when another group of four or five guys showed up. They immediately lit up the whole beach, and that is not an exaggeration. They had actually stand lights like you see in a mechanic's shop set up, as well as lanterns and headlamps that they used to sweep the water, sand, and me. Even at 50+ yards they were blinding me every time they looked at me.

 

It was a slow night anyway, so I just called it and left.

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