Do Trout Bite at Night? [How to Catch Trout at Night]

Trout are among the most popular fish that anglers will try to catch. Fishing takes a lot of practice and expertise if it is to be done proficiently. If you’re wanting to consistently catch trout or any fish, you’ll need to know the best times to go fishing for them. Many people often wonder if they can go fishing for and catch trout at night.

Anglers can fish for and catch trout at night. In fact, one of the best times to fish for trout is at night, this is especially true during the warmer months. Trout tend to be more active at night taking advantage of hatches and easy hunting opportunities. Overall fishing for trout at night is a great way to catch some nice fish.

In this quick guide we will discuss why night fishing for trout can present anglers with some great fishing opportunities, how to catch trout at night, and some other fishing resources that will help you catch more fish when it gets dark outside.

Trout and Nighttime

Trout definitely bite at night because they will feed in the dark if they can see. In addition to this, it usually seems to be bigger trout that will feed more heavily while it’s dark. In general, you will usually catch bigger fish during the nighttime.

Big trout will normally feed passively throughout the day, only grabbing whatever happens to pass them. However, they become much more active in their feeding once the sun has set. During the day, they will stay in their shelter, but at night, they will leave the safety of that shelter in search of prey.

Trout are usually known for being fairly cautious, but at night, they feel more protected from predators and will be less cautious. Their hunting becomes more active as well.

Trout eyes don’t have night vision, but they can see well enough in low light conditions to be able to find prey, even in the nighttime. At night, trout are also able to detect movements in the water with quite a bit of accuracy. As a result of this, trout will be able to focus on and chase larger prey in low light conditions. This is because they move more water when they’re moving than smaller prey do.

How to Catch Trout at Night

If there is strong moonlight, you’re likely to have better luck with fishing than on a moonless night. This is because the trout are better able to see and hunt by the light of the moon. If there’s no moonlight, they can’t hunt.

Dark-colored flies seem to work better at night than the lightly colored ones do. Even though it seems a bit backward since it’s dark outside, the darker colored flies actually create a better silhouette at nighttime. It would seem that the most productive color of fly to use for night fishing is black, possibly with some dark purple or even red.

Because of the trout’s ability to sense movement in the water, it’s a good idea to use a lure or flies that will move a good amount of water around. This will help the trout to sense the motion and move toward your fishing line. It will make it more easily detectable, even in the nighttime.

If you can, it is best to avoid highly lit areas. Street lights and city lights can hurt how much large fish will appear. While lights will attract some smaller fish, there are usually larger predatory fish waiting just outside where the light shines. The further away you can get from artificial light, the better.

When fishing at night, you should make sure you are familiar with the fishing spot and make sure that you have already fished there during the day. This is for safety and for strategy as knowing where the water gets deeper, where holes are, and other things maybe can keep you safe and help you know where to try and fish.

Best Times to Catch Trout

Even though trout can be caught at night, the best time of day to catch trout is not during the night.

The best time of the day to catch trout is actually in the early morning hours. This is usually from dawn until 2 hours after sunrise. The next best time to catch trout in the day is in the late afternoon, or 3 hours before sunset until it gets dark.

Trout will normally feed during the whole day and even at night. However, the early morning and late afternoon typically will be the best times to go trout fishing throughout most of the year.

The best time to catch trout is in the early morning because they will be out feeding during this time. Because of the lighting, trout have an advantage over their prey at this time of day. They have good vision in reduced light and they can see better than their prey. For this same reason, they will feed right before sunset as well.

In the afternoon, insect activity increases and is very high. This provides a lot of food for trout who have spent the day hiding and not eating very much. Either of these times has seemed to prove successful when it comes to trout fishing.

Best Season and Time to Catch Trout

Spring would seem to be the best time for catching trout, as this is when the temperatures begin to rise and food availability is increasing as well. The fish also are becoming more active after not doing much throughout the slow winter months.

The best time of day to fish in the spring is in the mid-morning and mid-afternoon hours. Early morning hours can also be good, but only if the temperatures are a bit warmer. As the temperatures increase later in the spring, moving into summer, the early morning and later afternoon fishing times are the best times for trout fishing.

It’s good for the temperature to be warm enough for the trout to be out in, but they also don’t like being out in the heat of the day, especially on hot summer days. This is when they really become active during the early morning and late afternoon hours.

Check out this article I wrote for more information on when you should fish for trout: When is the best time to fish for trout?

Related Trout Fishing Resources

Aaron Warner

Aaron Warner is an avid angler with over 15 years of experience. He has participated and won fishing tournaments all over the country and enjoys fishing for bass, trout, walleye and other species.

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