During the months of July, August and September, we are usually confronted with some scorching temperatures in the foothills of the Mother Lode. The mornings are warm, midday is blistering and the evening is tolerable. But what about at night?
As the sun fades over the hill, the moon starts to give some relief, and the cool night air is welcomed. This break from the heat not only gives us a level of comfort, it also gives the same contentment. And what do content fish do during the dark of night? They feed.
A black bass is dark in nature and will use the cover of night as camouflage. They will scour the shorelines for unsuspecting prey and feed ferociously. During the heat of the day, they will rest and reserve energy, just waiting for the following night to do it all over again. Now fish can be caught during the day, but they will be far less aggressive and will not travel very far or fast to feed, making many of the greatest fishing techniques ineffective.
So, why suffer in the heat trying to catch fish that are unresponsive, when you can relax under the moonlight and target fish that are in a frenzy? That is exactly what we have been doing and the results have been incredible.
Guided by the glow of the moon, we work down the shoreline. Making casts and waiting for the lure to splash down, ensuring that we have landed in the water and not on the bank. Not being able to visually detect bites, everything is done by feel and sound.
There is an eerie feeling when fishing in the dark that at any point, a giant fish could grab the lure. Every bite feels like a big one and is handled that way until the light of the headlamp determines otherwise. The sound of a topwater lure quietly working along the surface only to be disrupted by a cannon ball explosion is one of the most exciting experiences of all.
Now, as I offer these all-nighter trips, they are best suited for advanced die-hard anglers. The trip starts at 7 p.m. and ends at 7 a.m. That’s 12 hours of chunking and winding with a blindfold on. I would love to share this Xperience with anglers of all levels, but sharp hooks flying over our heads, cast after cast, must be executed with precision and care.
We have seen some amazing fish landed on these nocturnal excursions, and I believe that some of the monster fish exclusively feed under the disguise of night. I am hopeful that we can hook and land some record fish in the next few months, and I anxiously await each full moon for an opportunity to do so.
John Liechty is the owner of Xperience Fishing Guide Service in Angels Camp. Contact John at 743-9932 or xperiencefishing.net.