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Night Fishing From The Bank

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Original post made by Mike Clements(Catchaser) on March 27, 2003

Night fishing from the bank can be the most fun or the worst experience you ever had, being prepared for the adventure helps.

There is more involved than just picking a spot on the bank and wetting a line. I know people who do this and then complain that they do not catch many fish. When getting ready for a night trip consider several factors.

1. What time of year is the trip and especially what kind of weather to expect.

2. Location, location, location. Just because there are fish there during the day does not mean there will be fish there at night and vice versa. Choose a place that is close enough to your parking spot since you’ll be lugging equipment. Also level ground is best for chairs, equipment and setting rods. It should be in a spot that is not pounded with wind or if is at least has shelter from the wind. If you can find a place that is not overcrowded, you’re more likely to enjoy this trip.

3. Check your equipment. Since you’ll be fishing all night, check that you don’t forget anything. Make a list of what you will need and gather it in a central location prior to leaving. Some items you will need include at least two sources of light like a lantern and flashlight. Headlamps come in handy as do portable black lights for tying up rigs and baiting hooks. A good sharp knife, or three. A cooler, with fresh water, other drinks, & snacks. Toilet paper can be the most important item you bring above anything else. You may be far from a bathroom and scratching up leaves at night is not fun. Collapsible outdoors chairs are also a must. You are camped out on the bank and the ground or rocks are only comfortable for a short time. Glow sticks come in very handy. If you were to hurt yourself and you are alone or with somebody the glow stick can be the difference between someone seeing you or not. If you fall into the water they make you very visible. Rod holders come in extremely handy. If you fall asleep or are out checking out your surroundings the rod holders will ensure that your gear will be there when you return. Fishing bells are also a good thing to have if you are not watching your lines or fall asleep. When you get a bite they will alert you to the biting fish. You also need plenty of terminal tackle for your trip. Remember what you take is all that you have.

Finally, be sure to have plenty of bait on hand. If you have the chance a few days before you go fishing, throw a chum bag in the spot you plan to fish. A good time to do this is during the middle of a weekday when few anglers are out on the water. This way when you show up, there are not anglers camped out in your spot. You may also want to take along some waterproof matches and some camping jelly to make a fire if weather permits. A rain suit in a bag “that can be purchased at any sporting goods stores” is not only compact and light but is very effective in even the heaviest downpours. Make sure the rain suit you choose not only has a hood but will be large enough to fit over your fishing clothes and offer ample room to move around. If you are a medium then get a large, if you are a large then get an extra large and so on. Snake bite kits and insect repellant are also very important items to have on hand. Just remember that if you get the insect repellant on your hands it can end up on your bait. Also, if using minnows the repellant on your forearms can get into your bucket and on your bait. Be careful where you step. I would suggest taking a walking trip over the terrain you plan to traverse so you don’t come upon any unexpected holes, ditches, or other obstacles to avoid broken bones. Keep your eyes open for bedded down snakes and other wildlife. Walking up upon them could provoke a defensive attack.

Now, with all this preparation and warning, you might be wondering why you would want to go to the trouble of night fishing. But once you are all set up, watching the stars chase the moon across the night sky and listening to crickets while your fish rises shining from the dark water, you'll realize that this is one the best forms of cat fishing and one of the most relaxing. The next morning you will enjoy the sunrise shining on God's creation. Then you know it is time to pack up, gather your catch and head for the house.

Cat Chaser
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