Is it Illegal to Fish at Night?

Have you ever thought about fishing at night because of the cooler weather? Moreover, fishing at night comes with an upside as the fishes are less active. Nevertheless, the question of whether or not fishing at night is illegal comes to mind. 

Fishing at night is not illegal if you live in a region that permits fishing generally. However, we recommend you first check with the fishing regulatory body locally to be sure of any fishing night closure before you go fishing at night. Fishing at night in a restricted area can attract a hefty fine. 

If you are not sure whether it is legal to fish at night in your region, read on, we would be sharing steps you can use to check your location’s fishing regulations. In this article, we would also be sharing tips that will help you safely fish at night.  

Is it Illegal to Fish at Night in your Region?

Is it Illegal to Fish at Night in your Region

Fishing at night is legal in many states. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be cautious of legal laws restricting you from fishing at night in some states. If you fish at night in a restricted region, it could attract a fine. As such, we always recommend you are sure where you fish is a legal region. Below are three steps you can use to know if it is illegal to fish at night in a region.  

How to Search for Fishing Regulation 

The first thing you need to do is to search for fishing regulations on your government website. But we understand that finding anything on a government website can be very frustrating. It’s either there is too much information to go through, or the information is too technical. But if you are quite savvy with navigating yourself through a government website, then you can try to find the local fishing regulations with it. 

But if you are not familiar with using these websites, we recommend you go through Google. Google will search for the exact keyword you used in the search and display information related to it. As such, Google makes finding fishing regulations on a regional government website easier. 

To Google search, for the fishing regulation for your region, go to the Google website and search using this format – (State/Province) Fishing Regulation (Year). However, note that regulations can have saltwater and freshwater fishing regulations.  

Have it at the back of your mind that there are times the cover page of a government regulation website can be misleading. To ensure you get what you need, read the table of content and be sure you’d find the info you need. 

Know your Fishing Information 

In your region, the government may have placed fishing night closures on some particular fish species or locations. As such, it is worthwhile knowing how to identify the difference between the different fish species and the names of the different lakes, and rivers in the region. 

Also, understanding where you are in the ocean when you are fishing is essential to know how to read the local regulations. Normally, a single body of water like a river can be divided into different sections with each section having its own set of restrictions. For instance, the north of a road that crosses a river may allow nighttime fishing, while the south of the road that crosses the river may not allow night fishing. 

It is vital to be aware of the different restrictions in your area when you are planning to fish in it. And if you don’t know the name of the body of water you want to fish in, but you know the name of the general area in which you want to fish in, then you can use Google to get the name of the lake or river. Simply google search for lakes or rivers around the area. Pinpoint the lake or river that is closest to your location. 

Look up the Regulation 

Now after ensuring you’ve done what is in the first and second steps, it’s time you look up if there are any nighttime fishing restrictions in the regulation. To do this, execute using the outline we gave in Step 1 above. 

When the fishing regulation is open, start by searching for information related to the name of the lake or river you are trying to fish at. Most of the time, you can speed things up by searching for keywords using the Ctrl+F keys on your keyboard. 

3 Tips for Fishing at Night

Fishing at night may be calm and less stressful because of no scorching sun. Nevertheless, fishing at night brings its unique issues. While these issues can be easily overlooked, knowing how to prepare for fishing at night makes all the difference.  

Go with a Light Tackle 

Fishing at night means you need to be able to maneuver in the dark with ease. This is important to avoid tripping over something. So, when packing your tackle, pack only essentials. You need to go fishing with a compact and small pocket knife. Also, carry an angler with two to three different types of pliers. 

A handful of sinkers should be enough as the aim is to not pack too many fishing weights. Also, go with extra hooks and swivels in a small sealable bag. If you can prepare a handful of leaders before you head out on the trip, it will save you time rigging up the rod in the dark. Lastly, a lamp with some extra batteries is quite necessary to provide you with consistent lighting. 

Know your Surrounding 

Whether you are fishing at night onshore or on a boat, you need to be very protective and safe. Have plans in case of an emergency. And to respond to any emergency, you need to be familiar with your surroundings first. So, when you get to the fishing site, first take a moment to explore around. Get yourself familiar with the area and take mental notes of where things are located. 

For land fishing, beware as there may be wildlife in the area. Come up with plans on what you’d do in case of an emergency and where to go. Wildlife can pop up from anywhere, so always stay vigilant. Remember your bear bangers should always be easy to access and within reach. And if you are in a boat, remove any unnecessary items.  

Be Prepared for Emergencies 

Have a small emergency kit with you when going night fishing. Being able to treat wounds if you get injured before you call for help is important. The risk of injury can occur at any time when fishing at night. And you wouldn’t want to be caught without any way to treat your wounds if you are out at night fishing. 

Accidents can happen at night from mishandling the hook, fishing jumps around you, or you could fall into the water or rocks. Ensure you are always in your lifejacket when in a boat, this is the law. If you lose your footing you will fall overboard is a common boat accident. A lifejacket can save your life in cases like this depending on how far into the river or lake you are. 

Is fishing at night good? 

Fishing at night is good because you can be more productive. At night the fishes are less active, and there is no scorching sun to discourage you. 

Can fish see lures at night? 

Fishes can see lures at night but the way they see them is different from the way we humans do. How deep the fish is will determine the lure’s color. The deeper you go, the darker the lure will be in color. 

Is it good to go fishing on a full moon? 

A full moon has little effect on the fish. So, apart from the reduced scorching sun, there isn’t anything much to say differently about fishing on a full moon. 


In conclusion, if fishing at night is an experience you’d like to have, well nothing is stopping you.

First, confirm with the local regulatory agency in the area you want to fish to be sure if there is any restriction before you go fishing in such an area.

If there is no regulation, then you can proceed to the fishing area with the tips we gave in this article keeping them close to heart.