A 45-inch muskie I caught on a recent night on a Supermodel bucktail.
When summer heats up and water surface temperatures rise well into the mid- to upper-70s, night fishing might be your best bet for catching muskies. It takes different thinking and a little more paying attention to detail, but if done correctly, it can pay off .
Here is a few tips and techniques i've learned while fishing at night:
- Be organized: Keep your boat floor clean with the net and release tools in an organized spot and ready to go. Keeping your boat organized is very important; you don't want to be tripping over tackle boxes or scrambling to find the net when you're fighting a fish. Wear headlamps that are ready to turn on once you hook a fish.
- Watch your electronics: It's hard to tell visually where you are at night, especially while fishing offshore structure. Pay attention to your depth finder or a map on a GPS.
- Perform a good Figure-8: seeing your bait is hard after dark and knowing where it is is crucial to making wide turns.Try using bright colors like white, red or fire tiger. When using dark colors, add a glow bead to the top of your leader for added visibility. It is very hard to see a follow at night, so do two figure-8s at the end of each cast.
- Make some noise: Try using baits that are easy for fish to hone in on. Big bladed bucktails like Double Cowgirls and Supermodels are essential in your nightfishing arsenal. Topwaters with a tail-plopping action like Topraiders are also deadly night baits and one of my favorites just after dusk. Crankbaits with rattles are also noisy baits that work well at night. Don't forget to try super slow retrieves at night.
- When fishing a bright moon, fishing is usually better before the moon rises. Pay special attention to the half-hour before moonrise.
- Don't be afraid to go shallow: fish are not as cautious to go into shallow water at night where they might have been seen by humans in daylight.
- Don't forget a flash camera, because you don't want to catch the fish of a lifetime and not have a picture