Nighttime Navigation

Discussion in 'MISSOURI RIVERS TALK' started by Malichi1970, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. Malichi1970

    Malichi1970 New Member

    Fenton, Missouri
    I don't have much experience, but I know when me and cpalombo went out at night in his boat it was a real dark night. There was no moon and a fog moved in on top of the river. Heading back to the boat ramp I asked him how he could see anything and he told me he was steering by way of his GPS. Trying to get to each buoy as he navigated the channel. He said that he had run the course we were traveling many times and had it programmed into his GPS. All we did was watch for debris in the river and got around just fine. I've never done this myself and I may of explained that wrong, but I'm pretty sure thats how he did it. So if you have a GPS on your boat then I would say thats a definite bonus to navigating at night. Good Luck and be safe.
  2. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    East of KC
    I've never navigated the Miss at night, but the only time I fish during the summer is at night on the MO river. Best thing I've found is to get to know a stretch of river (which it sounds like you've done) during the day. Lay in a good, clean (middle of channel, far from bouys, etc) track on your gps and mark your wing dykes. You can do this on a couple of trips, one to mark dykes, one to make your track, whatever works for you. The key is to have a track you KNOW is safe saved on your gps. When you want to get to your hole (the end of a dyke, a flat whatever), you know when you leave your saved track you need to putt along till you get to your waypoint. When you leave, same thing, putt out until you're on your saved track and away you go. Good Luck!


  3. jim

    jim New Member

    Jacksonville NC
    Navigating at night is part voodoo part science,General rules 1,ALWAYS have a life preserver on 2,ALWAYS have your kill switch lanyard hooked up 3,ALWAYS have your lights on. 4,ALWAYS have a sound producing device on board.5,ALWAYS reduce your speed at night.If you navigate by GPS keep this in mind ITS HARD to look at the device AND keep your eye on the water,which is why it is a good idea to have a partner.Check your error on the GPS before you start so you know how much you can be off.Practice navigating by GPS in the daytime.WHen we get bored I put a blanket over the console and navigate without looking while someone else drives.Its like a simulator and builds up your confidence tremendously.Learn the stars and moon positions and look at them even if you HAVE a GPS.The GPS device is electric and subject to failure.GO slow!!!!!! and also dont go fast!!!!!!!!:big_smile:
  4. MoMudCat

    MoMudCat New Member

    I run the river at night a lot, just a little south of where you are talking about. A combination of everything that has been said is what you need. Lean the stretch of river, use the shore channel marker lights and spot the bouys with a light. GO SLOW!! I never get on plane unless I have quite a bit of moon light to run by. That is just me, but so far so good. I don't have GPS so I can't help you with that. You might want to wait for a full moon and get used to being out there at night with some help from the moon! It really does make a big difference, I think. Things seem much more "spooky" when it is pitch black then when you have some moon light reflecting off the water in front of you. I'm up that way quiet a bit. PM me if you want to go sometime.
  5. jeffw51

    jeffw51 New Member

    gps is the way to go, i have been trapped in fog banks so dense that i could not tell right left ,up down i could not even see the water !once it was so bad i could not travel until daylight so i waited it out .i did not have a gps at the time it would have made things a lot easier.