Night fishing; pros and cons

Zerkalo

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I haven't been night fishing before until last night. Tell a lie, when I went to Ireland with the Starlets we used to fish a canal next to the pub we were staying in of the evening until after dark with starlights on our pole floats and catch a load of Bream. God knows how we were allowed to do that as kids to be fair, but I remember streetlights along the canal which made it easier.

So if I reflect on how I found it there were some positives and some negatives.

Pros
- In a lot of cases the fish will feed more freely
- It's quite peaceful once you get over the spookiness if you're not afraid of the dark

Cons
- Danger; you could fall in or hook yourself or something
- The batteries on your head torch could go and you'd be stuck
- You can't see as much when playing a fish, in the case of snag prone fish like Chub you just have to hit and hold.
- If you get snagged and lose a rig it can be difficult to get set up again
- It's tiring
- Anyone could be about at that hour, murderers etc

There's probably more I can't think of, and of course you can limit some of the cons by preparing and taking precautions, but all in all, it's not something that I can see myself doing very often especially on rivers. No night fishing on the BAA Severn for the most part anyway. Maybe I would enjoy it more on a lake but you still have to deal with some of the cons like limited visibility. I think I'll stick to packing away after witching hour for the majority of the time. Full respect to those who night fish well though.
 

Total

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I've always liked the peacefulness of night fishing even in London, but have always gone mob handed, it's safer and more enjoyable....

Even now we have a couple of nights on the Thames usually around Staines, although sadly the fishing is nowhere near what it used to be. It's really the only time other water users and the general public leave us anglers alone to do what we do enjoy best.

These days we more enjoy fishing into dark just for a couple of hours or making a really early start to miss the road traffic. This we have found (for us) is more productive, but I must admit I do miss my sessions on the Severn at Bridgnorth....You are very lucky having such a fine river literally on your doorstep...(y)
 

Zerkalo

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I've always liked the peacefulness of night fishing even in London, but have always gone mob handed, it's safer and more enjoyable....

Even now we have a couple of nights on the Thames usually around Staines, although sadly the fishing is nowhere near what it used to be. It's really the only time other water users and the general public leave us anglers alone to do what we do enjoy best.

These days we more enjoy fishing into dark just for a couple of hours or making a really early start to miss the road traffic. This we have found (for us) is more productive, but I must admit I do miss my sessions on the Severn at Bridgnorth....You are very lucky having such a fine river literally on your doorstep...(y)
A lot of Severn anglers I see and speak to will stay an hour or two after dark and say that's one of the best times. I'll usually fish till just about dark then chicken out. I could retitle the thread 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid', but it's a bit better now I've learned to take the A458 instead of the A442 which is much windier for a night drive.
 

rudd

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A lot of your points get covered by a ridgemonkey headtorch which has green light function that does not mess up eyes or spook fish.
Fish feed confidently at night -away from the daytime snags. As it’s dark you can use heavier gear.
Peg/swim, familerise yourself during daylight. Mark steps etc with something you can see. It’s surprising what you can see with adjusted eyes.
You have more chance of getting mugged/stabbed in the pub.
 

Zerkalo

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I won't reply to every individual point you make with a counterargument but have heard of green light head torches, clever stuff 🤓 I have a Petzl which does me for the limited time I use it.
 

squimp

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I love night fishing and used to do a lot of session fishing - so several days/night on the spin. These days I’ve cut back to shorter trips, but most involve winter fishing into dark (particularly for barbel, chub and Stillwater roach).

Public access waters tend to be quieter at night (syndicates not so much) so that provides a wider choice of swims and sometimes even the option to rove swims in the dark. Roving in darkness demands minimum tackle - otherwise moving becomes a trial and ‘stuff’ gets left behind.

Successful night fishing demands good organisation - you need to have you kit in the right place so you can find things in the dark. Casting needs to be accurate with distance and angles worked out in daylight. Then it is easy to recast to the right spot in the dark. You need a plan for adding free bait in the dark too…..

You probably need more kit - maybe a bigger brolly or even a bivvy, maybe a bedchair and sleeping bag. If you go that way , then buzzers etc become necessary. Whole night trips probably require a stove and cooking kit or at the very least a flask of something hot. Then you need the right gear to weigh a fish quickly and accurately in the dark and a decent camera in case you need a photo in pitch black….and a proper unhooking mat of course.

Zerkalo mentioned a head torch - that’s essential and you really need a backup or an additional small torch at the very least. I had to rely on a torch on a mobile phone one night last winter (my rechargeable headtorch broke) and walking 3/4 mile back to the car in the rain and the mud was no fun.

In my youth I used to night float fish for tench with a big torch and a 12 volt car battery ! All great until the bulb blew. I used to get thru about 3 bulbs a night which was fine as long as I had an additional small torch to illuminate proceedings and a pocketful of fresh bulbs…..

It’s all about being super organised.

Some Stillwater fish really do feed better in the dark (bream, roach, big rudd and sometimes carp for example) but other species generally feed better in daylight - notably tench and perch. So night fishing isn’t an advantage for all species (apart from the simple logistical benefit of staying put for several days!).

As far as the dangers go, I’m much more worried about falling in than being attacked by a ‘murderer’. The latter I don’t worry about, but falling in isn’t an option - so swim choice in the dark is paramount for me.

Last point, fishing in the dark should be just as much fun as it is in daylight. If you aren’t enjoying it or you don’t feel safe just pack up and go home. There’s always another time and another place.
 

Zerkalo

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I won't say I didn't enjoy it but there was definitely a sense of relief nothing went wrong.
 

badgerale

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I've done it a couple of times. I enjoy it for the freedom to spend the evening and early morning fishing without worrying about having to pack up and travel.

Actually trying to fish in the dark isn't much fun for me, nor is being woken up by bite alarms. To be honest, the whole camping out side of things I could do without.
 

runningman

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Used to go night fishing with my lab, cons were I got pushed out of my bed chair ended up sleeping on the floor, one night I stepped on my glasses and had to drive home using one eye but he was great company i haven’t been night fishing since I lost him. Always buy the night permit for my lake but haven’t used it for two years.
 

Total

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I won't say I didn't enjoy it but there was definitely a sense of relief nothing went wrong.
You are dead right to night fish to the limits you set for YOURSELF or the event is not enjoyed, so none of this 'Wimpy Kid' stuff please.....Even after all these years, If I'm not comfortable doing something, I won't do it, end of.....I've got too many responsibilities to play the hero or taking any unnecessary chances....Me 'Mr Boring?'....I care not....:giggle:
 
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Zerkalo

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Yeah the good thing about the weir is that it's shallow down the edges and only a few foot deep at the deepest part so I always felt safe in that respect. A few thugs hanging about in cars smoking weed just before midnight but other than that didn't see a soul. Half expected someone else to be down fishing at dawn but no one did. River was low and clear so I doubt I would have caught much during the day, which made it worth it. As I say, respect to those who do it well, but I it's not 100% for me to do with any regularity.
 

BarryS

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I used to belong to a club with a lake next to a hill with a monastery on top of the hill. One night in pitch dark the monks began chanting.....really weird like the soundtrack to a horror film ........I didnt stay the night.
 

ukzero1

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I love my night fishing sessions, but I also take care on where I go, and when possible, don't go alone. There was one particular night, the fishing was a bit slow so I thought I'd put the wind up my mate. I threw a pebble into the tree that my mate had set up the kettle etc. As the pebble rattled down the branches, he came running over and said there's noises behind him. I told him not to worry, it was probably the Ghost Carp. He didn't want to night fish there any more.
 

Arch

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Most of my Barbel fishing extends into darkness. 11pm on work days and into the early hours on a weekend. All my gear is arranged the same way every time I go, so I know exactly where everything is. It's surprising how your eyes adapt to the darkness and being able to make things out in the dark becomes easier. I only turn the headtorch on to land a fish or bait the hook, then I'll face away from the water. Filling the feeder is done in the dark, you soon get used to it. Casting also becomes second nature. I've got the Whistle" app on my phone, and a selfie stick for the off chance I'll need them, and taking pictures isn't difficult. Being on your own is a little spooky, but you get to see and hear things lots of other people never do. It's nice to be there with someone else, but that's not always possible, so needs must for me. My biggest bug bare for me is I'm always tired after fishing late, as I'm normally in bed a lot earlier than I am when I've been out.

With regard to being spooked though, a true story from a night fishing the river Dove.

I was fishing on the Dove on a misty night a few years ago. My car was about 400yds away, parked on the road. As it was misty, the streetlights were casting their light across the playing field we walk across to the river. Every time I looked behind me towards my car, I could see someone standing in the field watching me. I'd look round later and as the mist had lifted a little, they'd be gone. The mist came down, back they came. I didn't think much of it as there was a pub close by, and I just though they were having fag. Anyway, this carried on all night and it became time to pack up. I'd have to walk past them to get to my car, so no point hanging about. Packed my gear away and they were still there, got a move on and walked over the field toward my car, got to where this person had been standing all night, and it turned out to be the "Lifebuoy" holder. LOL.
 

rd115

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I love night fishing.

The more remote and less people the better (Hence me asking over on BFW about the BMAA ticket @Arch r.e the Dove :D )


Decent head torch is a must, i use the following and battery lasts an age
Amazon product


USB powerpack is nice too, and just so happens i've very recently bought one
Amazon product

Anker is a very good brand, this charged up my Vape and phone last night from near empty (went fishing straight after work so had no time to charge stuff) Vape takes 2 x 21700 5000mAh batteries so takes a lot of juice to recharge. and my phone is 4500mAh, still had 2 bars left on the powerbank when i got home.

I'm not too worried about wrong'uns when fishing alone, i carry a 3" knife for cutting my boilies in half, and i also have lot of those heavy stainless steel banksticks close by with a nice pointy end. If someone wants some they better be prepared for some aggro. Also helps that i'm a 21 stone big barsteward.


For extra peace of mind you could invest in one of those bank stick perimiter alarms or three
Amazon product

Don't be surprised though it mice/rats/foxes/cows set it off :D



I don't really take a lot of stuff.

My Greys 2 rod holdall takes both my rods landing net handle and bank sticks.


My unhooking mat landing net, weigh sling and coffee flask folds up in my chair.



Everything else goes in my Greys Tacklebase rucksack. Can trek for miles like that.

I'll only take my Brolly shelter if rain is given out, can just strap that to my rod holdall although it's heavy. Arms like Popeye when i get to my peg :LOL:



There's room for food in the rucksack but dont usually bother as i'm quite used to fasting.
 
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crusty

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I agree with Arch, only use your headtorch if you have to, and always away from the water.

Wading in the dark sea trout fishing can be pretty intense. But I've tied on new leaders and flies stood mid-river without using a headtorch. It's surprising how much you can see once your eyes adjust.

Ian
 
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