Know The Species
It would next to impossible to go night fishing without knowing exactly what you’re fishing for. To avoid getting a boat full of catfish, you’ll need to learn and understand the species you’re targeting. Unless of course, catfish is your goal. If so, you shouldn’t have too much trouble! There are many more than just the two species we have listed here, but these are the most popular. If you don’t see your favorite fish species below, don’t fret! Shoot us an email and tell us about your favorite species to night fish for and you can be featured in our next blog or video!
Snook are known for being smart, and also good fighters. If you want to catch a snook, you’re going to have to work for it. Snook are one of the most popular recreationally fished species in the country. They’re incredibly fun to fight, and make a really good meal. Commercial fishing for this species is outlawed in multiple states, so snook have become something of a rare meal unless you find yourself catching some snook during season!
Snook usually eat small baitfish and crustaceans like shrimp. They perform “ambush strikes” that are strong enough for you to feel in your rod when they strike. After setting your hook, they put up a big fight. Many times, snook will try to swim under docks or around other structures and break your line, so try to steer them away! Even though it sounds rather daunting, snook are one of the most fun fish to fight and catch. So get out there and have some fun!
Tarpon, also known as the “silver king”, is one of the most popular recreational species in Florida. Every year, thousands of people travel to different areas of Florida during tarpon season to try to land a huge tarpon. These fish can grow to be massive, with the largest tarpon catch weighing over 295 lbs. This species is also known for their frequent jumps while on the hook. Tarpon can jump up to 10ft in the air while shaking their gills. Many fishermen will tell you that the most frequent time they lose a tarpon is when they’re in mid-jump. Whether you’re fishing with artificial lures or flies, it’s best to keep to dark colors while targeting tarpon. Deep purples and blacks tend to achieve more attention from the tarpon than most other colors. Landing a tarpon is one of the most exciting things an inshore fisherman can experience. So go give it a shot!
Get the Right Gear
One of the most important things to remember while fishing with dock lights is to bring the right gear. Seeing the fish is one thing, but actually showing them something they want to strike at, is a different matter all together. You don’t want to get all the way out to a good fishing spot and not have the tools you need! Below are the best lures we suggest for fishing dock lights, as well as some other tools that really come in handy.
The DOA TerrorEyz lure is a GREAT choice when it comes dock light fishing. No matter how many lures you put in your tackle box, this small minnow should definitely be one of them! Designed to set horizontally, even on a vertical drop – this unique rigging method allows for an extremely high hook up ratio. The design also allows this lure to hold in strong current. This patented design has been proven to catch anything from freshwater Crappie and Walleye to saltwater Tarpon and Spanish Mackerel. Multiple weighted eyes are available for each size lure
DOA Bait Buster
One more shoutout for DOA is the DOA Bait Buster! We suggest using the Deep Runner Bait Busters. The bigger guys usually like to swim deeper! Depending on the model, this lure will tease the fish on the surface or along the bottom. The single upright hook system reduces hang-ups and weed problems. The hollow body allows the lure to collapse in the fish’s mouth and insures better hooksets. Anywhere you fish — from casting in the local bass pond to trolling offshore — DOA Bait Buster lures will produce for you.
LiveTarget Sardine Swimbait
LiveTarget has combined nature’s best with modern technology to create an exciting new collection of swimbaits. Available in common forages, the new LiveTarget Swimbait Series is designed to look and swim just like live bait. The profile of the body and tail is so accurately matched and anatomically scaled, it sets a new industry standard to match-the-hatch. The tail is precisely fitted with a strategically engineered oscillator that generates a side-to-side tail swing action. Every swimbait has its own signature action, making it come alive and swim just like its natural counterpart.
It’s not very shocking that it’s dark while you’re out night fishing. This might be an obvious choice when going dock light fishing, but many people forget about it! All of us here at Underwater Fish Light have been stuck out in the dark without a headlamp, and trust me, it was not fun. These great energizer headlamps are cheap and work great! There are also some other light configurations like light clips, or just a flashlight, but we’ve found that it’s easier to use the handsfree headlamp that will turn in the direction you’re looking at.