How to Fish at Night (13 Techniques for Fishing at Night)

Are you interested in trying your luck in the evening? Fear not if you are a novice at night fishing! You can learn to catch fish in the dark if you have enough insight. Here, you’ll learn everything there is to know about how to fish at night, from choosing the right equipment to finding the best spots to cast your line. Gather your supplies because we’re about to embark on a thrilling nighttime journey of how to fish at night!

Why Fish at Night?

There are a number of benefits to night fishing that can’t be found during the day. First, several types of fish are at their most opportune to be caught at night because they are more active and feed more aggressively then. Since the hustle and bustle of daytime activities on the water are typically absent when night fishing, it can provide a more peaceful and serene atmosphere. Last but not least, summer fishing might be made more bearable by a drop in temperature.

Choosing the Right Location

When going night fishing, it’s important to pick the right spot. Predatory fish will congregate near an abundance of baitfish, so go there first. Nighttime fishing is best on rocky shores, weed beds, drop-offs, and points.

It’s also important to consider the moon phase and its effect on the tide. During a full or new moon, waves are generally higher, pushing baitfish and predatory fish into shallower waters. In contrast, tides are generally lower during a quarter moon, and fish may be more spread out. Consider these factors when choosing your fishing location.

Finally, before you go fishing, research the local laws to make sure you’re doing it the right way.

What Species Can I Target When Night Fishing?

Nighttime fishing can be productive for a wide range of fish. When night fishing, anglers often go after fish like these:

  • Catfish: Catfish are known for their nocturnal feeding habits and are a popular target for night fishing. They can be caught using a variety of baits, including worms, cut bait, and stink baits.
  • Bass: Bass is also active at night and can be caught using topwater lures, jigs, and soft plastics. Look for areas with structure, such as rocks, weed beds, or drop-offs that bass may be holding around.
  • Trout: Some species of trout, such as brown trout and rainbow trout, are active at night and can be caught using streamers, nymphs, or bait such as nightcrawlers.
  • Walleye: Walleye are known for their nocturnal feeding habits and can be caught using jigs or live bait such as minnows or leeches.
  • Crappie: Crappies can be caught at night using small jigs or live bait such as minnows or worms. Look for areas with submerged structures, such as trees, stumps, or brush piles.

Verify which species can be pursued at night and ensure you adhere to any size or catch limits by checking local regulations.

Preparing Your Gear

Preparation is the key to a fruitful night of fishing. Extra bait, hooks, lines, and flashlights should be among the additional tools and supplies you pack.

You may want to use stronger rods and reels than you would during the day. Larger, more powerful fish are more active at night, and this will allow you to cast bigger lures or bait to them.

You should also check the condition of your line and replace it if necessary. Make sure all of your knots and leaders are tight and secure.

Lastly, add a lighted bobber or glow sticks to assist you in keeping track of your bait or lure after dark.

Essential Night Fishing Gear

Having the proper equipment to catch fish at night would be best. The following are some of the most critical tools for night fishing:

  • Fishing Rod and Reel: Choose a rod and reel appropriate for your target type.
  • Fishing Line: Use a high-quality fishing line that can handle the weight of the fish you’re trying to catch.
  • Fishing Lures and Baits: Choose lures and baits appropriate for the type of fish you’re targeting and the time of year.
  • Headlamp or Flashlight: A headlamp or flashlight is essential for navigating your way around in the dark.
  • Insect Repellent: Insects can be a nuisance at night, so be sure to bring insect repellent to keep them away.
  • Warm Clothing: The temperature can drop significantly at night, so bring warm clothing to stay comfortable.

Using Lights and Other Equipment

It is often necessary to use lights and other equipment while fishing at night.

Submersible fishing lights are often used because they attract baitfish, which in turn attract predatory fish. You may use these lights to lure fish to your boat or pier by creating a glow in the water.

A depth finder or fish finder is another helpful tool since it can pinpoint the exact feeding depth of schools of fish.

Artificial lures with bright or contrasting colors, explicitly created to attract fish in low-light settings, should be considered.

Lastly, remember to bring a reliable compass or GPS device to help navigate the water at night. It can be easy to lose your bearings without daylight.

Bait and Lure Selection

The key to a successful evening of fishing is bringing the correct bait and lures.

Predatory fish may be attracted to the movement and aroma of live bait like nightcrawlers, minnows, and shrimp while fishing at night. Keep live bait cold and out of direct sunlight and moisture by storing it in a cooler or other container.

Artificial lures, particularly those that make noise or vibrations in the water, may also be successful. In low light, topwater appeals like poppers and buzz baits may cause surface disturbances that draw fish in.

Also useful are jigs and soft plastic baits, especially when they feature bold or contrasting colors. These can swim and look like baitfish, luring predatory fish to bite.

In the end, the kind of fish you’re after and the weather circumstances at the time will determine which baits and lures will provide the greatest results. To discover the optimal solution for your needs, try a variety of forms and combinations.

Techniques For Fishing at Night

Night fishing tactics are distinct from their daytime counterparts. Some tips for nighttime fishing are as follows:

  • Slow down: Fish are generally less active at night, so slow down your presentation to give them more time to strike.
  • Use scent: Fish rely heavily on their sense of smell at night, so consider using scented baits or attractants to increase your chances of attracting fish.
  • Use Live Bait: Live bait is an effective way to attract fish, especially at night. Some good options for night fishing include minnows, shad, and worms. You can use a minnow bucket or a worm box to keep your bait alive and fresh throughout the night.
  • Fish shallower: During the night, fish often move into shallower water to feed. Look for drop-offs, points, or shallow weed beds to find them.
  • Pay attention to the moon phase: As mentioned earlier, the moon phase can significantly impact fish behavior at night. Use this information to your advantage when choosing your location and fishing techniques.
  • Listen for sounds: Fish often make noises when feeding at night, so listen for splashing or other sounds to help locate schools of fish.
  • Keep your gear organized: When fishing at night, it’s easy to become disoriented or lose track of your equipment. Keep your tackle organized and within reach to avoid fumbling in the dark.
  • Use the Right Gear: Night fishing requires specialized gear that is designed to help you see in the dark and attract fish. Some essential kit includes a headlamp or flashlight, glow sticks, lighted bobbers, and fishing lures with glow-in-the-dark or reflective properties. Make sure to also bring a reliable fishing rod and reel, and consider using a braided line for better sensitivity.
  • Be patient: Fishing at night can require more patience than fishing during the day, as fish may be less active or aggressive. Stick with it and be persistent, and you may be rewarded with a big catch.
  • Planning: is essential for any fishing trip, but it’s even more critical when fishing at night. Check the weather forecast and the moon phase, as these factors can significantly affect your fishing experience. Choose a safe and easy access location, and pack all the necessary gear.
  •  Bring Snacks: and Drinks Fishing can be tiring, especially at night. Bring snacks and drinks to keep your energy up throughout the night. Water and sports drinks are great for staying hydrated, and snacks like jerky, nuts, and trail mix can boost energy.
  • Please respect the Environment: Finally, respecting the environment while night fishing is essential. Pack out all trash and avoid disturbing wildlife. Additionally, follow all fishing regulations and guidelines to ensure the fish populations remain healthy for future generations.
  • Have Fun: Fishing is meant to be enjoyable, so remember to have fun! Night fishing can be a unique and unforgettable experience, so enjoy the quiet of the night and take in the beauty of your surroundings.

The Benefits of Night Fishing

You can’t enjoy the same tranquility and quiet on a daytime fishing trip as you can on a nighttime one. The night’s peace and refreshing wind make for a more enjoyable fishing experience. The darkness is perfect for fishing since many fish species are then.

Do Fish Bite at Night?

Fishing at night is a good idea. Many fish species, in fact, are nocturnal feeders that become more active and aggressive after dark. This is because they are less likely to be observed by predators and have a greater sense of safety when it is dark outside. The night hours also provide some cover as they hunt and eat.

Night fishing, however, calls for unique abilities and strategies not needed during the day. To improve your chances of catching fish, you should pay closer attention to your surroundings, acquire the necessary equipment, and use effective bait and fishing strategies. Night fishing strategies include picking the correct location, using a red-filtered headlamp or flashlight, and fishing slowly and near the bottom.

When fishing at night, it’s especially crucial to observe all applicable safety measures. Be alert of your surroundings, tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to return and dress appropriately for the weather. You may have a productive and enjoyable night of fishing if you come prepared and use the appropriate methods.

Safety Considerations

Night fishing may be exciting and productive, but only if you take the necessary safety measures. Listed below are some precautions you should take:

  • Bring appropriate lighting: Proper lighting on a boat or pier may help avoid accidents like tripping or falling. Headlamps, flashlights, and a spotlight might be helpful during nighttime travel.
  • Wear a life jacket: Even if you’re an excellent swimmer, you should always wear a life jacket while fishing from a boat or kayak at night.
  • Use caution when casting: In the dark, it can be easy to misjudge your distance or direction when casting. Take extra care to avoid throwing into other anglers, boats, or structures.
  • Check the weather: Before heading out, check the weather forecast and be aware of any potential hazards, such as lightning or high winds.
  • Stay alert: It can be easy to become complacent or sleepy when fishing at night, so stay alert and focused at all times.
  • Let someone know where you’re going: Don’t go fishing without telling someone where you’ll be and when you plan to be back.

By remembering these precautions, you may spend the evening fishing without worry.


Last but not least, learning how to fish at night opens up a new world of angling opportunities. The trick is to have the correct gear, be patient, and be safe, whether you’re pursuing catfish, bass, or any other species. Keep in mind that learning to fish at night might be difficult, but the payoff is well worth the effort. Use the information in this manual as a starting point, and before long, you’ll be fishing for trophy fish in the moonlight.

  Now that you know how to fish at night, why not give it a try and experience the thrill of the catch for yourself?


What kind of bait should I use for night fishing? 

Night fishing bait depends on the target fish. In low-light settings, use smelly baits like worms or cut bait and lures with a lot of movement or vibration to attract fish.

What are the best techniques for night fishing?

Night fishing strategies include employing topwater lures with lights or noise, fishing with live bait or cut bait close to the bottom, and using slow retrieves with lures that move or vibrate. Fish behavior is affected by the moon phase and weather.

What kind of equipment do I need for night fishing?

A headlamp or lantern and luminous tape or markers are essential for night fishing. You’ll also need a nice fishing rod and reel, strong line, and bait and lures for the fish you’re after.

How can I stay safe while night fishing? 

Always tell someone where and when you’ll go night fishing to keep safe. Be wary of pebbles and tree branches, and wear suitable clothing and footwear. Emergency first aid and a charged mobile phone are also essential.

What types of fish are most active at night?

Nighttime is when catfish, bass, walleye, and crappie are most active. In low light, lures and live bait might attract these fish. To improve your chances, examine the fish species in your region and their activity patterns.

Emma is the wordsmith behind the insightful articles and guides on our website. Her extensive research and passion for fishing shine through in every piece she creates. Whether sharing angling tips or delving into the latest conservation efforts, Emma is dedicated to providing valuable and engaging content.