Fishing in the dark - why?

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eccles
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Fishing in the dark - why?

Post by eccles »

I am starting this discussion because of something that happened recently and want to check my thinking with the rest of you. I have always believed that we do night fishing because the fish are more likely to come close to the beach after night fall. Also some fish and notably Dover Sole are not active at all during the day. Statistically and particularly at this time of year I find I am more likely to get bites after dark and more so after two or three hours of darkness. I also believe that this is for two main reasons:- 1. The fish instinctively feel safer from predators such as birds and seals when it is dark. 2. A variety of small creatures (fish food) which live along the shoreline become active as it gets dark.
Believing all this I try to use my headlamp as little as possible and particularly avoid shining it on the water when beach fishing and I generally get results. However there sometimes seem to be guys around who don't follow my practices and in particular there was a gent recently who had a massively powerful headlamp who did not turn it off at all and was continually throwing the beam all over the beach and water. He caught very little and neither did I until he left. So the question is, am I in general right and are his activities likely to spook the fish as I suspect? I would add that the beach concerned is always pretty dark with almost no background lighting. Opinions/comments please.



Jess_Tickulate
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Post by Jess_Tickulate »

I would agree with you.
I didn't get a single bite on Saturdays midday high tide. I caught loads of Whiting on the midnight high tide and the only one Plaice on the Sunday 1 o'clock high tide.

The size of a Whiting's eyes would suggest that it is a nocturnal feeder.

I use quite a powerful headlight but I only turn it on when essential and try not to shine it on the water. I also have a cap that has an LED in the peak and I use that as much as possible.

flattiefanatic
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Post by flattiefanatic »

My way of thinking has always been that fishing at night gives more success if A) You are quiet and B) you dont fish near idiots with huge lights. Bass fishing is a classic example.

wannacatch1
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Post by wannacatch1 »

I totally agree when I started beach fishing I used to take a colemans petrol lamp it was bright as you like when I stopped using it my catch rate increased.


DAZ B-)

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Post by smallfry »

With out a doubt darkness brings the fish in but i've found that bass are usually caught at dusk or dawn not in complete darkness.
Tight lines ian
:D

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Post by SimonV »

I try and use a light as little as possible but the guy fishing down from me last weekend had a damn bright light, it was bright enough that every time he looked in my direction i was blinded lol yet he caught loads of fish that night.

rabbi2
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Post by rabbi2 »

I agree with most of what has been said, but on the other side of the coin is the fact that light can be used to attract fish depending on conditions.

Dont know how many of you saw a guy in a boat on u tube flashing a light on the water a fish leaping into the boat. Also with a steady lightjust 2 foot under the surface from a boat has been proved to attract fry which in turn atract larger fish.
Very debateable
cheers
keith :D :D
Last edited by rabbi2 on Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

flattiefanatic
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Post by flattiefanatic »

I think this subject is going to be a tough one to prove otherwise. As i have noted when it comes to bass fishing a bright light for me is a no no. The evidence is there for example trying to bass fish on a full moon ;)

Does bright lights put off fish like whiting, cod etc im not so sure. I'm sure a few of you have gone cod fishing and got to your chosen beach, to see it lit up along the shore with loads of tilley lamps. If the fish was truly put off then people wouldn't use such bright lights.

eccles
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Post by eccles »

Thanks for posts so far gents, I think I will just add that a certain gent from the IOW who calls himself solehunter and is an ackowledged expert and blogger, warns against using any light at all when tagetting the species.

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Post by Jess_Tickulate »

I saw a TV programme where a boatload of Squid fishermen used powerful lights to attract Squid. I can't remember now if the light was attracting baitfish which in turn attracted Squid or if it was just Squid that came to the light. I do remember they were catching some pretty big Squid.

Anyway, I use a red filter on the lamp that I use for Rabbiting so I might experiment by fitting a red filter to my headlamp.

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Post by Yakdiver »


rabbi2
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Post by rabbi2 »

I have bought lights from the following company but have not tried them out yet due to other commitments but it is well worth a read

http://www.fishinglightsetc.com/Howtheywork.html
Cheers
keith :D :D

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Post by Boxerman »

The reason I used to fish in the dark was 'cos I was working all day and I could only fish at night. Now I'm old and retired, I can fish more or less when I wish, but to get back to the point about lights:

As Yakdiver says, everyone used to use Tilleys or their equivalents and caught plenty fish BUT head torches were not common like they are now so the light was more or less confined to "base camp".

I do not believe that a fish can see the light from a Tilley on the beach from under the waves, one reason being that a fishes eye sees things differently than ours and another is because of light refraction caused by the water it is in.

Nowadays however, the "fashion" is to wear a searchlight on your head and beam it about all over the place, these things are powerful enough to penetrate into the inky depths, but whether fish can see this beam if it is 50 or so yards from it is another matter.

To compound the argument, in some places, fishermen use lights to lure fish into their nets so they would argue that light is a good thing.

To put it simply - I don't know!

Frank

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Post by manic_muppet »

Interesting question, heres my 2 pennorth.
Firstly, the angle of reflectance is equal to the angle of incidence. This means that given the distancees involved, most of the light is reflected straight off the top.
Secondly, The inverse square law states that "When the light source is a point, illumination on a surface is inversely proportional to the square of the distance of the light source. So, if your lamp is a million candle power at 20 ft, at 40ft its reduced to 500.000 at 80ft 250,000 and so on, so if your casting around 100yds, no light as such reaches the point where your fishing, the moon would do a better job. plus the sea can be very murky, i doubt a fish could see a pinprick of light over 100yds away. and as has been said, lights are used as lures, so is it just certain species that take fright. Maybe someone could jump in one night for a fishes eye view. ;) it will be interesting to see how this turns out. Cheers..Mick

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