Why should you fish at night in the summer? There are many good reasons, but at the top of my list would be good fishing, comfortable temps, and less fishing pressure.
Good fishing: fishing is usually as good or better at night, not only in the summer, but year round. During the summer, the thermocline sets in and the fish are suspended and inactive most of the time - making them tough to catch. At night, they will come into the shallows to feed. So if you fish at night, you can fish for feeding fish, rather than trying to provoke reaction strikes from inactive fish. Troy Coates, a personal friend of mine, caught a 17.05# fish at night in February from the bank. It was the number 5 fish in Texas when she was caught. I know of other fish on the top 50 list that were also caught at night. The average size of the fish we catch during the day in the summer is probably less than half the size of the fish we catch at night. Night time is a great time for catching big fish.
Comfortable Temps: if you have ever been to Texas during the summer, you know how hot it gets during the day. At night, it gets so much cooler that you may even need a jacket sometime during the night.
Less Fishing Pressure: sometimes you practically have the lake to yourself if you fish at night. Most people don't fish at night, so you won't see as many boats at night. The exception to that is holidays and weekends - especially holiday weekends. Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day weekends will usually be crowded at night on a popular lake like Lake Fork.
Many people are skeptical about going night fishing.
If you have concerns about fishing at night, take note:
- Sleep - I do a lot of anchoring at night and it is often beneficial to stay in the same spot for a long time. The fish will get accustomed to the boat being in their spot and will bite better than when we first got there. So it is possible that the fishing will improve by taking a nap with the boat anchored. So, if the bite gets slow and you get tired, you can take a nap on the deck.
- Bugs - the bugs are only bad if it is calm and you are in a protected area. I usually fish big water at night, so there will likely be a breeze to keep the majority of bugs away. Even if it is calm and the bugs get bad, they go away about an hour after dark. Most of the annoying bugs do not bite. They just make noise and buzz around your head. I carry repellent in the boat, but most nights I don't even use it.
- Sight - if you are concerned about seeing visible targets, you shouldn't. Even on the darkest nights, your eyes will adjust to the darkness. Also, there are other lights around the lake and we have flashlights and a spotlights to help, so sight is not much of an issue. Most of the cover I fish at night is under water, so you couldn't even see it in the daytime. On a full moon night, it is almost like daytime on the lake. I will often cover more water on moonlight nights when we can hit visible targets. However, I don't usually do any better than when I anchor up on a good spot and wait for the fish to come to us.
- Backlashes - if you fish with me and are concerned about picking out backlashes all night, keep in mind that I do this for a living. I have taught many clients how to minimize backlashes and I have picked out thousands myself. I can strip a reel, put new line in it, and have a bait tied on it in 5 minutes. Helping you is my job. Even if you have never thrown a baitcaster, chances are you will be making good casts before it even gets dark.