Want to escape the heat while fishing? Consider heading out for some night fishing during low-light conditions when the sun sets and the temperatures subside.
Yep, the weather on the Alabama Gulf Coast right now really can’t get any better. However, at some point this summer, visitors, especially those who visit our coast to catch the many varieties of fish, will feel the heat and humidity of Alabama’s summers.
Not only do the anglers feel the heat, but the fish do as well. The fish head to the deeper holes and hide out during the day, and at night, they come out to feed.
For those who come for a visit during the hot weather, several options are available. If you don’t bring your own boat, some inshore fishing guides will offer nighttime trips to catch speckled trout (spotted seatrout) and redfish (red drum) and an occasional flounder under the lights.
Nighttime Fishing Supplies You Should Bring
Lighter line will keep you from spooking fish, but don’t go too small because you might have to apply pressure to keep a fish away from the barnacle-encrusted pilings. I like 12-pound test monofilament or 10-pound fluorocarbon on either spinning or baitcasting tackle. I use a 20-pound fluorocarbon leader for stained water or 15-pound fluorocarbon when the water is clear.
I try to rig live shrimp as simple as possible with just a No. 1 Kahle or No. 2 live bait hook. A natural presentation is often the key. Toss the shrimp up the current and let it drift through the light.
When a live shrimp senses trouble, it may start taking evasive action. A lot of times, a fish will grab the live shrimp under the light and move to the shadows before swallowing the bait. So make sure you don’t try to set the hook too quickly and jerk the bait out of the fish’s mouth.
Always practice courtesy when fishing at night. If the owners or renters are out on the pier, move on to the next vacant pier with a light. And if you do happen to toss a lure onto the pier and get snagged, just donate the lure to the pier owner and break it off. Don’t get on someone’s pier to retrieve a lure without permission.
Of course, if you don’t have your own boat or want to book a guide, visit Gulf State Park Pier for a night of fishing. The turtle-friendly lights still attract plenty of fish. You can get the details of what you will need to fish the pier here. Currently, the pier is open just past the halfway point due to damage from Hurricane Sally. However, parks officials are hopeful that the repairs to the pier will begin sometime soon.
Plan a night fishing trip this summer and experience the beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast in a whole new way.