Ontario Fishing Network
Night Fishing Primer by Tim Allard
Fishing under the cover of darkness has long been a strategy for walleye and crappie anglers. Recently, night fishing is becoming popular on water bodies that receive a lot of day fishing pressure and boat traffic. Angling in the moonlight is not for everyone, it requires more planning, adequate lighting gear, and extra safety precautions.
Some boats come equipped with illuminated consoles and interior running lights. Most fish finders also feature backlit displays, but be careful not to leave the unit on too long or you may drain your battery. Aftermarket lighting is available to customize your boat's interior for night fishing. Black lights are particularly popular as they illuminate fishing line well and do not to attract as many bugs as bight, white light. A headlamp is a great hands-free light. Wear them for the evening and you can quickly turn it on to rig a new lure or to help you see and land a fish. One final note on lighting is to be cautious when shining lights into the water's surface; using them to attract fish is illegal in most regions.
Give someone on shore and an itinerary with your whereabouts and the time you plan to come off the water. Also carry a communication device, such as a 2-way radio or cell phone. Having bug repellant is also important when night fishing. Sometimes nights can be bug-free, but most evenings call out black flies and mosquitoes. This is especially true at boat launches. Before getting to the ramp, spray on fly dope to keep bugs from biting, so you can properly secure your rig to the trailer. Rushing a boat on a trailer to get away from a swarm of bugs can equate to forgotten steps, which can be an expensive and dangerous oversight.
Night fishing can be an enjoyable experience with high catch ratios. The intent of this article is not to scare you; it's to prepare you. Odds are you'll catch just as many, if not more fish, as day fishing. You'll also gain a new appreciation for how dependant we are on our sight.
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