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Letting The Boats Go
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I have seen guys hang lanterns out of their boat and I have never thought was a good idea. After all, you have gas onboard to run your big motor and it just never crossed my mind to have something burning near my gas tank. They do make the ones that run off batteries. That would be the safer route to go.


When I do use additional lights, I try and hang them above me. That way I am not blinded by the light. The lights will also attract bugs so bug spray is another good item to have onboard. Try and keep the bug spray off the bait or your hands; the fish do not like the taste of it any better than you do.


Make sure that you do not have a lot of things lying around the boat that might cause you to take a late night swim. I like to have extra hooks/weights/floats usually in one of my top pockets so I do not have to dig for them.


I also like to set up before sunset that way I can see everything and will not have to rely on where I put things after dark.


Bait is something else that you will need and I recommend what ever you get normally, double or triple it. You will not believe the fish that you will catch and do not forget to also check and make sure of what your state laws says as far as how many fish you’re allowed and the right length. Don't think the Game Wardens sleep at night.


Story Time: I was at a lake in Mississippi in a cove with no one else around and was having the time of my life when I saw this boat from the other side of the lake coming toward me. I had my front lights on but had the back white light off due to it drawing bugs.


As it turned out, it was three Game Wardens in one boat and they went through the drill to ensure that I had my fishing license, boat registration and life jackets. They asked me why I was not running my rear light and I said that it was attracting bugs, and was told that it was for my safety and that another boat could come up and hit me. I told them yeah I see what you’re saying but there was no traffic in the cove and had not seen another boat all night and it was 2 in the morning.


Well to make it short, the ticket was $150.00 and it ruined my night. When I got back to the ramp to take my boat out of the water, I was the only boat on the lake besides the Game Warden.


Pack a snack and drinks; it could be a long night and you will get that urge for something to eat and drink.


You will find that boat night fishing can be fun and I urge you to practice every safety rule that you can think of to follow. It might just be the one I left out that will allow you to return for another night’s fishing.


Dock Crappie Night Fishing:


Dock fishing is a lot safer but here again there are things that you must still have for a good night of filling your ice chest with crappie but free from game warden tickets.


Keep your Fishing License on your body at all times when fishing. I still like to wear that lifejacket; you could fall off the dock or pier.


crappie night fishing equipmentLights are easier to set up. Attach them under the dock or pier to keep them out of your eyes.


Most of the same things can be used when dock or pier fishing and not to mention that you will have easy access if you left something in the car or truck. If there is enough room on the dock or pier a comfortable chair is on my list.


I might not use a rod holder here but you can bet I tie either string or rope to my poles. Where to set out your poles, thought I would not get to that part, but wanted to get everything that you might need in the boat or dock.


What you want to do is set the poles at different depths until you locate where and what the fish want. I like to set two in right under the lights and two just out from the lights right where it starts getting dark. Sometimes the big boys will hang out right at the edge of the light and here again read earlier articles where I have told you there will be a lot of top water action. I would say 50% of the time it is the little guys hitting the shad and the ones they hit and kill sink and that is where the big boys might be waiting for that free meal.


You will notice that it takes about one hour after sunset before the action starts but then crappie night fishing can be one of the best fishing trips you ever have.


One other thing that I want to say if the dock or pier has rails attached, it can be a great time to take the kids fishing.


I can not stress the safety in night fishing but if done right you will never forget the great time that you had.


Keep the Hooks Wet!



Steve McGoldrick




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