How to Fish for Redfish at Night

by Bryan Clark

Night fishing for redfish becomes a different sport entirely from its daytime counterpart. In nighttime angling for these saltwater fish, fly fishing is the best technique for the job. Redfish will often appear with snook and trout, hunting similar baitfish, a notable difference being their proclivity to stay nearer to the bottom of a body of water. Nonetheless, they tend to appear in shallower waters near grasses or protective structures where their prey feed and hide, especially during changing tides when the prey move in or out.

1.

Seek out a light and a good fishing location. In areas where night fishing is common, many piers will feature large fishing lights. For redfish, any sort of light will work, whether yellowish or blue in color. The point is to create an area on the water flooded with light to draw in baitfish and the larger fish stalking them, with a pool of light anywhere from three to 60 feet across.

2.

Begin fishing when the tide is either coming in or going out. Many fishermen experience the most success when the water is high and smaller prey animals enjoy the protection of shoreline grasses when the tide draws up into the vegetation.

3.

Choose the appropriate line for fishing with, and load this onto the fishing rod. For nighttime redfish fishing, use an eight weight, weight forward, floating line, or WFF line. It is not advisable to use any weight higher than nine, especially since redfish spook easily and the impact against the surface with a weightier line may scare them off.

4.

Tie the thicker end of your leader to the end of your line. The leader is a tapered line which connects the fishing line and the fly itself. The Albright knot works well for attaching leaders in saltwater fishing, and is tied by doubling the end of the thicker line over onto itself in a thin loop and pinching the loop in place. Pass the other line down through the top of the loop, then bring it around the loop and start wrapping tightly around the loop towards the rounded end. When your thinner line reaches the end of the loop, pass it back up through the bottom of the loop and pull the whole knot tight. Use a long leader, up to 12 feet in length, and after every catch, check the leader knot.

5.

Attach a fly to the end of the leader line. White-colored flies work best for night fishing, especially considering that vibrant colors are not very distinguishable without light. Spoon flies, crab flies and crystal shrimp flies work the best for redfish. Tie on the fly by tying the end of the leader into a basic knot but not pulling the knot tight, just leaving it as a loop. With the knot as a loop, pass the free end down through the loop on the fly and back through the loop of the knot. Wrap the free end of line around itself behind the basic knot loop four times, then pass the end back around through the knot loop again. Pull the whole knot tight.

6.

Stick the hook of the fly through the tail of the shrimp bait.

7.

Cast the fly just beyond the reach of the floodlight's light so that fish can not see the fishing line as well and will not run from it.

Items you will need

  • Floodlight
  • Eight weight WFF line
  • 12-foot leader
  • Spoon, crab or crystal shrimp fly
  • Shrimp bait

About the Author

Bryan Clark has been a freelance writer since 2002. His work has appeared in "The New York Times," "USA Today" and the U.K.'s biggest paper—"The Guardian," amongst other, smaller publications.