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Travis Swift

night fishing questions

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For years I've wanted to try some night fishing on Taney in a boat.  I know you guys do great up by the dam wading and a night in a boat but i'm talking about the rest of the lake.  And I've fished off the dock for years and caught them but wasn't sure if the light off the dock was making them see the jigs. Let's use the fall creek to cooper creek area as example.  I know up by the dam your looking at shallower water, not as wide and more fishing "holes" than say bluffs or deeper main lake stuff down lake. so that might make a difference but my specific questions are this:

1)If fishing a jig would you fish it in the same manner as you do during the day with a snap and drop technique?  

2)If fishing a jerk bait do you fish it in the same exact jerk jerk pause method that you do during the day or is is it more of a slow steady reel on top of the water?  

3)Would a jig and float work or can they even find a small jig at night? 

I guess i'm concerned if the fish can see and find these two baits like they do during the day at all in water that is deeper etc?  

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So here goes my input for what it's worth...

I fish jigs just like I would in the day time.  Maybe a bit slower on the retrieve if anything.  I will say you really only need either white or black.  Either a light pattern or a dark one as in my experience color doesn't seem to matter as much as during the day which makes sense.  This applies to either wading or out of a boat.  I obviously have way more hours wading vs boat at night.

Jerk baits are a whole different ball game, and again just my experiences so take that for what it's worth.

If water is off I go with a fast or medium retrieve but I alternate between small twitches and much shorter jerks than I do during the day.  You need to mix it up till you find what they like.  My other water off method includes an incredibly slow retrieve almost keeping the bait on top of the water while giving it an occasional jerk or twitch.  This works better in deeper pools and slower water where they can ambush the lure from below.

I've modeled these retrieves of watching the minnows and shad at night swimming around in our lights.

For water on with flow I use 2 different methods which are very different.  The first is very aggressive hard jerks and rips with a medium to slow retrieve.  The other involves a very slow retrieve while keeping rod tip up, line tight, and reeling just enough to where you can feel the lure wiggling in the current.  With this method you can almost anticipate the bite on a sensitive rod, as the wiggle will slow down and feel different as the fish pushes the water towards the bait.  At night I really like using as sensitive a rod as possible as you're fishing by feel only.  Hence my little buggy whips I use... Braid makes up for hook set and rod length for the most part.  You really need the edge in the feel department though for both jerks and jigs...

We need to just finally sync up and I can show ya what I'm talking about lol.  It's allot easier than it sounds and you'll pick it up quick.  Oh and if you want Walters, just go fast.  They seem to hit a fast aggressive retrieve allot more than the trout.  Bass too like it faster.  

Hope this helps buddy.

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that helps a ton, basically your putting more action or vibration in the baits to help the fish find the bait batter in the dark which is about what i was thinking in my head but was looking for verification of my thoughts.  Thanks for responding man i appreciate it.  

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Yeah I think that def helps them locate, but I also think they can see pretty well in the dark too.  I mean I've had them hit a black jig on a moonless pitch black night and I've seen a group of small stockers following my jig in in my head lamp.  I know there eyes are very sensitive to light and they will spook on white light.  They tolerate the red head lamp better.

I am no biologist, and these are just my observations, but pretty sure they see just fine in the dark lol.

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4 minutes ago, JestersHK said:

 

, but I also think they can see pretty well in the dark too.  I mean I've had them hit a black jig on a moonless pitch black night

 

 

Silhouette is very important on a dark night. Pick the darkest night and hold a white fly and a dark fly over your head. You might be surprised which is the most visible. I always had good success fishing scuds high in water on a dark night. Same would apply to any type of lure. Good luck

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I think laker67 makes a good point. Most of my night fishing is for bass in streams, with flies,  black or dark olive or black and olive are usually the best colors. Water displacement creating noise or bubbles will alert them but the dark silhouette seems to be the deciding factor. My best night time trout producer years ago was most often an unweighted black marabou streamer, either on the swing or on short strips- motion and silhouette and above the fish so that sky back lights it .   Scuds might be of interest at night since they are supposed to be most active at night, try one in your favorite color and blacken one with sharpie; see if it makes a difference. I think on that lake at night I would have to try a mouse, too.

No matter how moonless it is the yard lights miles away cause the sky to be lighter than a hillside, I've followed dogs many moonless nights just by seeing trees against the sky and using no light. As near to town as Taneycomo is it should never get dark there.

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As others have said, black is typically my most productive night time streamer color.  Purple, Red, Brown, and Olive can be good as well.  I would think jigs would work in those colors as well.

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