Surf Fishing At Night
Fishing from the surf at night is often more productive than fishing during the daytime. Many predator fish found in the surf have nocturnal feeding habits.
5 Reasons Why Nighttime Surf Fishing Better
- More fish come closer to the shoreline to feed at night
- You have a better chance of catching bigger fish
- More fish are within casting distance at night
- There is less disturbance from swimmers and surfers
- There is less competition from other surf anglers
Preparation Is The Key To Successful Nighttime Surf Fishing
You should definitely scout the beach during the daylight hours at low tide to find a good spot to fish. At low tide you will be able to see where deeper holes and pockets are. If your lucky enough to find a rip or cut through a sandbar make that one of your first choices.
Don’t forget to look at a tide chart to see what time you can be at the surf line during high tide. High tide will bring the big feeders in close for you. Try to catch a few hours before and after high tide. Peak high tide or in other words the slack tide when it switches from incoming to out going will be unproductive but you still have good hours to fish on both sides of the tide change. Figure on arriving two hours before high tide and fish a four hour window.
Be sure to check the weather forecast. High winds and rough surf will prevent you from having any success at all. Fishing in the rain is no fun either.
It’s a good idea to have all the surf rigs you plan to use tied and ready to go. The darkness makes it that much more difficult to sort through your tackle to find hooks, sinkers and leader material. Putting the rigs together and tying knots it much slower after darkness sets in.
It goes without saying that you should have a good flashlight and better yet a headlamp also. A headlamp will give you the luxury of working hands free for anything you have to do. Don’t forget the bug spray. Forgetting the bug spray can make your trip miserable.
I highly recommend using a checklist to be sure you don’t forget anything. Any one item you forget can take most of the fun out of your trip.
Having More Than One Surf Rod Is Important
You never know what might be out in the surf at night. Have a couple of rods setup with different rigs. You can fish different baits or you can fish for bait (see my sabiki rig article and glow in the dark sabiki rigs). More surf rods give you more options.
Spinning reels with a bait runner feature are preferred. With a bait runner surf reel you can relax in a chair without worrying that a good size fish will yank your whole setup out into the surf. The dual drag systems have saved many a surf angler form losing an expensive rod and reel.
It’s much better if you have a friend that can go along with you. The company is always good and the extra hands are a big help landing larger fish.
Techniques for surf fishing at night are pretty much the same as regular daytime surf fishing. It’s just harder to see what you’re doing. You do have the advantage of avoiding the hot sun and the beach won’t be crowded either. Nighttime surf fishing is very relaxing.
If you haven’t considered surf fishing at night you are missing out on some of the best surf fishing you’ll ever see (No pun intended). You will catch more fish and bigger fish than you will during the day.