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Hints on Night Fishing
There is something magical about night fishing if you are in the right kind of place. In my view nothing can beat the mystical magic & moonlight. It's quieter & the fish can be hungry, sometimes they bite with more boldness, & often they will come RIGHT into the shallow margins (if you have no fire), other times they can feed in similar places to daytime fishing. The sorts of places where daytime disturbance is high ,could be the place to fish after dark. There can be all kinds of different noises at night though, & it helps to have some kind of bite detection on your lines. In lots of waters in the U.K. most of the fish come out at night. In Canada though I have not found this to be the case , often the bite goes off shortly after dusk, & it seems that early morning is the time to bag -up.
Some of my most productive sessions have been at night In the U.K, although it takes a bit of practice to become proficient at it. Simple things like casting to a hotspot can be a real problem if you dont know 1 or 2 simple tricks which make this much easier, watch the opposite bank for visible marks at dusk, often silloettes can be seen from which you can judge directions, or even better a lighted mark on the far bank. If you are fishing in the margin ( near bank) & accuracy is essential, then just use a flashlight breifly while casting, it wont unduly affect the fishing.
Then, when you have a fish on; in the blackness of night it is not so easy playing an unseen opponent, especially near to snags. A trick that I learnt very early on was to dip your rod tip & lift the line off the water fairly rapidly. The line cutting up from the water descibing a perfect 'Vee' towards your angry opponent, you can also use this trick to find out which direction the line went when casting out. Also you can determine fishing distance in the dark very easily by marking the spot accurately on the line with a waterproof marker ( in daylight) or tying a braided stop knot on the line. You can prevent overcasting the spot by wrapping an elastic band around the spool ,if using a spinning reel.
Baiting up can be tricky at night , since if your eyesight is anything (terrible) like mine, then the hair loop might as well be made of invisible thread. This is where that thick braided line comes in handy, no need for thin line at night as it wont be seen , so long as its supple it will do just fine. I find that a looped needle is much easier than using a barbed one at night ( of course you could always just stick the bait on the hook !). Also with a little preparation, you can have all your rigs tied up & baited ,just ready to snap onto the swivel with a snap link, cant get much easier than that ! A word of warning, keep your bait safe , as it wont take to long for some kind of nocturnal bait bandit to arrive on the scene ( racoons or similar).
I dont use much light while fishing at night as your eyesight will never adjust to the darkness. Better to just use a flashlight for baiting up & unhooking the fish. If there is one time to become organised while fishing ,it is at night that this is really driven home. Try & keep all your gear in there right places as it will take 5 times longer to find anything in the dark.
Finally, remember the mosquitos have no mercy at night , be prepared & take some protection so you wont become food only for some other creature ! Another thing to consider at all times but especially in the night is the use of barbless hooks, even more so in the night since they are much easier to 'disimpale' from your ear lobe & also makes unhooking the fish easy too. There are a couple of lines of info ,
Good Luck, Carpsava
NNightime falls on College Reservoir in Cornwall England