Night Fishing

 

Firstly if you are afraid of the dark or believe in the Bogeyman I would not advise to go night fishing. A fishery at night can be a totally different proposition to fishing it during the day. If it’s your first time night fishing I would suggest you go with a friend to get you use to the experience. Rats, mice and other nocturnal animals rustling in the bushes, owls hooting and bats flying around can put many anglers off. If you stick with it though night fishing can be very rewarding. I would suggest before you go night fishing ensure the fishery allows night fishing. If so get to know the fishery and the layout during the day. This will at least give you some idea of good spots to try during the night and how far to cast out into the darkness. You can also clip up your line to the hotspots you find during the day as casting into darkness can be a very hit and miss affair. Fishing a lake at night is not too bad but river fishing at night can be very dangerous. You always seem to be closer to the rivers edge than you think and if you were unlucky enough to fall in you also have the current of the river to deal with.

If you are married and have kids like myself, night fishing can become your best friend. Your wife or partner won’t moan that you are spending all your day on the bank and not with the family. I always try to plan a night trip to coincide with the next day being free, so either a Friday or Saturday night may be a good bet.

I had never really caught much during my night sessions until a few years ago. I got to know the new stretch of river very well before attempting to go and then one session just started catching. As I said fishing at night can be very rewarding and also brings a whole new dimension to the fishing and logic of how to catch fish at night. This means sometimes you need a whole new approach, especially if you want to catch specimen fish. I personally love fishing under a full moon on a river with lots of stars in the sky. Something I would recommend every angler to try at least once. Magical.

After doing lots of night sessions on lakes with mediocre success I started concentrating on the rivers full time. During this time I had great success. The fish I was catching at night seemed to be generally a bigger size than the ones I caught throughout the day. Not sure whether this was just luck or the fact that it was night time. I believe in the phases of the moon and air pressure causing fish to feed harder at certain times throughout the month. Info on this can be found on:-

 

http://www.moonstrike.co.uk/

 

very interesting read. I started following this a few years back and even this season I have caught a 6LB 8oz chub at night on one of the moonstrike suggested dates. Over the years this has happened quite a few times. Decent fish on moonstrike suggested dates.

If you pick out a date to try this idea on also take a look at the air pressure on the weather forecast before you go. A moonstrike suggested date with rising air pressure can be a certain hit.

Get to know the venue during the day. Look out for feeding patterns and patrol routes the fish are taking. A baited spot in line with a patrol route can be a banker for a decent sized fish. I have also tried baiting up certain areas for a few days before you do the night session. Even when doing a night session carping be prepared to move during the night if needed. I have seen so many people just set up and sit there behind the alarms all night and go to sleep. If you would normally move during a day session if you had caught nothing for ages then saw fish crashing the other side of the lake why should night fishing be any different? Be mobile even at night. Try to get them feeding over a period of time on a bait other anglers will not be using. I normally bait up in clear gravel areas close in where I know other anglers won’t fish or even dream of fishing. Close to rushes or weed or under overhanging trees is a good bet. If you are fishing a river I would normally use fluorocarbon hooklinks during the day and braid during the night. The braid gives you more control over the fish and it is not as easy for the fish to spot during the night time.

 

 

A True Personal Night Fishing Story

 

This is a true story which actually happened to me about 8 years ago whilst night fishing for carp on a lake near Brentwood in Essex. It was a hot July night and I had booked the following day off work. I had planned this night session a few weeks in advance. The fishery was owned by a ex Essex gangster, who use to be a bit of a drug baron in the early eighties but had his lake which he allowed people to fish. The owner had a big illegal Pit Bull Terrier which I had come across on a few occasions. Although these dogs have a bad reputation this one was a friendly dog who would jump on your lap if you were sitting on your bed chair and proceed to try and lick you all over. The first time I saw it I was scared to death but once you got to know him he was fine. I got to the lake around 7pm and had told a few friends I was going. It turned out I was the only person on the lake that night which was surprising even for a week night. The lake is about 3-4 acres and is basically a crater in the ground from the world war which had filled with water. Over the years locals had introduced fish also the owner had stocked the lake with good sized specimens. There were quite a few nice carp in there going to over 40LB. There were small caravans situated around the lake which you could also go in if it started raining.

I cast out and a few hours had passed. It was around 11pm and I was laying on my unhooking mat on the floor when I heard a commotion coming from the car park. As I looked up I saw two dark figures coming from the dirt track leading from the car park area. There was voices shouting “were gonna kill him” in an angry weird voice. On closer inspection the two male figures looked very strange with crazy mohican shaped hairdo's that I could just make out in the darkness. I jumped up ready to rumble and it turned out that two of my mates were on their way to a fancy dress party, both dressed as Rod Stewart and Adam Ant with funny wigs on. They thought it would be a laugh to come over and try to scare me. We chatted for a while and then they left for their party. I lay on my unhooking mat for another hour or two. By this time it was around 1am. As I lay looking up at the stars I heard a strange sound, ching, ching, ching. The noise sounded like a dog with a chain on. I assumed it was my mates coming back to try another practical joke. I quickly jumped up expecting to see my mates or the owners pit bull terrier. As I looked at the dark track leading from the car park a big white shape emerged from the darkness. To my left in front of me stood a huge English Bull terrier. This was a dog I had not seen before. He just stood there staring at me with a fixed glaze. I thought to myself you might be in trouble here. Just at that moment I heard ching, ching, ching to my right. I looked round and standing there was the biggest rottweiler I had ever seen. I was standing in the middle of these two dogs, totally alone on the lake in the middle of nowhere. By then I was thinking to myself you are in real trouble here. I had so many things running through my mind. Do I run for it and jump in the lake? Looking at them staring at me I thought they were going to eat me alive. I slowly felt in my pocket and had a few dog mixers. I threw them on the floor near the dogs while saying "good boy". To my despair they didn't touch them at all, they just both stood firm staring at me. By now I was sweating. I slowly started walking backwards towards one of the caravans I had set up near. I quickly opened the door and jumped in closing the door shut behind me. The dogs had by now moved towards the door of the caravan jumping up at the door barking ferociously. I held the door shut whilst trying to peer out of the window. They were still outside jumping at the door. I had to stay in the caravan for half an hour before they stopped barking. After it went quiet I stayed in the caravan for another hour just to make sure they had gone. I slowly poked my head around the door and luckily they had gone.

By 6am another angler arrived. I told him what had happened and he told me; "the dogs belong to someone who lives near the lake and they sometimes patrol the lake for the fishery owner". Apparently one would track round the lake from the left, the other from the right.

Surprisingly I never did return to the lake after this.

 

To this day that night is still the scariest of my life.