Hitting the Dock Lights

From the beginning of November until now, I've been hitting main bay (not canal) dock lights between 6:30 and 8:30 PM. I have only been fishing the lights with visible snook/dark shadows. I typically throw my leftover bait from the day (always alive). There are mostly greenies and small pinfish. I can literally throw the bait in front of their faces and they want nothing to do with it. Usually I can always count on a snook eating a greenie on sight...during the day at least. I have NOT tried live shrimp at night yet, thoughts? Maybe throw top-water bomber's or top-pup's? If anyone could help provide input, it would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

Replies

  • DarcyDarcy Posts: 1,711 Captain
    throw into dark side of the shadow line. Not in the lighted area.
    "No i'm NOT Darcizzle!":blowkiss


    https://captainsforcleanwater.org
  • kmagnusskmagnuss Posts: 2,650 Captain
    Darcy wrote: »
    throw into dark side of the shadow line. Not in the lighted area.

    This. Plus those fish get caught and fished A LOT! The bigger they get the smarter they are about seeing hooks/leaders. Try chumming them with some half dead greenies for a bit until they start eating... then slip a hook in one.
    Tarpon... everything else is just bait.
    2017 Tarpon Count: 109/431
    Captain Keith Magnussen - Crooked Rod Charters
    Instagram is @crooked_rod_charters
  • NoreastSalt3295NoreastSalt3295 Posts: 498 Deckhand
    The fish that you can't see are the ones that will eat. I think it's hilarious when guys drop down a "snook light" and they try to nab the small males sitting in the light all night with no luck while I get as far away from that light as possible and catch fish after fish.
  • TimGleasonTimGleason Posts: 281 Deckhand
    I have good luck with Micro flies near the lights. I can't get them to eat anything big plastic wise unless way away from the light.
  • JordanRJordanR Posts: 4 Greenhorn
    Can't beat the live shrimp under the lights! Just a small hook and some leader....
  • sas0061sas0061 Posts: 72 Greenhorn
    Had no luck throwing pilchards or shrimp Sunday Morning 2:30 Am- 4 am on the outgoing tide. Only caught 1 small mango.
  • kmagnusskmagnuss Posts: 2,650 Captain
    Did you chum them up first?
    Tarpon... everything else is just bait.
    2017 Tarpon Count: 109/431
    Captain Keith Magnussen - Crooked Rod Charters
    Instagram is @crooked_rod_charters
  • PilchardPilchard Posts: 1,373 Officer
    Are you seeing them eat in the light?

    What's your leader and hook setup?
  • RockyTopRockyTop Posts: 128 Deckhand
    I have been able to get them to eat the tiny little DOA TerrorEyz --- maybe 1/32 or 1/16 ounce - I don't remember but it's tiny and a PIA to cast but they will eat it. The down side is that the hook is pretty thin wire so a larger fish can bend it open --- as happened to me a few nights ago. As always *around* the light is always better than *in* the light. If they are *in* the light odds of a strike are slim and none imho.
  • kmagnusskmagnuss Posts: 2,650 Captain
    Glad to see somebody has had some luck with the "tiny terrors"... I bought a pack of them but only tried them once or twice... seems like they'd work ok when the fish are keying in on glass minnows... but like you said the hooks are tiny and they're tough to cast.
    Tarpon... everything else is just bait.
    2017 Tarpon Count: 109/431
    Captain Keith Magnussen - Crooked Rod Charters
    Instagram is @crooked_rod_charters
  • polliwogpolliwog Posts: 216 Deckhand
    If they are keyed in small, a fly rod is the weapon if choice. You can cast any fly size you need. Problem will be to keep them from breaking you off around docks. Same issues in mangroves
  • sas0061sas0061 Posts: 72 Greenhorn
    Pilchard wrote: »
    Are you seeing them eat in the light?

    What's your leader and hook setup?

    Not seeing them feed at any time, will occasionally see one dart across the light, but not break the water. I am using a 4' 40lb leader with a 2/0 Owner Hook. My typically snook setup.
  • sas0061sas0061 Posts: 72 Greenhorn
    kmagnuss wrote: »
    Did you chum them up first?


    I usually throw out 6-8 pilchards, but if there isn't any action in the following 5 minutes I don't chum anymore.
  • kmagnusskmagnuss Posts: 2,650 Captain
    I assume the water is clear... personally I'd take it down to a 20# leader and see if it helps. Most snook around the lights aren't going to wear through a 20# leader before you get it to the boat... but be sure to retie after every fish or two.

    Curious... how close are you getting to the light? If you get REALLY bored one night... get in the water with some goggles on and take a look at how far away your boat lights up from one of those lights... you'll be surprised. The fish can see it even further.
    Tarpon... everything else is just bait.
    2017 Tarpon Count: 109/431
    Captain Keith Magnussen - Crooked Rod Charters
    Instagram is @crooked_rod_charters
  • sas0061sas0061 Posts: 72 Greenhorn
    kmagnuss wrote: »
    I assume the water is clear... personally I'd take it down to a 20# leader and see if it helps. Most snook around the lights aren't going to wear through a 20# leader before you get it to the boat... but be sure to retie after every fish or two.

    Curious... how close are you getting to the light? If you get REALLY bored one night... get in the water with some goggles on and take a look at how far away your boat lights up from one of those lights... you'll be surprised. The fish can see it even further.

    I'm getting 40ish ' from the docks. I'm scared of going down to 20# because I've lost many underslot fish a simple head shake. I'd be willing to go down to 30...
  • kmagnusskmagnuss Posts: 2,650 Captain
    Sometimes it's a weird balance you play with leaders... I used to use 20-25# only in clear water, but after catching more snook than I care to remember but remembering the few monsters that got away due to a chafed leader I bumped up the size... I'd rather catch a few less fish and have a better chance of landing a big one than catch more fish but a worse chance of landing the big ones. :huh
    Try 25 or 30... it's a pretty bid difference in size between a 25 and a 40# leader.

    I also assume you're not using a swivel... like wadefisherman... who never catches anything. :) JK
    Tarpon... everything else is just bait.
    2017 Tarpon Count: 109/431
    Captain Keith Magnussen - Crooked Rod Charters
    Instagram is @crooked_rod_charters

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