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Thread: Night Fishing for Salmon

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    Default Night Fishing for Salmon

    Hey all,

    I am new to the forum and wanted to ask about your experiences fishing for salmon at night. We come up every July and love fishing for salmon. It is usually crowded while there so we like to hit the river hard at 4 AM and get our limits early. Sometimes it seems that early on it is tough but as the light increases the fishing picks up. We know that we are only flossing the sockeyes so light could not change anything right? Any thoughts with sockeye night flipping?

    Also when fishing for kings, do you guys do alright at night? One day we hit the kenai at 5 AM while a crew was coming in with full limits on kings during the night. Do you guys fish kings at night? Do you use glow in the dark spin n glows or other hardware? Is it worth fishing or should I take advantage of the only 4 hours of dark and actually get some sleep? Thanks!

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    My experience that kings hit better at first light and last light. Bite diminishes when dark for me but I have caught them. No glo in the dark necessary. If you can see, the fish can see. Of course it's still light out at midnight, but the people fishing the weekend only openers don't seem to have any issues slaying fish at 12:01am. I used to hit the river at 430am and hope to catch fish before the guides hit the Kenai river. We had great success. But as I got older, I mainly fish the Kenai River from 6pm to 11pm or so. The guides are off, the more motivated folks who hit it at 5am are off the water, lol. Much more enjoyable experience.

    Flossing reds is different at night for mainly the reason you mentioned of fewer people. I find both reds and kings run closer to shore when people stay out of the water. A huge benefit for me at night with a little moonlight is you can really see the wakes of salmon traveling shallow water. If you try flipping for reds at night, try fishing where you normally would stand. Also unless super shallow, stay out of the water.

    During the week I take off for fishing in the summer, I try to sleep from noon to 6pm on the peninsula as my main down time.

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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Be extra careful at night for the big black and brown "dogs".
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
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    In my experience fishing in several rivers, fishing kings in the pitch black is a waste of time. They are great biters at first light and last light, but I have not done well when it is dark. Silvers on the other hand hit very well in the dark.

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    Member kwackkillncrew's Avatar
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    when i fished at jim creek i only fish at night. less people out there dont seem to make a difference when flossing. When fishing down on the kenai we have fished at night and have done well. last year we went down to the kenai and scouted during the day and watched where people were catching fish. then we would go to the bar and show up to the fishing spot when its dark and little to no people and do pretty good. just watch your back. have had blackies sneak up on me at the tail race before
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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    I do better right at day break. Night fishing seems pretty slow except for silvers in some occasions. I guess it just depends on the location and if the fish are stacked up.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

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    I am agreeing with most here. Kings and Silvers seem to not move/bite as much if it's dark. Kings though in early summer when it's light pretty much all night....well as someone said I've seen plenty of kings killed at midnight openers on the Parks hwy.

    Reds, I don't think it matters much. I only fish the Russian confluence, and only at night. I get a lot less pressure, get the best spots (so even though it's harder to not snag on rocks/bottom, you can find snagfree drifts as you can move around). I like to be there at 11pm when the ferry stops running. then fish until I can't see, or limit out. As folks have mentioned, bears come out at dark too. That is a reason I fish only the confluence at dark. More room to see a bear coming, and they rarely come in the water on the mainstream. Then there are almost always about 10 or so of us fishing I feel like that's enough to keep the bears feeling a little pressure from the people. Fish bodies don't stack up there either. I'd be kind of scared to fish the actual Russian river at dark. No people, and lots of places for a bear to sneak up on you, they are actively feeding there, and a fish isn't that important to me. Same deal, I'd wouldn't fish at the ferry parking lot area (across from the confluence where the RVs park) in the dark as that is where all the fish heads/bodies end up, and there are always bears in that wooded area.

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    Member kenaibow fan's Avatar
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    actually reds are more active during light hours while kings and silvers are more active during darků..erh darker hours.

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    hmmm, I guess so, thanks for that info . kings/silvers seem to turn off in bright light that is for sure. So by light, I meant dawn/dusk really. I've always wondered if it's all about light levels with silvers, or pressure. I rarely get to fish spots that don't get a lot of pressure, and wonder if the dawn bite is more about that than light even? if you get there first before they see a lot of gear and get spooked do you get the bite because of that or because the light in increasing?. Not sure.

    Regardless, I fish reds at night, and do just fine. If I could float the kenai, or found a good spot with no pressure I'd fish reds in the day more. You very well are right that reds move in the day moreso than night (I have a good feeling you are correct). I fish Kings rarely anymore in light or dark due to a bunch of reasons, and silvers at dawn or dusk. I have caught silvers at night before though. It's likely a time/effort thing for me.........I fish a lot at night, and because of it, catch fish at night.......guess shouldn't imply it's any better just that it's possible.

    edit, thanks for the info kenaibowfan, good stuff. I hate being wrong, but hate giving bad info more.

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    Member kenaibow fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akbrownsfan View Post
    hmmm, I guess so, thanks for that info . kings/silvers seem to turn off in bright light that is for sure. So by light, I meant dawn/dusk really. I've always wondered if it's all about light levels with silvers, or pressure. I rarely get to fish spots that don't get a lot of pressure, and wonder if the dawn bite is more about that than light even? if you get there first before they see a lot of gear and get spooked do you get the bite because of that or because the light in increasing?. Not sure.

    Regardless, I fish reds at night, and do just fine. If I could float the kenai, or found a good spot with no pressure I'd fish reds in the day more. You very well are right that reds move in the day moreso than night (I have a good feeling you are correct). I fish Kings rarely anymore in light or dark due to a bunch of reasons, and silvers at dawn or dusk. I have caught silvers at night before though. It's likely a time/effort thing for me.........I fish a lot at night, and because of it, catch fish at night.......guess shouldn't imply it's any better just that it's possible.

    edit, thanks for the info kenaibowfan, good stuff. I hate being wrong, but hate giving bad info more.
    Well if you catch fish at the time you fish and it is at night then it would seem that way. As with every thing I am sure there are exceptions to the rule. I am just offering this as a rule of thumb.

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    Thanks for the help guys!

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    Hey there sent you a email couldn't use other short cuts.as for fishing at night it is good only sometimes recommend first light, that is what we do over here it all depends on the clarity of the water and how many fishing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BN2FSH View Post
    In my experience fishing in several rivers, fishing kings in the pitch black is a waste of time. They are great biters at first light and last light, but I have not done well when it is dark. Silvers on the other hand hit very well in the dark.

    Fishing Kings in pitch black? HAHAHAHA it doesnt get "pitch black" in June or July up here :P

    I have always done best around 10pm-1am personally but ya once it gets "dark" outside it seems to slow down then pick up again around 4am in my experience. I have never caught a silver after Dark though. I always seem to do best fishing for silvers at Dawn and on for a few hours and than at dusk but for me any ways it seems to suddenly die at dark.

    For reds, I have never had a problem catching them at dark. Though I do always seem to better during the day.

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    Caught a nice silver off the dock behind the Kenai River Raven at aprox 1130pm last year in August. Could have been a fluke, fish hit a flying C

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    In Juneau the place to fish for sockeye is only open on Wednesdaysand Saturdays, we would often hit the river at 12:01 am (it is pitch black atthat time) we would use glow in the dark flies and would slay the sockeyes(better then the day sometimes). we would wear headlamps and"recharge" the flies after 3 or 4 casts.
    Last edited by AKducks; 03-14-2013 at 13:57. Reason: changing font

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    While king fishing at night, if you haven't tried a glow in the dark spin-n-glow or corkie, you should
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the regs now forbid fishing from 11pm to 6am? Or was that only for specific spots?

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    Quote Originally Posted by germe1967 View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the regs now forbid fishing from 11pm to 6am? Or was that only for specific spots?
    I know you use to be able to fish all night on the Parks but last year they closed them down to at 11pm to 6am like you said. I dont know if that is state wide though. Last year I think they only did it due to such low returns which I would expect again for this year. I am not even going to target Kings this year. With such low returns we have been having I personally feel its irresponsible to put strain on them if I dont need to. I will wait for Reds and silvers. Plenty of trout and pike to target during the King run.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllAlaskan View Post
    I know you use to be able to fish all night on the Parks but last year they closed them down to at 11pm to 6am like you said. I dont know if that is state wide though. Last year I think they only did it due to such low returns which I would expect again for this year. I am not even going to target Kings this year. With such low returns we have been having I personally feel its irresponsible to put strain on them if I dont need to. I will wait for Reds and silvers. Plenty of trout and pike to target during the King run.
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    Quote Originally Posted by germe1967 View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the regs now forbid fishing from 11pm to 6am? Or was that only for specific spots?
    It's only certain streams. Ninilchik, Deep, and Anchor River don't even open until midnight on Fridays. Kasilof and a few others are also open all night.
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