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LHarris

The DOs and DON'Ts of Night Fishing

40 posts in this topic

Have seen many people talk about night fishing and what you use and what type of light to use and when NOT to use a light. I have an odd spin to the topic. Last night while stocking the Biggest Trout I have ever seen I caught a respectable 18-19 male brown.

I thought to myself...."Should I turn on my head lamp to unhook this trout?" I decided it was not a good idea. The big girl would be spooked by the light. The forceps are kinda clumsily in this kind of light...."I will just just my fingers to open the mouth and unhook this trout.

I have done this many times ....but NEVER at night.

So I am in a hurry to unhook this on the large side male brown. I am trying to get the jaws open and it is refusing to play with me. I readjust my grip and try again. The trout goes ballistic and the next thing you know my right hand is in severe pain. The trout opened it mouth alright and bit down on two of my fingers and my right thumb.

I decided it is time to turn on my headlamp with my only free hand and low and behold. This male brown has teeth like and alligator and it has three of my fingers in its mouth. I swear..."The trout almost looked like it was grinning at me."

I grabbed my forceps and tried to get its mouth open with no luck. I used my left hand thumb and index finger to pry out my right hand. It bit my left index finger for good measures when i go out the hook with the forceps.

This sounds like it took for ever but it happened in a matter of seconds. No photo of that beast...my fingers were bloody from the bites. Didn't want to mess up my camera.

20 hours later my hands.

BiteOne-1.jpg

ALL of the nicks and bites on my hands were not there before the unwise choice of not using a light to unhook a alligator toothed brown.

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Sorry about your hands, but that was awesome. Brought back a few brule memories!

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Love your stories!

Good thing you're not a muskie fisherman! :-)

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Sometimes you get the fish, and sometimes the fish gets you laugh

Every time I get my hands cut up by incidents like this, I wish that my skin would heal with visible scar tissue to remember the fun times.. lol.

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I'd put you flashlight headset on. It might spook other fish in the area, howeve you would have a better chance nicely unhooking the 18-19" fish and not hurting yourself in the process. Don't stick your fingers in a big trout's mouth!

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How many of you have an issue with bait fishing? How would you feel about fishing for trophy brown trout at night using worms or chub tails? Is this is unsportsman like conduct? Would you look down on such an anger? Or as long as the angler is fishing legally, you do not have an issue?

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I personally have concerns about the higher mortality rate of bait fishing, but I am typically fishing marginal metro streams where the last thing the stream needs is unintentional mortality.

Fishing one of the well-populated streams, say, where Len lives is another story. Especially when dinner is part of the goal.

Of course some of the elitist trout groups get very self-righteous about bait fishing. I don't think that's useful.

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Thanks Tom. Let's see what reaction I get here.

Caught at 9:30 pm last Thursday with a 3" chub tail on a #2 hook.

July09017.jpg

July09018.jpg

July09019a.jpg

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scudly....

it appears you are VERY welcome here.

Let's see some fishing reports?

Len

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To each his own.

I can catch lots of trout and big trout on my spinning rod

with panther martins.

Fly fishing is the hardest way.

Hardest is NOT necessarily the best.

Live bait is definitely the easiest

and most deadly way to catch trout.

I fly fish 10 percent of the time I fish.

The percentage speaks for itself.

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I don't fish typical trout water.

I fish tight cover where a fly rod won't go.

Montana has NO draw for me.

The manicured stream improved areas....You won't find me there.

You will find me going down side arm under some tree branches or wading in the water up to the top of my waders to hit a tight spot....and landing 18-22 inch browns with regularity where a fly rod could not go.

I have caught a 28 inch male brown and a 27 3/4 inch female brown in tight cover in wisconsin small streams where a fly rod would not venture. I have caught numerous trout in the 24-26 range. I target big fish with spinners.....that is what I do.

I also eat trout

To Each His Own.....

PS: If you ever buy a Panther Martin deadly Six Pack.....

The ugly guy with the huge male brown in the insert is me from 15 years ago.

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I am the same way. I am trying to improve as a fly fisherman because there are time where that seems to be very effective. And fun.

But I love crawling around in the brush to fish a hole where even a seven foot fly rod couldn't be used. Underhand flips with a 5 foot spinning rod is all you can do sometimes.

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I love the skill behind trying to flyfish. But I also am mostly a a Martin Man. Love those little things.....and so do the trout.

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It seems to me as less of an accomplishment, but that's just me. Pulling a spinner or throwing a minnow/worm is easy, getting a perfect drift across three different currents is not.

I don't look down on people who do fish live bait or spinners, it just doesn't get me going as much as a fly does. But, to each his own.

By the way, this only refers to the actual catching of the fish. I don't care what you use. If you find a monster, that's an accomplishment on it's own. Catching is simply the next step.

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Most times when I fly fish...

I use buggers and nymphs and the

drift is not that important. I

use strip ,pause, twitch method.

Beadhead nymphs and buggers are

basically glorified lindy's fuzzy grubs.

I do use big bunny leeches also but fish

the same as a jig. There is no mystery

in fishing.

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LHarris - Ever been to Montana? It's not all huge rivers with man made banks specifically meant for fly fishing. Go to the most popular rivers and yeah, you'll find that. But, there is a lot of water out there where the name of the game is hiding behind brush to get a cast into a position where you know a big fish is and without spooking it.

I'm not knocking SW Wisconsin. I know there is phenomenal fishing out there.

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never been there to fish

i do see some really nice photos of the area.

Will fish it one day for sure.

Len

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I flyfish. To me it's more then catching fish. I find it spiritual to be out on a trout stream. Some folks need a church to get their spiritual "fix". I go trout fishing. Of course my goal is to catch fish but I don't look at it as a failed outing if I don't catch fish. But, that's just me.

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Quote:
what size and color of panther martins do you find to work the best?

So I think after the sunset you have less than one hour in which Panther Martin spinners would be effective. Size 6. All silver - Panther Martin Deluxe. Or silver blade with black body yellow spots or yellow body red spots seem to be my favorite. 90% of the time I use the all silver Panther Martin Deluxe.

I think you will have the best success spin fishing with these Panther Martins at low light. That means one hour before sunrise - 9-10am or one hour before sunset to one hour after sunset. They work during the day too, just not as well. Better chance of a bite during the day if it is cloudy or even light rain. Some swear that the gold blade works better for sunny days. Panther Martin sells the all gold just like the all silver. Would not hurt to buy some of those too. Buy direct from Panther Martin. A case is 12 per box. You get free S/H after a certain quantity plus $1 off each. Rarely do the stores have what I want.

Night fishing, let's say 45 minutes after sunset, that is a good time to switch over to bait. Use a #8 hook and pieces of worms. Catch some chub tails. Then leave 2-3" of tail and put on a #2 hook or circular hook. Or fishing with 1/2 a crawler for the trout. Big trout are meat eaters and they generally wait for complete darkness to feed.

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big is always better.

flies and spinners alike.

That is if you are targeting bigger than 15 inch fish.

the smallest fly in my boxes is a size 10

and I only use size 6 panthers on brookies.

I usually have a size 9 panther martin deluxe on

rain or shine in silver.

Pretty sure the barbless reg for early season wisco is being abolished.

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A word of caution regarding bait; bait works great if you plan on keeping the fish. Bait has a higher mortality rate then flies and spinners. If your goal is to catch a big breeder fish then release it, you might want to stay away from bait. Trout are like walleye when it comes to the frying pan - the smaller ones taste better. Be sure to carry a camera so you can get a picture of your "hog".

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Pitching a spinner into a tiny pocket requires a great amount of skill. Fishing in a cave of alders and having to underhand pitch a jig or spinner under a downed tree is difficult and gives me a feeling of great fulfillment when I wrestle a trout out of a hole like that.

Sometimes I enjoy fly fishing very much too.

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Another don't of trout fishing.

Don't waste that meat if you are going to get a mount done.

A good taxi can skin that big trout in front of you and you can grill it up that evening. It would quite a shame to NOT eat that

trophy and ONLY use it for decoration.

I have eaten every fish I have ever mounted. Trout/Walleye/Northern/Steelie.

I have noticed NO taste difference in the larger fish.

I believe the urban myth is out there to release all big fish because they taste nasty is just that a "Urban Myth"

I have NOT mounted any fish in 7 years. My camera does good work and much cheaper.

My wife has a rule....No new trout or any kinda fish or deer or turkey on the wall unless it is bigger than the ones there already.

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From age 5 to age 10 I went trout fishing 5 times a week with my dad. I have eaten soooo many trout I some time wonder if I am going to grow fins.

I kept 12 this year and that will be my plan the rest of my life.

We kept that many daily back then.

I believe I am well qualified to give an opinion on the taste of small versus big trout.

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