How to set up for night fishing?

Discussion in 'Boat Safety' started by glenc, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. glenc

    glenc New Member

    Now that I have my boat I need to know how to set it up for night fishing. I do NOT like the sun so most of my fishing will be night time. My boat currently has the pole light that you plug in on the back but does not have a light in front. What is needed 1st to be safe 2nd to be legal to fish at night in Oklahoma.

    Thanks in advance

  2. Georgiajack

    Georgiajack New Member

    Not being from Oklahoma, I don't know your regs. however, most states require a short light , greenand red, be mounted and operational on the bow, and a pole near the transom with white light. Take care, and good fishin', Jack.

  3. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Arnold, MO
    Here is a great source for all your questions about boating, not just in Oklahoma. I am not positive, but I think almost all states require Coast Guard minimum regulations, plus some states have tacked on a few of their own.
  4. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    In short, you need a red/green light at the bow of the boat and a white light at the stern. The white light is supposed to be a minimum of 36" above the highest part of the boat and visible for 360 degrees. The white light should be on at all times, and the red/green light should be on when you're underway.

    That gets you legal.

    As for safe, I'd recommend that you carry 2 good flashlights plus a spotlight (either connected to your 12v battery or use one with built-in rechargable batteries). The spotlight will help you find your way back to the ramp in the dark, and the flashlights will be there when everything else goes black.

    I use LED headlamps for most of my night fishing - turn them on only when i need to see something. I also use glow-sticks taped to the end of my rods so I can see when I get a bite. Between those two, you can keep it dark and generally bug-free at night. It may not be completely legal, but I've been known to turn off all my navigation lights in the dark to keep the bugs away - the area where I fish is essentially deserted at night so there's no other boats to worry about.
  5. borntocatfish

    borntocatfish New Member

    NW ohio
    well for bugs we use two lanterns one away from us on bright for boats to see the second lower set near us to see
  6. FishMan

    FishMan New Member

    you will be tempted to use your main battery for light power at night, Do not do this. if you do nothing else get an extra battery for 12 volt power I have 2 and also carry one of those power packs.

    have fun.
  7. glenc

    glenc New Member


    I have already thought about doing that. Another think I want to do is pack the wheel bearings. I do not know when the last time they were done. But I have never done it myself. Local shop wants $40 to do it. That seems a little step IMO. It can't be that difficult can it?
  8. blackhorse83

    blackhorse83 New Member

    It takes about an hour and if they are putting in new seals thats not to bad at all, you can do your self and save the money, but without a bearing packer it's a little messy.
  9. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Hi Glen, looks like you got you a fishin' partner there in your pic. Not sure what style of boat you havem but here are a couple things to consider. I put sever rodholders in mine:

    Also, I wanted alittle interior lighting that was easy to turn on/off (by means of a toggle switch, 1-front & 1-rear). These are yellow/amber trailer side-marker lights, and work very well for lighting the boat floor, as well as shedding enough light to find items you're looking for:

    Also, I have been fishing with a BOC brother I met here, and he got me "hooked" (pun intended) on black lighting. I bought an 18" dual flourescent (1-black & 1-white) 12v light that makes my Solar Green Big Game line glow in the dark live one of them velvet Elvis posters, it ran $15 @ Gander Mountain.

    Organize your boat so you know exactly where everything is, it'll save searching for it.......and keep the landing net handy!

    Good luck!
  10. davesoutfishing

    davesoutfishing New Member

    Menominee Michigan
    nice setup ya got their looks like ya got plenty of light I wanna have mine like that but gotta wait for awhile
  11. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Trapper I like that amber light on the inside of the boat.
  12. fishhook

    fishhook New Member

    Willow Woo
    Go to then pick your state and get all the information you need or even take their boating course online and get certified for your state. Stay safe and good boating.
  13. bigmic900

    bigmic900 New Member

    a good spotlight a good batt powered lantern a good camera and cat eyes led headlamps that mount to the bill of your hat. and a radio:0a18:
  14. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel New Member

    I recently installed two six foot sections of amber light rope just below the rails on my catfish rig. The effect is hard to capture on my little flash camera. In the dark everything from the rails down is bathed in soft amber light. It is good enough to find the objects I want and to avoid tripping over those I do not. I have them wired with switches so that I can run one rope at a time or both. To reduce the power draw and soften the light I installed a 12v dimmer switch on each rope. This way I can produce as much or as little light as I need.

    We also both wear LED lights on the bills of our hats for knot tieing ect.

    #1 on the flashlights for backup. I keep two maglights and a propane latern on board for emergencies.

    I use a red/green flashlight type front running light. The rear white light is a clear lense truck clearance light mounted on a 4 foot section of PVC with the wires inside the pipe.

    This picture shows the installation. Excuse the mess in the boat (coolers, ect.) when we are not fishing the boat becomes storage space.


    Attached Files:

  15. metalfisher

    metalfisher New Member

    I fish 98% of the time at night. A minor detail that most don't realize is reflected light limits your vision. Get rid of anything white in the boat. Paint the inside of the boat a dull flat color or install a charcoal carpet.

    The dull finish allows you to use a Q-beam type light without blinding yourself.

  16. SubnetZero

    SubnetZero New Member

    Sherman IL
    Some things I've found helpful:
    Organize everything possible. "A place for everything and everything in its place" goes a long way when/if you try to move around on the boat in the dark.
    After a few trips, review all the stuff in your boat. Do you really need it? When I first got my boat, I way over packed stuff that I found I really didnt need. Getting rid of stuff you "may" or may not ever use cleaned the clutter up quite a bit..
    Always keep a good walkway clear from front to back.. You dont want to be tripping over poles and coolers if you have to move to the other end if there is any kind of problem needing attention or fighting a big fish.
    Lots of good boating info and upgrades/setups in the BOC Library.
    You might feel silly, but after setting up your boat for nite fishing. While at the house, climb up in it at nite, sit in your chair like you were fishing and spend a few minutes just looking around. Looks at things you may want to change or add and just get a feel on how its setup.. Much easier to change and move stuff around in your drive than on the water :wink: (I actually broke out a pole and threw it in the holder hehe) Keep most used items handy (pliers, clippers, flashlights, net, etc) and easily reachable from your fishing chair..
  17. PeZ

    PeZ New Member

    1st (Law Requires) A green and clear light in the front of the boat down low and the pole light in the back.

    2nd A 12 volt outlet

    3rd A spot light.

    4th A lantern.

    Thats the basics for lights needed.

    Good luck have fun.
  18. BailBonds

    BailBonds New Member

    I think required lighting for boats is pretty much universal as far as navigation goes. Just do a google search on "boat navigation lights". As far as line rigging lights, red has been recognized by the military since WW2 as the best since it effects your night vision the least. My previous boat had 12V red rope lighting along the transom and gunnels and worked very well. You could see your lines set and still see approaching boats. Some large spreader lights light up the night but pretty much blind you beyond it's own area.
  19. maumeeflats

    maumeeflats New Member

    smitty , did you make those rod holders or buy them?
  20. duxsrus

    duxsrus New Member

    SW Ohio
    I'm not smitty, but they're home-made. Here's a link to the article in the library about how to make them. There's lots of other rod holder designs in there too.