When the sun sets, the rules for catfishing change. While the cooler shallows of nighttime water put hungry feeders on the prowl, the techniques and tackle required to land the big fish without the light of day can be challenging.
Fortunately, there are great products on the market for night catfishing that aid with lighting, safety and convenience to make fishing after dark more enjoyable and successful.
There are several reasons that some great night catfishing gadgets are hitting the market: many of the tried-and-true nighttime tools that have been on the market for some time are coming out in newer versions that are lighter, smaller and more effective; popular European products are making their way to the American market and some U.S. based companies are developing product lines specifically designed for catfishing.
While you may already have durable night catfishing tackle, it never hurts to have a few more tricks up your sleeve.
Whether you are fishing by bank or by boat, here are some cool gadgets on the market to try on your next outing. Keep in mind that you can find many of the more expensive items for far less than the MSRP by shopping around online.
Thermacell | Repellent Camp Lantern
Nothing ruins a night of catfishing faster than pesky mosquitos.Thermacell
, the leader in mosquito repellent lanterns and wearable units is introducing a new lantern perfect for night catfishing.
The Thermacell Repellent Camp Lantern is a durable, water-resistant, easily transportable lantern that wards off mosquitos, no-se-ums and black flies with several hours of protection and 50 hours of light at a time. The unit is compact but hearty. The weighted, rubber base prevents it from tipping easily.
Thermacell is known for its backyard lanterns and personal wearable units that provide a safe and convenient alternative to dousing yourself in mosquito repellant, which can transfer to your bait.
The Thermacell products emit an odor free repellent in a 15-foot zone. Repellent comes on replaceable mats for the unit and is vaporized when heated from a butane cartridge. Each cartridge lasts up to 12 hours.
The repellent, Allethrin, is an EPA approved synthetic version of the natural repellent pyrethin that is found in chrysanthemum flowers. It is safe for humans and pets. All of the products use interchangeable cartridges with and refills are available.
Rod-N-Bobb | Jug, Noodle, Flag system
The creators of the original crackable glow stick have developed a jug, noodle, flag system specifically for trotlines and night catfishing. Rod-N-Bobb\'s
3-part system for illumination enables you to mix and match items to fit your specific fishing needs. The foam noodle and the plastic jug (both designed with patented, highly reflective material) are used as flotation devices for trotlines.
Both products are designed to work with a reflective flag used as a signaling device. They are also rigged to accommodate glow sticks or battery sticks if you prefer those.
The system is designed for optimal night visibility. The highly reflective materials work light a street sign at night and can be easily spotted with even a flashlight beam.
The system is ideal for trotline fishing and offers a variety of neon reflective options. What makes this system nice is that you can mix and match the products to buy only what you need and all of the products are designed to work together.
Team Catfish | Glow Wrapz
Team Catfish Glow Wrapz
eliminate the hassle of one-time glow sticks or even bright lights that can attract bugs. The adhesive wraps stick together around your rod and stay lit for more than 10 hours. It is recommended to wrap them from the tip to two feet back on the rod for best performance. Many anglers use the Glow Wrapz to make a reflective flag on the end of the rod.
When the brightness starts to dim, shine your flashlight on the wraps for a quick 5-second pick-me-up and they shine like new. The reflective technology enables you to see rod movement even on moonless nights.
The Glow Wrapz offer a low cost and low maintenance way to see when you have a bite. You can also cut the Glow Wrapz into smaller pieces to use as reflecting material on your gear.
MSRP: $3.09 (3 pack)
Cygnet | Grand Sniper D/L Rod Pod
If you are looking for a functional, versatile, durable all-terrain unit to hold multiple rods during night catfishing, you can\'t do better than the Cygnet Grand Sniper D/L Rod Pod
. Cygnet says this unit is designed for carp fishing, but catfish anglers also like it for going after eating size cats.
This unit works especially well if you are using bite alarms because it keeps rods elevated and separated. The Grand Sniper D/L Rod Pod holds three rods at a time with an option to add-on a fourth rod bar. Its greatest feature is that it is durable on many types of terrain including grass, pavement and soft or elevated ground.
The Rod Pod uses a versatile leg-locking mechanism for stability. Each leg is adjustable allowing you to fish from any angle. The unit comes with a variety of leg lengths (2x10 inches, 2x12 inches, 2x24 inches and 2x36 inches), a pair of fixed 3-rod buzzer bars, quick lock butt rests and a padded case.
Berkley | Fireline® Fused Tracer
Berkley has kicked hi-vis lines up a notch this year by introducing the FireLine Fused Tracer
that not only makes it easier to spot your line, but now you can measure depth and distance.
The Fused Tracer color alternates between 5 feet of hi-vis flame green line and 5 feet of low-vis smoke color. You can see line movement while also having a camouflage effect. Whether casting from the bank or trolling, you can easily detect distance and depth by counting the 5-foot sections.
This smooth line offers high performance and better casting than other lines. The FireLine Fused Tracer comes in 6-, 8-, 10-, 20- and 30-pound test. Spools are available in 125, 300 and 1500 yards.
Delkim | TX-i Plus Electronic Bite Alarm
Bite alarms are essential for night catfishing. While there are a few versions on the market, few can stand up to the Delkim Tx-i Plus ectronic bite alarm
. It is not only a high-tech way to detect a bite, but it is just plain cool.
The system, which comes in multi-colored lights, allows for hands-free night fishing. The alarm attaches to your rod while fishing from the bank enabling you to relax but jump into action when necessary. Sophisticated technology enables the bite alarm to provide information like line speed and vibration with varying sensitivity ranges.
The Delkim TX-i Plus also has individual transmitter activation codes, an anti-theft alarm and variable LED modes for lighting adjustment. The remote alarm is a favorite feature among anglers who prefer to not sit next to their rods all night.
Trakker | Tempest Composite Bivvy
Trakker Tempest Composite Bivvy
is the latest version of one-man shelters designed for long all-nighters on the bank fishing.
The Tempest Composite Bivvy has the traditional appeal of freestanding shelters, but this version is lighter weight and has easier assembly. Several door options make for an easy exit.
You can zip up the flap, roll up, use a screen door, or zip down to form a letterbox opening suitable for keeping your eyes on the water. You can also have a fully open view. This means you can work in a cat nap while night catfishing knowing you can quickly get to your rods when there is a bite.
The Tempest Composite Bivvy is made out of durable 210D polyester. Weighing only 12 pounds, the bivvy is easy to transport to your spot in a compact zip bag. There is Velcro rod-retaining wraps on the front to hold rods in place as you prep your night gear keeping it off the ground. There are rain gutters down each side of the unit for rainy evenings.
Whisker Seeker | Nite Styx
is a distributer exclusively focused on catfishing products is taking the traditional glow stick up a notch. The just-released Nite Styx product uses LED lighting technology to offer a reusable, long-lasting way to light the tip of your rod.
The Whisker Seeker Nite Styx units use a convenient snap-on attachment. They are reusable, non-intrusive, require no tools and provide up to 150 hours of visible night fishing on just one battery. The highly visible neon lighting comes with both green and orange options.
The housing holds the battery when not in use and easily screws together when you are ready to fish. The unit never has to come off of your rod.
The Whisker Seeker Nite Styx eliminates the need to buy glow sticks that only last one night. After the initial purchase, you only need to replace the small batteries
Fox Rapide | Load PVA Bag System
The PVA bag can be one of your greatest night catfishing tools to attract fish. PVA bags also take a bit more patience to put together. The new FOX Rapide Load PVA Bag System
cuts the time to assemble the bags down to seconds.
This new system uses a small plastic loader tool. You fill the bag, twist it close, lick the top and secure by adhering the moistened section back onto the bag. It is a seamless and quick process enabling you to fill and close a bag in less than 19 seconds.
PVA bags, popular with carp fishing, are becoming more popular for catfishing. the PVA bag is a biodegradable plasticdissolves in the water enabling you to chum and keep your hook in the center of the food. Loader tools come in both large and small sizes with five bag options available.
Each kit comes with a loading tool, locking collar and a pack of 25 bags. Refills are available.
Petzl | Tactikka Plus Headlamp
Hands-free lighting is a necessity when night catfishing. The updated Petzl Tactikka Plus
eliminates the need to mess with flashlights. The headlamp is lightweight and specifically designed for your necessary movement while fishing.
Lighting reaches nearly 200-feet and uses Petlz's CONSTANT LIGHTING technology so the light does not fade when the battery is running low. The LED lighting beams have several modes and colors for varied situations like mixed beam, boost, strobe and red lighting for stealth close range vision. Weighing in at less than 3 ounces, the unit offers lighting up to 140 lumens.
The lightweight, adjustable, ergonomically designed headband is not cumbersome like other headlamps and has an easy buckle closure. The unit is weather resistant with a lighting source that lasts for 40 hours. The headband is washable and comes in several colors.
A new version of the Petzl Tactikka Plus is releasing in July 2015.