Sea-Trout Fishing Methods: Casting at Night
At night, your tackle is always harder to manage. A tangled cast goes unnoticed until it has developed into a first-class bird’s nest. Darkness is a liability as well as an asset.
The angler should always start on his pool by making a series of short casts. If the water is shallow on the near side he should continue to short-cast as he wades quietly to cover the farther water. It should never be forgotten that sea-trout seek the shallowest water at night, often only a few feet from the bank. Some anglers start operations by throwing a long line, but I feel sure that they disturb a great many fish that could be caught. When I have been forgetful enough to cast over shallow water at night (instead of first casting into it) I have often sent shoals of sea-trout scattering in all directions. On occasion, I have practically trodden on fish in no more than six inches of water. Given caution, these fish could have been caught.
Some casting instructors insist that the rod should work in a single plane when executing the overhead cast, the theory being that the velocity imported to the line on the back-cast will cause it to turn over well clear of the rod tip. All this is quite true when you are fishing in still water and can get a clean pick-off and impart high velocity to your line. In night fishing, however, when the tip of the line may be a couple of metres under water, things are not always so simple. More often than not the line is picked up from downstream at a rather low velocity. I find that it helps if the rod is shifted sufficiently to avoid the line, which often comes across rather low. If distance is desired, a singlein the required direction instantly gives the line enough velocity for it to be cast and shot in the normal way.
A most useful cast for the night fisher is the so-called Spey cast, which is merely a roll cast incorporating a change of direction. In my own mind I call it the sling cast because that is the sort of action it imparts to the line. In a roll cast the line is never thrown behind the angler as in an overhead cast. It is rolled forward low over the water with a circular movement of the rod tip. These casts are useful in confined places where there is no air-space behind the angler.