The Dark Side

General trout, fishing, conservation, or anything outdoors related discussion. Trip reports and stream conditions welcome, but please do not name streams.
POLITICAL FREE ZONE

Postby KhakiSam » Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:34 pm

I remember when I first started fishing for trout in WW--right as the sunset I would run back to the car with a net over my head. The bats were so crazy, I thought I'd get hit in the face.

Over the years, as I've read more and more about night fishing (check out "Night Fishing for Trout" by Jim Bashline if you can find a copy!), I've forced myself to acclimate to the bats. This year, as the summer has warmed up, I probably fish at night more than I fish during the day. It helps that Wisconsin has some lenient laws regarding night fishing. Minnesota, however, does not: you've got to stop at 11 p.m., which sucks.

It's interesting to arrive at a popular body of water on a Sunday night---after it's been pounded the whole weekend-- and see anglers packing up their gear and going home right when the good fishing begins.

1. Any of you guys down in the southeast go night fishing?

2. Would you be in favor of changing regulations to allow night fishing in Minnesota?
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Postby trouts » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:13 pm

I tend to night fish more as the summer heats up, but that also might have to do with school being out and I don’t have to go to work the next day. I wish MN would change the 11 pm regs, but in my experience it’s one of the last things a warden would worry about. As long as you are not disrupting others late at night I really don’t see it as an issue. I’m not trying to encouraging anyone to break any regulations, but I put this in the same catagory as the disposing of internals reg. As long as you are not dumping a pile of trout guts in the parking lot, throwing them in the weeds where they aren’t unsightly isn’t hurting anything.
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Postby S.T.Fanatic » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:15 am

I love night fishing. Should do more of it but work and busy weekend schedules keep me from doing it more often. I have caught a couple handfuls of 20"+ browns well after sundown. Fishing streams that you know like the back of your hand will make it a much more enjoyable outing. Your best streams to fish at night tend to be streams that have had H.I. work and get piss pounded on a regular basis. After the sun goes down the big boys that you didn't know were there come out to play. It adds a whole new element to the whole "fighting a big fish in small water scenario".
“What more delightful avocation than to take a piece of land and by cautious experimentation to prove how it works. What more substantial service to conservation than to practice it on one's own land?” Aldo Leopold
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Postby winonaflyfactory » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:01 pm

Was out last night until 11pm. Would have stayed until much later if I could.
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Postby brntrout » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:14 am

There is no doubt about it, larger trout are low light feeders. With off colored water and light rain/cloudy conditions being second best IMO. One of our ex Lanesboro DNR Fisheries Managers, Mel Haugstad, was a die hard night fisher. Probably the majority of his over 20 inch fish came to hand after dark. I would be definitely be opposed to allowing night fishing all night long unless total C&R regulations were implemented on all streams when fishing during that time frame. Large trout are very vulnerable at night and much easier catch then at any other time by far. Right now, with higher stream temperatures, especially on larger more marginal streams, stream temperatures don't fall back into trout's preferred feeding range until after dark, and sometimes that can be quite late in the evening.
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Postby winonaflyfactory » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:02 am

brntrout wrote:There is no doubt about it, larger trout are low light feeders. With off colored water and light rain/cloudy conditions being second best IMO. One of our ex Lanesboro DNR Fisheries Managers, Mel Haugstad, was a die hard night fisher. Probably the majority of his over 20 inch fish came to hand after dark. I would be definitely be opposed to allowing night fishing all night long unless total C&R regulations were implemented on all streams when fishing during that time frame. Large trout are very vulnerable at night and much easier catch then at any other time by far. Right now, with higher stream temperatures, especially on larger more marginal streams, stream temperatures don't fall back into trout's preferred feeding range until after dark, and sometimes that can be quite late in the evening.


I don't see C&R regs being implemented for a specific time frame on all streams. No way to enforce it and frankly with the lack of enforcement now you can go night fishing all night long and have a 99% chance of being just fine. In fact, I would ask the question. Those who actually night fish regularly, do you think they obey the 11pm curfew. My bet is no way in hell. So, maybe opening the regs up to allow night fishing all night long might encourage others new to it to try it but I have a feeling that those who want to do it already do and they don't obey the 11pm rule so....little would change if the regs were changed to allow it. That's my take on it.
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Postby brntrout » Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:37 pm

So, your saying just go ahead disobey the current law and allow anglers to kill off the biggest trout all night long with the best genetics to produce larger size trout and that is fine with you? Now, that is definitely a different view on conservation or is it just a lack of conservation ethic all together? Personally, I think it would be relatively easy to enact total C&R after 10:00 pm. As far as enforcement, there isn't any now, at anytime, most of the time, so based on your analogy we should just disobey the law anytime we feel like it when trout angling? That's my take on your take!
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Postby S.T.Fanatic » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:35 am

brntrout wrote:So, your saying just go ahead disobey the current law and allow anglers to kill off the biggest trout all night long with the best genetics to produce larger size trout and that is fine with you? Now, that is definitely a different view on conservation or is it just a lack of conservation ethic all together? Personally, I think it would be relatively easy to enact total C&R after 10:00 pm. As far as enforcement, there isn't any now, at anytime, most of the time, so based on your analogy we should just disobey the law anytime we feel like it when trout angling? That's my take on your take!


Ever break the speed limit, drive without a seat belt, or maybe drive when you know you've had one or two to many? Get off your podium! Nobody was encouraging any illegal activity, just stating some facts. Then again I need to choose my words more wisely because regulations and law's are not one in the same.


Harvest isn't an issue. Hell, people don't keep trout when they're allowed let alone when they aren't. Things have/are changing that's for sure. I know of two different high school kids from my area that both caught and released fish over 24" this summer. How many times do you think that would have happened 20+ years ago. The younger generation (for the most part) are the fisherman that are partaking in night fishing.
“What more delightful avocation than to take a piece of land and by cautious experimentation to prove how it works. What more substantial service to conservation than to practice it on one's own land?” Aldo Leopold
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Postby darklake » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:29 am

I night fish some and obey the 11 p.m. curfew more or less; I don't bring a watch and just quit when I figure it is about 11. Night fishing certainly isn't for everybody, so IMO extending the quitting time isn't likely to bring out a bunch of new fishermen who want to harvest browns. Don't you think those targeting bigger fish for harvest already do so with crawlers or minnows? I also fish in Wisconsin and will keep at it until well after midnight. If there were a problem with over harvest of big browns after dark I would expect it would show up there, but in my experience Wisco isn't suffering from a shortage of big fish. This time of year it's not really that dark at 11 p.m. -- you have to quit right about when you should be fishing -- so I say we get rid of it.
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Postby brntrout » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:12 am

S.T.Fanatic wrote:Ever break the speed limit, drive without a seat belt, or maybe drive when you know you've had one or two to many? Get off your podium! Nobody was encouraging any illegal activity, just stating some facts. Then again I need to choose my words more wisely because regulations and law's are not one in the same.


Harvest isn't an issue. Hell, people don't keep trout when they're allowed let alone when they aren't. Things have/are changing that's for sure. I know of two different high school kids from my area that both caught and released fish over 24" this summer. How many times do you think that would have happened 20+ years ago. The younger generation (for the most part) are the fisherman that are partaking in night fishing.



Saying it its all right to break the law because others do, does not make it right! And yes, we all have not buckled our seat belts or drove over the speed limit that still does not make it right. When it comes to not obeying regulations/laws it can get you jail time, fined or both. As far as encouraging illegal activity it definitely sounded like that to me.

IMO, harvest is an issue. It only takes a few who want to kill large trophy trout and numbers of large trout could easily plummet, especially on streams without restrictive regulations "that allow bait angling"!

As far as age of anglers partaking in night fishing, you are probably right, but i know of many older anglers who used to do it quite often especially when trout fishing contests were all the rage! Also it appears "some" people would not have a problem fishing and keeping trout of all sizes at night. Just ran into about 20 ( probably a couple different families)illegally fishing at Bucksnort Dam with bait the other day. I told them the regulations on Trout Run do not allow bait fishing and pointed out the sign to them. (BTW they spoke English just fine) I thought that would make them quit fishing but I guess not, because about an hour or so later a fishing buddy of mine ran into me downstream and he said they were still there bait fishing. He had warned them bait fishing was not allowed as well. After he told me they were STILL bait fishing i drove up to get there license plate numbers with full intent to turn them in but they had just left. Another anglers was rigging up and he said they just left a few minutes before I got there!

In short I have no problem opening it up to night angling as long as its C&R angling!
Last edited by brntrout on Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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