Surf Fishing at Night: Tips For Night Fishing at the Beach

Surf Fishing at Night

Are you thinking of trying out surf fishing at night?

You’re in for a real treat! Night fishing is one of the most exciting and productive ways to fish. You need to do a few things to get ready, but we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.

Imagine the stars and moon lighting up the ocean and looking over at rods bending left and right! Surf fishing at night is an experience you won’t forget. It can be incredibly peaceful and offers a setting unlike any other.

What is Surf Fishing?

Surf Fishing is simply fishing along a shoreline where waves are present. Surf Fishing is most often referred to when anglers are casting from a beach along the ocean’s shorelines. Here in NC, where I live, Surf Fishing is extremely popular with both locals and tourists, especially during the spring and fall when fish are making their migrations and the sunbathers have made room on the beach for us to cast a line.

Surf fishing presents unique challenges compared to regular bank fishing or fishing from a vessel—the main challenge when Surf Fishing is the presence of breaking waves. The crashing waves can make it challenging to keep your bait in the “strike zone” and drag your line out into the ocean if you are not paying attention.

Another challenge when Surf Fishing, especially at night, is the element of surprise. With the waves crashing and the darkness, it can be difficult to tell whether or not your lure or bait is still in the right spot. But with the proper fishing weight and other surf fishing gear, you can be more confident throughout the night.

Now that we have covered what Surf Fishing is, let’s get into the specifics of Surf Fishing at night. Below are some tips to make your first experience a success!

Is Surf Fishing Good at Night?

The simple answer to this question is YES!

While there are many different types of fishing, one of the great things about Surf Fishing is that you can do it anytime, day or night. The changing tides and migrating fish make Surf Fishing an excellent option for those looking to wet a line at all hours.

One of the most common questions I get asked is, “What time of day is best for Surf Fishing?

This is a great question and one that does not have a simple answer. It depends on many different factors, such as the type of fish you are targeting, the tide patterns, the location you are fishing, the time of year, etc.

However, I can confidently say that Surf Fishing at night can be highly productive and a lot of fun!

Reasons to Try Surf Fishing at Night

The benefits of fishing at night are numerous. For starters, the air temperature is usually cooler, making for more comfortable fishing conditions. The water temperature is also typically more relaxed at night, triggering fish to feed more actively.

In addition, there are usually fewer people fishing at night, which means more space and opportunity for you to catch fish.

How to Prepare for Surf Fishing at Night

Now that we’ve gone over some of the reasons you should try Surf Fishing at night let’s talk about how to prepare.

Here are a few things you will need(Our Top Picks Included):

  • A fishing license 
  • Proper fishing gear, including a rod, reel, line, weights, and hooks
  • Bait or Lures
  • A Headlamp or Flashlight
  • A cooler with ice
  • Sand Flea Rake
Value Pick
PENN Slammer IV Spinning Reel

No other saltwater reel in this price range is sealed more thoroughly to withstand heavy exposure to saltwater while still providing the exceptional smoothness you expect from Penn fishing reels.

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01/22/2024 11:35 am GMT
Surf Fishing Starter Kit
Tailored Tackle Saltwater Surf Fishing Kit 82 Pc Tackle Box

This kit comes with all the rigs, lures, weights, hooks, and more that you need to get started for fishing in the surf. Plus, it comes with a guide you can take with you on your next trip!

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Headlamp For Night Fishing
Black Diamond Equipment - Storm 400 Headlamp - Graphite

This is the headlamp I have had for almost 10 years. Black Diamond makes products that last and this headlamp proves it.

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01/23/2024 02:30 am GMT
Live Bait Cooler
Engel Coolers Live Bait Cooler with Net & Four Rod Holders, White, 30Qt.

Yes, this live bait has rod holders! Do you need to know anything else?

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Our Pick
Exact Design Sand Flea Rake

This sand flea rake includes teeth that allows you to dig deeper into the sand and scoop up more sand fleas into the basket.

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01/23/2024 03:12 am GMT

Once you have gathered all of your gear, the next step is to choose a location. When Surf Fishing at night, it is essential to pick a spot that is well lit. This will help you see your line and make it easier to avoid obstacles in the water.

Another thing to keep in mind when choosing a location is the tide. The tide can significantly impact where fish are congregating, so be sure to do your research before heading out.

Best Tide For Surf Fishing

Surf fishing is best during a falling tide. This is because the outgoing tide sweeps baitfish out to sea, attracting predators. 

As the tide begins to fall, fish will often feed closer to the shore in search of an easy meal. This makes Surf Fishing during a falling tide ideal for those fishing from the beach.

Tides can vary greatly depending on where you are fishing, so it is essential to check the tide chart for your specific location.

Now that you have chosen a location and know what tide will be best, it is time to get your gear ready.

How to Set Up Your Gear for Surf Fishing at Night

The first step is to attach a weight to your line. The weight will help keep your line in the water and keep it from being swept away by the waves.

Next, you will need to tie on a hook. If you are using bait, be sure to choose a size and type of hook appropriate for the bait you are using.

If you are using lures, there are many different hooks to choose from. The most important thing is to make sure the hook is the right size for the lure.

Once your hook is in place, it is time to tie on a leader. A leader is a length of line that connects your main line to your hook. The leader should be about 18 inches long and made from fluorocarbon.

After your leader is in place, you can attach your lure or bait. If you are using bait, be sure to thread it onto the hook so that it is secure.

If you are using a lure, there are many different ways to rig it. The most important thing is to make sure the lure is secure and will not come off while you are casting.

Now that your gear is set up, it is time to start fishing!

Safety Tips for a Successful Nighttime Surf Fishing

Now that you know how to prepare for a night of Surf Fishing, you should keep a few safety tips in mind.

First and foremost, let someone know where you are going and when you will be back. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Secondly, bring a headlamp or flashlight with you to see your rig when you are putting on bait and for several other uses. Lastly, be sure to bring a cooler with ice to keep your catch fresh.

With these safety tips in mind, you are now ready to head out and enjoy a night of Surf Fishing!

Gear For Surf Fishing at Night

Best Night Time Surf Fishing Lures

This kit below has everything you need for surf fishing including a spoon for Casting & Jigging, a surfcasting Popper Lure, 5 Grub Bait Lures, and 5 Painted Jigs.

Surf Fishing Starter Kit
Tailored Tackle Saltwater Surf Fishing Kit 82 Pc Tackle Box

This kit comes with all the rigs, lures, weights, hooks, and more that you need to get started for fishing in the surf. Plus, it comes with a guide you can take with you on your next trip!

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Best Bait for Surf Fishing at Night

I’ve written about this before, and undoubtedly my favorite and what I consider the best for surf fishing is sand fleas, aka. mole crabs or sand crabs. For more information on how to catch sand fleas and the best sand flea rakes, check out these pages below:

Types of Fish You Can Catch Surf Fishing

There are many different types of fish that you can catch while surf fishing. It depends on where you are in the world but to give you an idea, some of the fish that I have caught while surf fishing on the east coast include:

-Striped Bass







Frequently Asked Questions

Do Lures Work For Surf Fishing at Night?

Yes, you can surf fish with lures at night. Many anglers prefer to use lures when fishing at night because they are easier to see in the dark.

Is Surf Fishing Better During the Night or Day?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It depends on the tides, water visibility, temperatures, seasons, location, etc. I’d say the best time fishing is anytime you have the chance to get away and wet a line. Take advantage of any opportunity you have, whether during the day or at night.

What Is the Best Time of Year to go Surf Fishing?

The best time of year for surf fishing varies depending on where you are. In general, the fall and spring months offer the best conditions for surf fishing.

For another perspective on surf fishing in the dark, check out the video below where the conditions are not so ideal. You’d hope for more light from the stars and moon than this fella has to work with. This video provides great pointers to help you surf fish at night.

Final Thoughts on Surf Fishing at Night

Night fishing can be a great way to avoid crowds and enjoy peace and quiet. It can also be an exciting way to catch fish that you might not normally encounter during the Day.

It can be a safe and enjoyable experience with a bit of preparation for everyone involved.

Hopefully, this guide has given you some helpful information on preparing for a night of surf fishing. Remember to follow the safety tips listed above and have fun!

Tight lines!

Captain Tyler Brady

Captain Tyler Brady

Hi, I'm Captain Tyler Brady, founder of A Fellow Fisherman. Thank you for reading this post and visiting my site. I strive to provide the best information when it comes to fishing, whether it is myself or A Fellow Fisherman that is part of my team. Now stop reading and GO fishing!

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