If you love to fish but have not taken the opportunity to try your hand at night fishing, promise yourself you will try this year. Whether fishing the surf or from a pier, night fishing provides a stark contrast in environment and catch possibilities from a routine day fishing trip. Try it once and you may get hooked.
Perhaps the biggest challenge of night fishing is the fact that it's dark and you can't see what you would normally see in the bright sunshine. However, that only adds to the charm of this sport.Whether fishing the surf or from the pier, night fisherman have to be more prepared because they can't always take a quick run to the bait store. They also have to be more knowledgeable about when the fish run, where they run and what to use as bait. Skill weighs in heavily in the dark.
For every challenge, there always seems to be an off-setting benefit. Night fishing on the surf and pier offer their own benefits. First, you're out of the hot sun and the climate is generally much more relaxing. Second, you won't have to contend with the same amount of anglers you would compete with during the day. Annoying swimmers and hot-rod jet skiers will be non-existent. Lastly, night surfing gives you an edge with the fish. Many fish come in close to shore at night -- especially to feed -- which gives you more opportunities to land a beauty.
Where to Go
Be prepared and understand your fishing spot. Since you can't just pick up anchor and find a new fishing hole every 15 minutes, you'll need to scout out the terrain in the daylight at low tide. Look for holes and places in the bottom where fish could congregate or hide around man-made or rock piers. If you're surf fishing, find areas between sand bars where the fish can go for protection. Cast in this pool to increase your chances.
What to Bring
The one item all fisherman will agree as a "must bring" is a flashlight for night fishing. Fish are attracted to light and that's part of the fun of night fishing. Check ahead; some piers are well lit and offer a built-in lure for night fishing. Required equipment is the same as for day fishing -- rods, reels, bait, buckets, nets -- with one exception. Go for a short rod for pier fishing, since you may be more confined and you'll tend to drop you line down to fish close to the pier to fish. For surf fishing, take a longer rod to be able to cast out to where the fish reside.
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