As we’re in the middle of winter a lot of us will be sea fishing well into darkness, not because we’re mad (although in this weather we obviously are), but because during darkness the fish seem more confident and come closer to the shore to feed so reaching them casting from the shore is a lot easier.
You’d be suprised at how many people are caught out by not having sufficient, or the right type of, light while fishing in the dark. All the clothing to keep you warm and dry and all the tackle to land that fish of a lifetime is utterly useless if once it goes dark and your target fish start feeding you open your tackle box only to remember your light is on charge in the garage. And that’s before we even mention safety.
I’m not talking about lighting up the whole beach like a search and rescue helicopter here either (although there are some lamps out there that are that bright) but just enough light to enable you to sea fish safely and to see what you’re doing without disturbing everyone else. Looking up the beach on a lovely peaceful night only to have you’re night vision ruined by someone shining an industrial strength power light at you can is a little annoying to say the least.
I take 4 lights with me when i go fishing at night. That sounds a lot but let me explain what they are and what they do.
1. Base Lamp: This is a quite a large rechargeable light that is fairly heavy. We usually leave it where the tackle boxes are so that it gives light where we need it and has the added advantage of helping you work out where your stuff is on the beach after you cast in. There are lots of makes and types but I prefer this one as it’s not too bright but the charge lasts ages – even so, if i can get away with not taking it I leave it behind, no matter how small it still weighs a fair bit. The one we have is Halfords Rechargable Lantern & Remote
2. Headlamp: Yes, the daft light on our heads that seems to give everyone an excuse to make jokes about us being miners. The ones we have, have two settings, an LED only setting which is just bright enough for most things and a beam setting which we realy only use when we know we’ve caught something as it’s a bit to bright otherwise, as well as using more battery power. We have a couple of headlamps made by Petzl but I don’t think they’re made anymore – the nearest I can find is MYOBELT SB5 headlamp, almost identicle but ours have the batteries in a small pack on the head strap.
3. Tip Light: There are many variations of lights for the end of your rod – to help you spot bites in the dark but we’ve found the best and least intrusive to be the chemical lights called Starlite, available from all good tackle dealers. These were always a pain to attach to a long beach casting rod until I came across a very clever gadget called the sea light adaptor, made by Enterprise tackle – it is essentially a tube that you can put your chemical light into that is held onto the rod by two rubber clamps that are held shut when pushed into the tube. Not a very good explanation but if you look at the website you’ll get the idea. Enterprise Tackle -Sea Rod Nightlight Adaptor
4. Backup Torch: I have one of these in my tackle box at all times – just in case. Can’t go wrong with a Maglite – the one I have is the 2 x AA battery size. Mini Maglite Flashlight
The other thing we always take is a spare 4 pack of AA batteries kept dry, it would be a shame to remember your light – only to have the batteries fail.