Summer fishing can be productive after dark

LITTLE ROCK, AR (AGFC) - Too hot to fish? Anglers at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission suggest going out at night. For some Arkansans, outings after dark are often productive. Others don't like it.

Fishing at night is a tradeoff. You get away from the full impact of sun, but you give up a good deal of visibility. True, some folks are just afraid of the dark.

A few brief points here apply to night fishing in general and not with any one species targeted.

For starters, approach night fishing like you would a daytime outing. Darrell Royal, the old Texas football coach, said, "Dance with what brung you." If something worked for you in daytime fishing, it likely will work at night. Fish familiar waters. Night is not the time to go exploring.

When the sun goes down, the air cools much quicker than the water. You'll be more comfortable after dark, but the water temperature won't change more than a degree or so.

If you normally use a bobber for fishing, it will not be as visible in the dark. Swapping the usual red and white bobber for a fluorescent orange one should help a little. Think about skipping the bobber and go to tight-line fishing so you will work by feel instead of by sight.

Take light with you. A flashlight is a must. Those cap bill-mounted lights are handy because you don't have to give up a hand to hold them. Some night fishermen like to use high-output camping lights like propane or gasoline lanterns. These are not every angler's choice, but if they work for you - fine.

Consider using a floating light, sometimes called crappie lights. These are battery-powered lights that are buoyant floodlights pointed down into the water. The idea is bugs are attracted to the lights, small fish go after the bugs and crappie and other gamefish go after the small fish. Another benefit is the floating lights give off enough ambient light as to help anglers see what they are doing in the boat.

Rig up your gear when it is daylight. It's much easier. If you have a question about line on your reel needing changing, do it at home, not in the boat when it's dark.

Know where you are going when it's dark. Even moving at low speed, a boat can bump into unseen objects if you are careless.

If you fish a popular area, you will have much less competition at night.

Take a cooler with drinks. Take snacks. Take sandwiches if it's going to be a long night of fishing.

Finally, snakes are no more of a problem at night than in daytime. They are out there. Be careful, be alert and go on with your fishing.