While fishing during the day is a bit easier, nocturnal angling brings its charms and can even increase your chances of success. Lots of species are more active after sunset. To give yourself your best shot at catching them, you’ll have to target them when they’re most likely to be feeding.

Fishing at night takes a little getting used to, but with patience and determination, you’re bound to get the hang of it. Here are four tips to keep in mind as you introduce yourself to the joys of night fishing.

Bring a Flashlight or Headlamp

Tying knots, choosing lures, and unhooking fish are all difficult tasks to perform in the dark. You’re going to need some light to help you see what you’re doing. If you’re with friends, then a simple flashlight will work. When night fishing by yourself, a headlamp is ideal because it gives you free use of your hands. Even with a light, tying knots will prove a challenge for your first few trips.

Avoid Shining Your Light on the Water

For some species, stationary light in the water can be helpful. For others, total darkness is ideal. Whatever species you’re targeting, a frantically moving light on the surface of the water is likely to spook the fish. To avoid angering your fellow anglers and to maximize your chances of success, it’s best to keep your light off the water. You should only have your light turned on when you need it.

Avoid Topwater Lures

For most types of fishing, you are better off avoiding topwater lures at night. The lack of light means that fish won’t see your plug flashing across the surface. If you’re surfcasting, try using a swimming plug or metal lure. These subsurface plugs are more likely to catch a fish’s eye.

Try Using Live Bait

No matter how dark of a night it is, a live worm or fish on a hook is bound to attract the attention of your targeted species. In freshwater, shiners work wonders for trout and largemouth bass. When targeting striped bass in the ocean, live eels often make the best nighttime bait.