Surf Fishing at Night: How to Catch Fish in the Dark

Do you love to go surf fishing? Are you looking for a way to catch more fish in the dark? If so, then you need to read this blog post! In today’s article, we will discuss how to catch fish from the beach at night.

We will cover everything from the best times of night to fish, to the best bait and lures to use. So whether you are a beginner or an experienced fisherman, this post is for you!

Three reasons why you should try surf fishing at night

Here are a few reasons why we love surf fishing at night.

  1. Many species of fish are more active at night and tend to bite more readily.
  2. The beach is less crowded, which makes it more relaxing.
  3. The scenery is much prettier at night, with all the stars overhead.

Not to mention, no sunburn!

The best times of night to fish

There is no one “right” time of night to fish, as it depends on the specific location and the type of fish you are targeting. However, there are some general guidelines that can help you get started.

A beach at dusk with a rod in the foreground

Generally speaking, the best times of night to fish are from about sunset until midnight. This is when the fish are most active and tend to bite more readily.

Also keep an eye on the tide chart. The best tide for surf fishing at night is an incoming tide, or one that’s going from low to high. This is because the predator fish that you’ll be targeting follow the smaller fish into surf zone.

Nighttime surf fishing tip: If you’re using a rod holder, it can be tough to your rod to know if you got a bite. Try these mini glow sticks that attach to the tip of your rod.

A surf rod at night with a glow stick on the tip
A special glowstick that attaches the tip of your rod will help you see when you get bites

Best bait and lures for surf fishing at night

Live bait

The best bait for surf fishing depends on what type of fish you want to catch. Squid is a good bait for catching bass, while shrimp is a better choice for targeting mullet or catfish. You can also use crabs, worms, and other live bait fish.

Shiny spoons

Spoons are a good choice for surf fishing at night. They reflect any light that shines on them, which makes them easier to see in the dark. The best colors for surf fishing at night are silver or gold.

Berkley Gulp! Shrimp

The Berkley Gulp! Shrimp is a plastic bait that smells and feel like real shrimp. It’s available in a variety of colors including pink, white, chartreuse, red, etc. Plus they’re scented, which can attract fish from a distance.

Spinner baits

A spinnerbait is another good choice for surf fishing at night. These lu have a blade on the front that spins around as you reel in the line, creating vibrations and flashing light reflections off of it which attract fish from a distance.


If you’re looking to catch larger fish, then a good choice is a bomber. These are large, hard-bodied lures that resemble baitfish. They can be worked in a variety of ways to imitate different types of prey.

Bottom line is lures work great for surf fishing at night.


Jigs are another good option for surf fishing at night. They come in a variety of colors and sizes, and can be weighted to sink down into deeper water.

Bring a headlamp

Most experienced fishermen will tell you that your best bet is to use a headlamp when it comes to fishing at night. A good headlamp will help you see, while keeping your hands free.

a man holding a rod at night with a red head lamp

Plus, wearing a headlamp will help whoever you’re with see you from a distance. Which bring us to our next topic…

Nighttime surf fishing safety

Surf fishing at night is fun, but it can also be dangerous. Here are some tips to keep you safe:

  • Always fish with a partner. It’s good to have someone there to watch your back and help you if something happens.
  • Bring a flashlight (ideally a headlamp), even if there’s light from the moon overhead. You’ll need it when handling fish or bait.
  • Avoid getting to deep into the water, especially when there are large waves or strong currents.
  • If you feel uncomfortable fishing at night, don’t do it! There’s no shame in admitting that it’s too dark for you.


Surf fishing at night can be a lot of fun, and it’s a great way to catch more fish. So if you are looking for something new to try, give it a go!

Happy fishing!

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