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C-Hawk 245 Pilot House
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I've been on some larger boats (50'+) and fished a good part of the night. Lots of fun, some species bite better. However, I've only been once on a smaller (26') boat. No problems.

Got a place over in Carrabelle that has lots of large mangrove snapper, thinking about a night fishing trip.

Anyone else stay out all night?
 

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Back when I had a gulf boat "a 27' center console " we would do a night trip pretty often in July and August to beat the heat. Of course the weather had to cooperate and be favorable before we would plan a trip.
 

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Yep, love it at night and those big mangos come a lot easier after dark. We put lights out and draw the bait. A live squid or flying fish sent to the bottom is pretty irresistible.
 

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Nighttime is the right time for mangroves.

In February, on the Middle Grounds, some of the larger rocks are alive with Gag Grouper go there to spawn. Right on the full moon. Of course, I've caught just about everything else that lives there, fishing at night.

When it is too hot to fish in the daytime, we beat up on Sharks here because we mostly fish for sharks. My grandson is a Shark nut. I need to anchor and fish for Mangroves more often.

I bought a 10' X 10' bait gill net then cut it to 5'x 10 foot because I loaded so much bait in on the first set that it took 2 guys to get the net back aboard.

I'd bait with a dead Sardine with a circle hook and one #7 Split Shot. Cast past the bow and put the rod in a holder. By the time the bait drifted past the stern, the rod doubled up.

Yeah, fish at night.
 

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We did a night trip out of Destin a few years back....left out at 5 PM, rode around the Gulf all night.

We were all dead tired by about midnight, and the guys were nodding off between spots while I drove.

At some point in the night, I nodded off at the wheel..dunno how long, but when I woke up with a start, it startled the others awake. Alarmed and panicked, they all asked. "What was going on? Is everything ok!?"

Calmly I assured them all was well and I had things under control - I didn't mention I had dozed off too. My buddy then piped up with "Then why does it look like we've ridin' around in tight circles?" I replied, "What? Nah...I was just looking for the spot"

I told them later what actually happened, and we all had another fishing story.
 

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Enjoy evening and night fishing ..
Not as hot or crowded. Often you can fish a public spot all to your self, and get fish too wary go bite during the day..

And when navigating at night, when in doubt .. slow down
 

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Do you guys use any special equipment to help navigate at night? Spotlight? Radar? FLIR camera?
 

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some of the best trips we did on my dad's charter boat back in the 70's were at night. Probably even better now since there's not as much traffic to deal with on the water. We fished many nights with nothing but an old depth finder and a loran c..........learned to navigate that way!!
 

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Auto-pilot, VHF radio on ch-16, radar with alarm. Always have someone awake espcially at Anchor.
When way offshore on a dark night just look up at the sky. Unbelievable compared to a night sky on land. Just like Darkin Ship making an Atlantic crossing. Damn wish they would take an old 76 year old back in the NAVY.
 

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Do you guys use any special equipment to help navigate at night? Spotlight? Radar? FLIR camera?
Hahahaaa...Radar? FLIR? Nah - didn't have that kind of dinero in them days. Didn't even have a cell phone, another expensive luxury (there was life before cell phones).

Did have a good spotlight, green underwater bait light, and Cyalume sticks for the spot marker. I could go on but the cob-webs will begin to gather.
 

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Auto-pilot, VHF radio on ch-16, radar with alarm. Always have someone awake espcially at Anchor.
When way offshore on a dark night just look up at the sky. Unbelievable compared to a night sky on land. Just like Darkin Ship making an Atlantic crossing. Damn wish they would take an old 76 year old back in the NAVY.
I think the same often myself not quite 76 but miss the open seas.
 

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VHF radio is not much use if you are the only boat out there. PLB or EPIRB are the best money you can spend for life insurance offshore. Sadly, the recent case off the east coast drives that home. I was launched one night for an unregistered EPIRB activated well off of Crystal River at night in a hurricane. We flew directly to it and located the crew of a commercial fishing vessel that had sunk in a raft with the EPIRB in their hand! Made a believer out of me.
 

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I have fished the rigs off Dauphin Island at night to avoid the heat. One thing I discovered is that a king is a real problem to safely get off with the lights on an open bay boat. Other than that issue, night fishing is fun and effective.
 

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Done it a few times. Not really my bag. Everything is tougher when you can't see as well as during the day, from navigation, to handling fish, to digging a bag out of the console, everything is a bit more work.


My personal experience is that fish don't bite any better but the sharks do.


Not saying it is not worth trying, but for me, it isn't my favorite.
 

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When I had the Gulf Rogue I would fish 3 to 5 days at a time offshore. Most times fishing daylight then anchor up fish a couple more hours and sleep until daylight. Offshore the pattern with fish bitting was heavy for a short time then they slow down to nothing. Mostly mingos was the catch. Most commercial boats anchor up at night.
Big freighters are the main thing to watch out for. They usually have radar and watch closly. Then when close would sound there horn. This was back when all we had was loran C. No telling what these crazy high speed fishing boats with more money than brains will do at night.
 
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