Best Time for Night Fishing

Is there any other species?
FrankW
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Best Time for Night Fishing

Post by FrankW » Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:29 am

Now that it hotter than blazes here in Florida we are planning some night fishing. We know what baits to use but have no idea of what is the best time at night to fish. We can go early or late or any where in between. Does anyone have a preferred time of night to fish. Is a moon lite night better?

Looking forward to your comments and thanks for sharing.

Frank

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Re: Best Time for Night Fishing

Post by toddmc » Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:33 am

I have tens of thousands of hours of night fishing experience. I loved reading Doug Hannon's works when I was a teenager and I thought I should keep very detailed logs of all of my excursions and that I should be very scientific about fishing. Well, thirty years and many logs later, the answer to this question is that there are many more variables than just the moon phase. You can't just pick a moon phase and expect it to be more productive. The Astro Tables are a good place to start, but they are no guarantee for a best time to go night fishing.
It is probably easiest to fish the few days leading up to the full moon because it is easier to see for the angler. These few days leading up to the full moon also have higher fish activity levels for night fishing. But, weather patterns, water levels/clarity, season, and many other variables can come into effect and often trump a scheduled feeding period according to the moon phase charts for productivity. For instance, whether or not the pumps are running on one of the golf course lakes in my backyard can trump all other variables. It's just plain better when the pumps are moving water.
Also, some guys argue that certain moon phases are better for big fish. I have caught many big fish during every moon phase. Keep it simple. As a rule, use bigger black lures because they are often easier for the fish to see against the night sky. Use lures that push more water/vibrate because fish can find them better at night. Increase your line size if you are fishing in an area with big fish because you can get away with it.
Lastly, be stealthy. The fish can see and hear better than you think. Fish can see your shadows, just like in the day. Just go night fishing because you really can't have any more fun at night! :D

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Re: Best Time for Night Fishing

Post by FrankW » Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:02 am

Hi toddmc,

I guess my question was not clear. What time of night is the best time to fish or does it make any difference? Do I go at 6pm and fish till midnight. Do I start at midnight and fish into dawn. Do I go at 10pm and fish till 6am. Just would like some input about when to go. Is there any time that the fish are more active when it is dark.

Frank

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Re: Best Time for Night Fishing

Post by toddmc » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:41 am

FrankW wrote:Hi toddmc,

I guess my question was not clear. What time of night is the best time to fish or does it make any difference? Do I go at 6pm and fish till midnight. Do I start at midnight and fish into dawn. Do I go at 10pm and fish till 6am. Just would like some input about when to go. Is there any time that the fish are more active when it is dark.

Frank
According to the Astro Tables, you should fish the major feeding periods in the evening during the 4 or 5 days before the full moon. Like I said earlier, there are other variables, but the last few days before the full moon are easier for you see and navigate if you are fishing by boat or walking in heavy cover areas with snakes. These days will also allow you to not have to wait until the wee hours of the night for the major feeding periods (this is a lot harder to recover from). These last few days before the full moon will be the strongest night feeding periods on paper, when not trumped by other variables like the weather. Once you get comfortable fishing at night, try other moon phases.

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Re: Best Time for Night Fishing

Post by JBcrankaddict » Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:05 am

One thing I have always heard is to wait at least an hour after the sun totally sets to allow the fish vision to adjust to the darkness the same way human eyes need to adjust. Don't know how true this is but I have noticed a difference.

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Re: Best Time for Night Fishing

Post by steve1206 » Thu Jun 26, 2014 4:43 am

FrankW wrote:Hi toddmc,

I guess my question was not clear. What time of night is the best time to fish or does it make any difference? Do I go at 6pm and fish till midnight. Do I start at midnight and fish into dawn. Do I go at 10pm and fish till 6am. Just would like some input about when to go. Is there any time that the fish are more active when it is dark.

Frank
Its hard to predict with a lot of variables. I fish a lot of 11-hour night tournaments (8p-7a)..I've seen nights where the "apparent" best feeding window may be 10p-midnight, or 12a-2a, or 2a-4a....and I've seen it vary from night to night, week to week, or month to month...and it is hard to pin down a reason why...and there is also the variable of whether your spots just may not be producing. I do agree with the previous poster that way more often than not, the first hour of darkness (9p-10p for us right now)can be the slowest..but not always..Yes, fishing all night can be the cure..

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Re: Best Time for Night Fishing

Post by toddmc » Thu Jun 26, 2014 5:25 am

steve1206 wrote:
FrankW wrote:Hi toddmc,

I guess my question was not clear. What time of night is the best time to fish or does it make any difference? Do I go at 6pm and fish till midnight. Do I start at midnight and fish into dawn. Do I go at 10pm and fish till 6am. Just would like some input about when to go. Is there any time that the fish are more active when it is dark.

Frank
Its hard to predict with a lot of variables. I fish a lot of 11-hour night tournaments (8p-7a)..I've seen nights where the "apparent" best feeding window may be 10p-midnight, or 12a-2a, or 2a-4a....and I've seen it vary from night to night, week to week, or month to month...and it is hard to pin down a reason why...and there is also the variable of whether your spots just may not be producing. I do agree with the previous poster that way more often than not, the first hour of darkness (9p-10p for us right now)can be the slowest..but not always..Yes, fishing all night can be the cure..
11 hour night tournaments would mess up my sleep pattern for a week. That's hardcore. But, 11 hours can give you the time to see how more than one feeding period produces.
Last edited by toddmc on Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best Time for Night Fishing

Post by spiderguy4978 » Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:54 pm

Another variable to take into consideration would be the activity level of the water. The lake I normally fish has a lot of pleasure boaters and people swimming all day long. My best fish at night have normally come after about 30 minutes +/- after everyone has gone home and all the boats have been put away for the night. I have also noticed if the lake wasn't that busy during the day, the night bite seems to take a little longer to start up.

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Re: Best Time for Night Fishing

Post by toddmc » Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:24 am

Did you go out there and rip their lips off Frank W., or are you waiting for the fuller moon?

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Re: Best Time for Night Fishing

Post by Teal101 » Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:49 am

JBcrankaddict wrote:One thing I have always heard is to wait at least an hour after the sun totally sets to allow the fish vision to adjust to the darkness the same way human eyes need to adjust. Don't know how true this is but I have noticed a difference.
I dont know the reasoning, but this seems to apply to my waters. Dusk is good fishing, then it is absolutely DEAD for another hour or so.

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Re: Best Time for Night Fishing

Post by FrankW » Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:00 am

toddmc wrote:Did you go out there and rip their lips off Frank W., or are you waiting for the fuller moon?
Hi toddms,

No, I have not made it yet. Have been under the weather and not fished at all the last two weeks. Those Golden Years striking again.

Frank

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Re: Best Time for Night Fishing

Post by toddmc » Sat Jul 05, 2014 9:56 am

FrankW wrote:
toddmc wrote:Did you go out there and rip their lips off Frank W., or are you waiting for the fuller moon?
Hi toddms,

No, I have not made it yet. Have been under the weather and not fished at all the last two weeks. Those Golden Years striking again.

Frank
I hope you feel better soon.

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Re: Best Time for Night Fishing

Post by toddmc » Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:13 am

Teal101 wrote:
JBcrankaddict wrote:One thing I have always heard is to wait at least an hour after the sun totally sets to allow the fish vision to adjust to the darkness the same way human eyes need to adjust. Don't know how true this is but I have noticed a difference.
I dont know the reasoning, but this seems to apply to my waters. Dusk is good fishing, then it is absolutely DEAD for another hour or so.
I have had this happen quite often also. But, the fish more often than not bite even better later. I fished a night tournament last summer where I thought I would crush them for the last hour of daylight because the weather and feeding period were lined up perfect. It wasn't until about an hour after dark that they started biting. They fed heavily for several straight hours and I ended up losing a fish about 10lbs. at the boat at about 11:30 p.m., just before I had to be off the lake. It was a weird night. The fish seem to want the moon up to feed some evenings, even when the highest rated feeding period on paper is at dusk. I wish the fish could tell me why they wait!

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Re: Best Time for Night Fishing

Post by RipN-Lips » Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:33 am

Fish from dusk till Dawn!! I've found that once it's DARK I don't do very well unless there's a moon....does seem to be a quiet period from dusk until the moon wakes em up. And then it seems to get quiet again eventually until I switch baits to something louder

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Re: Best Time for Night Fishing

Post by BigG » Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:44 am

I love to start late afternoon to catch that bite, when that stops take a dinner break for an hour to eat and change tackle for night fishing. Most nights we would take a nap about 2:30 and then fish the earlier morning bite also.

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