How to Have a Successful Night Time Saltwater Fishing Trip
So you’ve got your gear from Eat My Tackle and have had success fishing during the day, but what about saltwater fishing at night? Contrary to what some may believe, Nighttime fishing can be a lot of fun and given the unique environment, make the fishing a more satisfying experience.
Inspect Your Boat and Gear
The first thing you need to do is pick a time when the weather forecast is fair: you don’t want to be stuck in your boat while in the middle of torrential rainfall. Second, make sure your boat is working. Being stuck on a malfunctioning boat during the day is nothing compared to being stuck in the middle of the water at night.
Make certain you’ve got enough light sources. There needs to be more than a few indirect lighting along the gunnels, and for good measure, bring a few flashlights and reserve batteries. You'll never know if tonight will yield a lot of fish, and you’ll be out all night!
As already stated, you need more light sources when night time saltwater fishing. But what kind of light source? Fluorescent light sticks are a good idea because they illuminate the entire boat with the option to be hung on the gunnels. If you want to save money, get a few flashlights and place them in watertight holders.
Don’t forget to tie a sufficient number of terminal rigs and leaders to last for the duration of your trip. And if you’re going to bottom fish and anchor, set everything up before the sun goes down because anchoring your boat is difficult in the moonlight. Once your boat and gear are ready, you can start fishing.
Movement and Scent
At night, the game is all about movement or scent, which means that sportfish must sense food or notice wounded prey. For the best results, you should fish with live bait lined on the bottom or the outside of the chum. Strip or cut bait will work well for your chum line, and any of them will be effective.
If you pick a good location, the fish will come even though it’s dark, and with luck, your anchored boat will be the site of a fish frenzy in no time. A lot of saltwater fish like to feed at night so don’t be surprised if a lot of them go after the chum, especially the snappers. But you won’t be limited to just snappers because other fish are likely to join in because of the frenzy.
Another tip: the bigger species of fish are more likely to be enticed in and bitten by your leader or line since they are less cautious at night and won't pay close attention to it. The type of fish to catch depends on the location, but among the ones you’ll probably come across are mutton snapper, mangrove snapper, grouper, yellowtail, and king mackerel. Just like on any other fishing trip, it helps to change the bait and saltwater fishing tackle every now and then and try different locations so the fish don’t “wise” up.
Advice on Saltwater Fishing Equipment
Just like in any nighttime fishing adventure, you need the right saltwater fishing equipment. The kind of saltwater fishing tackle you use depends on the fish you’re trying to catch and where you’re fishing.
For starters, use a 30-pound test line for your main line and a 20-pound fluorocarbon leader. If you want to catch bigger fish, go with 50 or 60-pound test lines. As for the rod, use one that’s seven feet long since it will give you more leverage when dealing with big fish. If you don’t have a big enough boat, then use a shorter rod so you can maneuver better in smaller areas.
The reel should have a good drag system because nighttime fishing generally means bigger fish. A good rule of thumb is to get a reel that can hold more line than the rod can.
As for lures, you can use just about anything as long as it glows in the dark. You want something that will attract the fish without being too big or too small. Bigger lures are better for bigger fish, while smaller lures are better for smaller fish.
With the right equipment and preparation, you’re sure to have a successful night time saltwater fishing trip. Just remember to bring enough lights, have the right saltwater fishing tackle, and choose the right location. Check out all our gear today! With a little bit of luck, you’ll be bringing home a big catch in no time!