Kidfo

Lighting Ideas for Night Fishing

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I didnt think it would be THAT dark out there.  I kept reeling my swivel into my top guide.  I assume one of those lights that strap around your head would do the trick - any specific brands or features work better than others?

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Headlamps work great for lighting things up. Only problem is that the light can and will scare fish. Some fish don't care as much in my experience, like kingfish, but others, like stripers and drum in the salt and walleyes in fresh, can be very light shy. So using a light while actively fishing might scare the fish. Maybe a piece of glow-in-the-dark tape on the tip of your rod could help you see what's going on if it's bright enough? Or get a headlamp with a red light. Red light doesn't seem to scare the fish as badly. If you use a headlamp, make sure it isn't too strong, as even a red light that is too bright can mess the fishing up sometimes. Another suggestion is instead of using a swivel, use a line to leader knot, unless you need the swivel. I like the alberto knot or the uni to uni, but the uni to uni on heavier line isn't very thin, so I normally use the alberto.

 

Using a headlamp can sometimes absolutely ruin the fishing. Some nights when walleye fishing a noob or a bow fisherman will come down with his 1000 lumen headlamps and blindingly bright spotlights and start shining them into the water. Once that happens I and everybody else packs up and leaves for the night. Fishing is over. Sometimes you'll see walleyes cruising all over under their lights, but their mouths may as well be sewn shut, because they are done feeding. 

 

Remember, using a headlamp won't just scare fish, but, depending on location, it can also sort of piss people off sometimes, so be wary. I only use my lights sometimes to land fish, and the rest of the time I rely on my night vision to get me through the night. So I recommend using your light only when needed. Tight lines out there.

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Put a bead in front of the swivel.  Saves your guide.  

 

I hate headlamps.  Always seem to shine into my eyebox and kill my nightvision. 

I just use a small AAA penlight on a cord around my neck.  I'll put it in my mouth if I need both hands.    It's an Olight I3T.  Has a high & low. Tail click cap.  High is like 180lumens.  Low is like 5 or 10lumens.    And its around 20bucks. 

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Black Diamond makes a great headlamp that goes down to candle brightness, has a red LED for preserving acclimation to dark, can get extremely bright, batteries last forever, is waterproof, and are pretty cheap. I have the slightly older version of this one and use it regularly for camping. 
 

https://www.rei.com/product/202774/black-diamond-spot-400-headlamp

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I agree with others who said keep your light off. Mine is always off unless I absolutely need it. Annoys the fish and annoys other fisherman. That being said I always carry two: a headlamp with a red light function and a backup Princeton Tec dive light on cord around my neck. If you’re doing anything other than standing with two feet firmly on the shore having a backup light is pretty important for safety, to me at least. You don’t want to be out on a sandbar with a dead headlamp and no backup light when the fog rolls in. 

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The night is dark. The water is wet. 
 

as others have said you don’t need a light and shouldn’t use one. MAYBE for landing fish in a dangerous situation or your walk back to the car. It’s only for safety really and has nothing to do with the fish.

 

like everything else you’ll get used to it the more you go. Some nights are darker then others. New moon, clouds, storms will always be very dark. Full moon, no clouds, it’s like having the sun. You’ll be ok, keep goin and pay attention to where your lure is. You’ll stop reeling it into the guides once you go more and focus 

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2 hours ago, Camhabib said:

Black Diamond makes a great headlamp that goes down to candle brightness, has a red LED for preserving acclimation to dark, can get extremely bright, batteries last forever, is waterproof, and are pretty cheap. I have the slightly older version of this one and use it regularly for camping. 
 

https://www.rei.com/product/202774/black-diamond-spot-400-headlamp

Second this, great headlamp. 

 

You can instantly tell how serious someone is by their headlamp discipline. I've been out on rocks and had some fine gentlemen try to speak to me while blinding my face. I only use my red light now to move from place to place, to retie, and to land fish. But most importantly, I keep it pointed at the ground. There is nothing worse than a dude doing a lighthouse impression, rubbernecking back and forth with his lumens stealing everyone's night vision. 

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Posted (edited)

I use a Princeton headlamp, it’s got a built in red light film so when it’s flipped on there’s no way white light can shine. There’s a physical red slider. It’ll save your night vision and it’s less likely to spook the fish. 
 

Princeton Tec

Edited by BrianBM
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10 hours ago, Kidfo said:

I didnt think it would be THAT dark out there.  I kept reeling my swivel into my top guide.  I assume one of those lights that strap around your head would do the trick - any specific brands or features work better than others?

Use a shorter leader and most importantly make all of your leaders the exact same length. once you get the feel for the length it will be lifelong.

 

Crazy Bill

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This. ^^. If you’re a braid to swivel guy, really short leaders are best at night. 
 

And don’t keep your rod tip down once you sense the plug or jig is getting close. 
 


***

 

Also, if you’re still having trouble but not ready for a braid to leader knot….

 

Use a bright colored or white braid. Then, you can mark the braid with black sharpie 5-10’ before the swivel. Even without a headlamp I can see that difference in all but complete fog. 

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Lose the swivel

Headlamp 

      One with a red light.

      Dimmable.

      Wear it around you neck, adjusted to          point at your toes.

      

Turn your back to the water/other fisherman when the light is on.

The less you use the lamp the less you will need the lamp. 

 

I've had quality control issues with Black diamond brands. Over priced, quality issues and poor warranty follow through. YMMV

 

$0.02

 

 

      

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Ahhh, BobbyMoore, a reminder. The house software will block any post including a link to a commercial site.

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38 mins ago, dangingras said:

Lose the swivel

Headlamp 

      One with a red light.

      Dimmable.

      Wear it around you neck, adjusted to          point at your toes.

      

Turn your back to the water/other fisherman when the light is on.

The less you use the lamp the less you will need the lamp. 

 

I've had quality control issues with Black diamond brands. Over priced, quality issues and poor warranty follow through. YMMV

 

$0.02

 

 

      

My more serious hobby is climbing and I have to say, my experiences with BD (which are extensive) are not similar to yours. They make some of the best climbing gear in the industry (along with brands like Arcteryx, Petzl, etc) and their customer service is really top notch. I would suggest you give them another try. If you really don't want to use them, you could get something like a SureFire or ZebraLight (my personal favorite) or any one of a number of custom torch builders.

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