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Posted on Aug 20, 2013 in Short Strikes
Nightstalking Gators
by Dr. Todd Kuhn
Nightstalking Gators 2013
Magnum-sized baits like Sebile's Slim Stick and Heddon's Zara Spook are tough-to-beat nightstalkers

Giving it a go under the cloak of darkness is an option few explore when chasing gator-sized trout. For most, with the August heat reaching oppressive levels, it's just plain too hot during the day for even the most ardent. However, there are several reasons to fish at night.

As summer draws to an end, the locals have been pounded into submission by plug chunkers and have, in many instances, gone nocturnal to avoid heavy-handed fishermen. If you're willing to trek deep into the darkness, you'll exponentially increase your odds of landing a summertime toad.

Fish structure. While this may sound rudimentary, most folks ignore this fundamental. Small fish congregate and cruise together, while big fish are loners who relate to defined structure. On occasion, this structure can be as basic as a depth change, but during nighttime hours, most big fish seek out docks, pilings and other hardscape which affords them an ambush point. Concentrate on these.

Sussssh!! Anyone who has spent time out on the water at night knows it's an eerie place; one absent of typical daytime noises, like boat traffic. While fishing at night, make certain you put a lid on it, keeping noise to a minimum, as fish will quickly spook to any unfamiliar nighttime noise. For the really adventurous, slip into your waders and into the water for an added level of stealth.

Biggie size it. Overly chubby trout are fat and lazy. In fact, so much so, they enjoy spending hours laying around doing nothing. As such, they tend to limit their feeding to only large meals. If your goal is landing the biggest fish of your career, stick to big fish baits, those physically larger than traditional offerings. While smaller baits incite more action, they also catch smaller fish on average. For really, really big fish, resolve yourself to sticking with big baits and resist the temptation to switch to smaller ones.