Sea Fishing at Night. Essential Equipment – Light

Sea Fishing as the sun sets
Sea Fishing as the sun sets

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

A Dab in the dark
A Dab in the dark

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.


  1. Duxbury Ramblers said:

    Thanks for the visit Stuart, good to see you back, I have been dropping in now and again checking for posts.

    January 21, 2009
  2. Excellent summary. You’d be surprised what I come across when I fish at night. One guy actually turned up with what seemed like a searchlight!

    April 18, 2009
  3. daniel sayles said:

    I have been fishing for a while now inland and from November 2010 sea fishing which was a big change to tonight was my first trip sea fishing at night 19:00 to 01:00 and it was the best i have done we had lights and i small fire (which is allowed here) we did not get much in the way for fish (some flat fish and a weaver fish) but it was still an enjoyable trip 😉

    the only problem i came across was i could not see where i had cast to in the sea for casting my uncial’s line out what can i do about that bit to prevent crossing the lines?

    thanks 😉

    June 23, 2011
  4. Stu said:

    Hi Daniel

    Well done on your first night time sea fishing trip and catching a few fish.
    The only thing i can say about casting in the dark to prevent crossing lines is practice, practice, practice. The more you practice your casting during daylight the better it will be at night and you will be able to judge direction better.

    Also distance isn’t as important at night as the fish tend to come closer so don’t try and cast to far, which should help accuracy.

    Hope this helps a bit

    June 23, 2011
  5. Jay said:

    Hi, I am off to Walton on Saturday night on the beach any info wot it’s fishing like and wot tackle and bait to use ?

    November 9, 2011
    • Stu said:

      Not sure at the moment Jay, where about were you thinking?

      I’d have a look at – they have a forum, great bunch of guys.

      November 9, 2011

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