THE NIGHT OF THE YAK
During the heat of the summer, many anglers seek the cool of the night to ply their favorite bass waters. But I can tell you that night fishing from a kayak isn't for the faint of heart. Allow me to offer some pointers.
Lighting is very important, and there is no substitute for a good headlamp. But you also need to remember that your eyes are capable of adapting to low light conditions and they will likely see much more than you would have expected given the light provided by the moon, stars and ambient sources near the lake.
Your choice of tackle is critical to your fishing success. Choose lures with bottom contact, vibration or both. Some of my favorites are a black Colorado blade in front of a 10" power worm. Speaking of Colorado blades, a dark colored spinnerbait will also be effective. When it comes to commotion in the water, topwater baits are very popular at night. Dark colored buzzbaits, popping baits, and splash baits will all provide attraction. For me, I like to throw a rodent bait.
A lot of bass move into the shallows at night in search of easy prey. Believing that they are safe
under cover of darkness, there will be a virtual smorgasbord of forage moving throughout the water column- various fish, crawfish, insects, rodents, frogs and other edibles all have there role in the nocturnal hours and will can fall prey to the ambush of a big bass laying in wait.
Offshore structure such as rock piles, humps and ledges will also offer opportunities for night fishermen. This is the result of the thermocline offering some cooler temperatures for bait accumulation in the sunless hours. Bass will ambush these bait balls from below during these times. Baits that work the bottom at create sound and vibration when they strike rocks and sunken logs will supplement those creating vibrations.
I start my night fishing at the end of a point, and move closer to shore as the night progresses and surface temps cool. When fishing at night, remember to tune-in to your other senses, especially hearing and touch. You will likely feel more than you will see. Choose a sensitive rod that allows you to feel everything on the bottom. Braid will add to your ability to feel the structure and the lightest bites.
You will want to slow down your pace to stay safe. Let your senses guide your actions. The night is a time to be calm and increase your awareness of everything around you. This will help you be more safety conscious.
As the night progresses and you prowl the shore line, be aware of what is over your head. Be careful you aren't swept by current into brush, low branches or lay-downs that could cause you to fall out of the kayak. As always when kayaking, your personal flotation device should be worn. When working under trees, brush or along overhanging banks be aware that snakes also move and feed in the cool of the night.
Enjoy the night. It is a time for calm, relaxing fishing in temperatures a lot more comfortable than the heat and humidity of summer daytime. Be safe, Live The Passion, Keep your lines tight, and catch them with good vibrations.
Zachery Warren is a Kayak Bass angler originally from Albany TX and now residing in Denison,
TX. He often fishes across the boarder in Oklahoma and has developed a passion for kayak tournament fishing. He enjoys the challenge of the no motor, limited electronics world of kayak angling and loves to share his lessons learned. He has tested his skills fishing local , state and regional tournaments in TX and. OK. Zach has become a regular contributor to the iBass360 blog, and we appreciate his candid and insightful tips, including his favorite tricks and tactics.