Late July, middle of August, and it's
hotter than hell during the day. So you figure "Aw, I'll just
go fishing tonight". There are a few things you should know
before blasting off from the dock, though. One is that, things look
a whole lot different out there at night than they do during the
day. I live on a river and the 1st few times I went out at night, I
had a hard time finding my own darn house, even when I left the
lights on. I prefer to be out on bright moonlit nights, not only to
be able to see what you're doing, but to enjoy the scenery as well.
I swear, sometimes it seems to me that I can even see colors on some
of those really bright nights. It may be a little scary, but it's
really a beautiful sight.
Anyway, An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as
they say. Prepare for your outing and you'll have a safe trip and a
good time, if the fish are biting, that is.
The U.S. Coast Guard has a few regulations for you to follow, day or
night, it makes no difference.
The most important one is to have
and wear a life preserver. You're also required to carry a throw able
flotation device. Keep it handy so that anyone can find it and
throw it out. Remember, the life you save may be your own!
Lights. Bow and stern lights are
required on your boat for night fishing. The most frequent
nighttime accident is running into unseen things in the dark.
Unlit boats are up there on the list.
Fire extinguisher. A currently
dated, approved type extinguisher is a must
A paddle is also required.
A horn or other functioning warning
device is next. A horn can become a vital piece of equipment in
the dark, either to alert others to your presence, or
to attract attention if you're in trouble.
Signal flares. They are required for
offshore fishing, and highly recommended to be carried onboard any
There are other recommended items that
you should consider bringing also.
A flashlight and spare batteries.
Check them ahead of time to make sure they work. I like to carry at least
2, because one is just to unreliable.
A First Aid kit and some basic hand
An anchor with enough rope to
securely hold the boat in safe water if you have trouble. It's
better than smashing into rocks or something else that's
worse. Throw it in at the first sign of trouble, don't wait.
A weather band radio, and listen to
it. Although it may seem nice out now, you can't really tell
what's coming your way just by looking up in the sky.
Navigation devices. GPS is the best
choice, but a compass can be considerable help, especially if a
heavy fog rolls in. Both GPS and a compass need some
practice with to learn to use them properly. A compass will only
show the direction you're heading, not where you're heading
to. To get compass headings and time required traveling on those
headings, you'd have make and record your run headings and
times during the day when you can see.
A hand bilge pump or other bailing
device, bucket or whatever. Electric pumps don't work without
Always try to fish with someone. It
can be really dangerous out there alone. Besides, if you catch a
big one, the extra hands will come in handy, I'm sure.
Lastly you should give someone
your plan for the night. Then you really have to stick to it,
otherwise it's no good to anyone. Try to pick fishing spots near
shore, at least until you get more experience and really learn the
Things like black lights, florescent
line, and florescent rod tips are available to keep you safely in,
or out of, contact with your tackle.
Take a few precautions, scout your locations during the day,
carefully prepare, and go have a good time. The big boys like to
come out at night. What to throw at them will be in our other
Stay safe and Happy Fishing.