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Updated: Nov 14, 2022

Many people ask me “Just how do you do it? How are you able to keep your guiding schedule, make time for your own fishing, and have time for your family and full-time job?”. Believe it or not, the answer is very simple- Fish at night. It also helps to have a supportive, understanding spouse and family.

You can’t underestimate the importance of fishing at night. If you want consistency in your big bass catch rate, you must fish at night. Striped Bass are opportunistic, nocturnal feeders that lay in the dark shadows waiting to ambush their prey. This is especially true of the cows. Obviously, fishing at night presents challenges, but once you become comfortable, your catch rate will increase and so will your chances of landing bigger bass.

As with anything worth doing, homework and research are a must. Make notes about areas you plan to fish at night during the daylight hours, preferably at low tide, so you can see the structure that is present- sandbars, holes, submerged rocks, troughs, cuts etc. You also need to utilize available technology to mark the spots you identify so you can find the exact locations at night. Keep a log of the nights you catch, and nights you don’t, in order to identify patterns that emerge such as what tides, moons, and winds are the most productive. This will help create a window of optimum conditions that you can use to make your fishing time more productive and reduce your chances of wasting time throwing lures into unproductive waters.

Nighttime is also the right time (thank you Ray Charles) for finding balance during the fishing season. Many of us have a lot of obligations that cannot be avoided- Family events, job commitments, community activities. These commitments impact your fishing time, especially during the day, but that is exactly why the night is so important. Most of the unavoidable activities take place during the day. This allows anglers plenty of opportunities to experience the “night bite”.

If you are serious about making a commitment to the surf, there will always be a window of time to fish when kids’ activities are over and children have gone to bed. Sure, it can be exhausting working all day and taking the kids to their activities, including homework, but if you really want to put yourself in the best position to catch fish, and enjoy the activity you love, you’re going to have get over the tiredness and consistently put in the time to gain catching success. Many times, I have walked through my front door at 5:00 AM, hopped in the shower, and gone right to work. I can pull this off because I know the prime-time periods of Striped Bass season are limited and I truly want to make the best of it while it lasts.

In closing, I know fishing at night is not for everyone, but if you’re willing to give it a try, do the the research, and make the effort, I also know you will be rewarded. Time, unfortunately, is not our friend, and there’s never enough of it. When it comes to surf fishing there’re only 24 hours in a day. Make the most of each hour during the season and make them count when it comes to pursuing striped bass. There will be sacrifices, but there is no question it will help you catch that fish of a lifetime. The nighttime is the right time- the time to catch, release and reflect. Live the Passion! Tightlines! features a monthly surfcasting blog from Bernie Hoyt , a NYS Certified Fishing Guide with 35 years of experience fishing the legendary waters of Long Island. He is well known for his informative seminars at saltwater shows in the Northeast, and now he has a podcast HOOKED ON SURF FISHING WITH BERNIE BASS where he offers listeners the latest in gear reviews and techniques for the surf fishing scene. You can also follow Bernie on the radio Saturday morning and Sunday evening on 1390WRIV AM. Contact Bernie for details on Facebook through Bernie Bass Surfcasting Services.


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