At night, lakes, ponds and rivers often become exciting, because many fish, which are normally in deep water and shy of light, are now also looking for food in shallow bank areas. Good, when our bait is now in the water and everything is prepared. Especially in summer many fish only bite really well at night, such as carp and zander. In winter, on the other hand, burbot can be caught at night in the Oder or in the pre-alpine lakes.
Nocturnal fish species
The eel is the most nocturnal species, but zander and catfish are also nocturnal and can therefore be fished at night. Other species of fish are also in a biting mood at night, so I’ve been able to catch many chub, bream and crucian carp while night fishing and even brown trout can bite at night. So if you fish with a worm, you can look forward to many different species of fish. Carp fishing at night is already old hat, especially the big and shy animals are easier to catch at night. My guess is that the fish cannot see our line and hooks so well at night and have less fishing pressure on many waters at night.
Behaviour on the water
Nevertheless you should keep calm on the water, because vibrations through the bottom and into the water are still well perceived by the fish. You should also avoid shining the flashlight into the water unnecessarily. Red light, on the other hand, should hardly be noticed by the fish, which is why head lamps with such a mode are to be preferred.
Night fishing is always an experience and spending the night outdoors in nature can be a great pleasure. Besides, it is always exciting to drill your first fish while the crickets chirp at dusk.
Fishing spots for night fishing
Even where there are few fish during the day, they often come to such spots in the evening to feed. Especially shallow water zones close to the shore are in almost all waters the place where I set my lures, especially in summer. You wouldn’t believe how close fish come to the shore. This was shown to me one day by a zander from Lake Constance (very rare!), which was looking for food in 50 cm shallow water directly at the shore.
Of course, the usual hot spots in like confluences of streams and rivers are always worth a try, but even there the fish can be found at night in shallow water. Especially catfish and eels can often be found in lakes near inlets.
As some noise at the fishing spot can hardly be avoided, it is advisable to lay out the rods close to the shore, but still a little away from its camp.
Preparation is very important when night fishing, because if you’ve lost your bait needle in the dark you often have a bad chance of fixing your worms properly, a tip for you is to lay out a light cloth or towel (see picture) and place all the important utensils on it, such as the bait needle and leaders etc. The landing net should also be ready on the water. In general you should still have daylight when setting up the fishing area and the equipment, especially in unknown places, in order to recognize possibly dangerous and slippery bank areas.
Another trick is to place a candle in a glass. This way it is protected from the wind and the light is not too bright with little frightening effect. A head lamp is still the best form of flashlight for night fishing. It is simply priceless to have both hands free and to have light where you look.
Checklist for night fishing
I take this with me or prepare it before I go night fishing:
- Drinks: The fish water usually doesn’t taste so good after all
- Vesper / snack: Who is outside for a long time gets hungry
- Warm drinks: Even summer nights are often cool
- Warm clothes see above
- Check the weather forecast and if it rains take precautions
- Replacement flashlight and spare batteries: Nothing is more annoying when it is suddenly dark and that’s the way it stays
- Preparing for rigging
- Comfortable seat or couch Opportunity: If necessary, a blanket or mattress for the purists and the stone floor
Tip: If you run out of bait you can also try to find a few night crawlers at night. At least if you fish nearby or even on a meadow this sometimes works and has already saved me evenings when it bit very well.
Attention! Night fishing is not allowed without restrictions in all federal states – for example, in Baden-Württemberg night fishing is only allowed until 1:00 a.m. and only for eel and catfish. There are also some restrictions elsewhere
Furthermore, it must be clarified whether tents are allowed – but weather protection in the form of a large fishing umbrella or a bottomless tent is usually permitted. In this case it is only helpful to ask about the local regulations