Nighttime is one of the best times to target several different fish species. Not only is the air cooler, but the water is as well, which means the fish are more apt to come out in search of food. Although night fishing from a kayak isn’t for everyone, it can be a real treat, especially during the hot days of summer. If you have never ventured out on the water at night to do some fishing from the kayak, these tips will help you stay safe during your nighttime fishing expedition.
Elements of Risk
Getting out in your kayak at night comes with a certain element of risk, so it is critical that you take a few extra steps to ensure your safety. The most important thing you can do for your safety is to always wear a life vest. It is also helpful to fish with a friend, not only for the conversation, but in case there is an emergency while your on the water. Do not go outside your usual comfort zone when fishing at night. For example, do not attempt to fish in more challenging water than what you typically fish in and don’t go out further than you normally would during the daylight.
When you are using a kayak, you should exercise extra caution, especially at nighttime. It is highly recommended that you avoid areas that possibly have powerboat traffic. If there are times when you might cross an area where you will encounter other boats, it is important to have your kayak appropriately lit with a powerful light. Avoid setting up in a boat channel, under a bridge or in passable areas with frequent traffic.
What to Bring
There are only a few basic tools you will need for a successful night of fishing. The most important things you will need are a good light, a GPS and a radio. Lights are obviously extremely important for nighttime fishing. You should keep a head lamp available to help with tying knots or removing a fish, but it will also allow other traffic to see you before they spot your kayak. A flashlight can be used to alert other boaters of your location by simply flashing it several times in the direction of traffic. Don’t forget to take extra batteries for all lights you have onboard. A good GPS can prevent you from running to close to a sand bar or hitting the rocks, and it can help pinpoint where fishy water and the bite is. A radio is essential for communicating with others, especially in the case of an emergency.
The Best Spot
When choosing the best spot for nighttime fishing on a kayak, stick to familiar areas. A good trick is to go out during the day and mark a spot for your nighttime adventure. Keeping good marks with the GPS will help you stay oriented to where you are going and getting you home safely.
Which Tackle Works Best?
It is best to use the simplest tackle, because it is more difficult to tie lures in the dark and untangling a line can be extremely difficult without a bright light. Live bait typically works the best for nighttime fishing, but if you prefer plastics, use fluorescent or bright colors.
Although there isn’t really a bad time for fishing at night, the best fishing usually happens about an hour after dark. Always remember that your safety is the important thing, so always use caution. It is better to be safe than sorry, so always take your cell phone, a change of clothes, extra water and food with you on the kayak, and make sure someone on land knows you are going out and a general direction of where you intend to fish.