Andre Babiak / Alamy Stock Photo
Chris Britton (grayghostcharters.com) is a snook and tarpon specialist who fishes the complex waterways at the mouth of the St. Lucie River. He regularly fishes the dock lights, looking for places where the water is deep, the current is strong and bait is present. “If a light has a giant, distinct line of shadow,” Britton says, “that’s the dock I’m going to fish.”
1. Use amber lights
“The color of the platform light is very important. Personally, I like an amber light. I don’t really like fishing for a green light. In my area, at least, green lights are catfish lights. We don’t care about green lights, but I don’t catch the giants. I just catch more fish on a white or amber light.
2. Create multiple shadow lines
“If you have a good current on both tides, place your light under the end of the dock or better yet on top of a piling so it shines down and creates a shadow line on both sides of the quay. If you have an L-shaped dock, place this light where the dock turns 90 degrees. This way you can have two sides to the shadow line.
4. Don’t fish from the dock
“The biggest mistake people make is fishing from the dock. These fish, they get wise once they start feeling your dock shaking. If you walk there, you’re not going to catch a fish. Cast it from the shore if you can, or fish it from a boat.
5. Lighten up your leader
“If you’re looking for a fish over 30 inches, these fish aren’t stupid. They are educated. They see the same bait every night. If you’re going to fish bright light, especially in the clear water we have here, go down to 30 or 40 pounds fluoro with a hook big enough to get into the fish’s mouth, but not that big. the fish can see it.
6. Put your light on a timer
“Some people don’t like fishing behind their house at 10 p.m. I made them come out and yell at me. Sometimes they turn off the light. If you don’t want people behind your house at night, put your light on a timer.