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Night fishing from your Viking Kayak
12:31AM 23rd Dec 13

Night Fishing from your Viking Kayak by Viking Maniyaks

How often do you struggle to find time to get out on the water for a fish? Our days can so easily be sucked up with everything other than what we want to be doing. During the summer months it is possible to get out for a fish after work but sometimes if there is a good bite or you are just having too much fun, have you thought about staying out after dark?

When I first took up kayak fishing the thought of sitting out on the water in the dark was not something I ever saw myself doing. Fast-forward to now and I have no problem at all about paddling out into the cover of night to go for a fish. I have learnt that as long as precautions are taken and everything safety wise is covered then it can be a very enjoyable time to be out. 

All sorts of factors need to be thought about and I must stress that it is not a smart idea to night fish a new area without having fished it a few times during the day. It is extremely easy to lose your bearings and have no idea what way you came from especially if there are few landmarks viewable in low light.

Make sure you are visible

Apart from all of the usual safety equipment (life jacket, radio etc) you should already have on board, night fishing adds a few new things to the already large list of necessary items. First of all a white light that is viewable round 360 degrees is required under Maritime regulations so that you can be seen by other vessels. The Maniyaks use the Navisafe lights on Railblaza telescopic poles, or another great option is the Railblaza visibility kit The higher the better as even a small swell will see the light disappear every few seconds. Something else worth thinking about is reflective tape on the blades of your paddle and on your clothing for additional ways of letting others know you are out there.

So that ensures others can see us on the water but what should we use to see for ourselves? We have found the best option to be the cheap Energizer head lamps that are available almost anywhere batteries are sold. These lights offer enough light to make out what is in front of you but also has a red light setting which is very good to use when sorting new tackle or re-baiting hooks which you will find your eyes not needing to re-adjust after switching the light off. While these are not water proof they are cheap enough to replace if they ever fail. A back up source of light is also something to have hidden away in your night pack.

Chart plotters are not a must but extremely recommended. As it is incredibly disorientating being out in the pitch black you need something that you can use to get you back the way you come. While not all kayaks are fitted out with chart plotters even a GPS or a smart phone will let you track where you came from so you can head back the same way when it is time to call it a night. Our Lowrance finders leave a snail trail of exactly where we have paddled. All we need to do is follow this back to our launch spot.

There is one more item far more important than any of these and that is a buddy to go along with you. Fishing on your lonesome is never a smart idea unless you know the area very well but in the dark it becomes far more important to have someone else there. Be careful not to sit in shipping lanes or anywhere that is a high traffic area. 

I recommend you give night fishing a go this summer. It will add a whole new dimension to an already enjoyable sport. You will find you notice your senses in overload as you sit out on flat water and notice every splash around you wondering what the heck it could be. Let us know how you get on. We would love to hear your story of paddling out into the dark.

Viking Maniyaks