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04 Apr 2017
by CARPology
Does light scare off fish?
Does light scare fish? I once heard if you shone a torch into the water you could see the carp but it doesn’t spook them. Is that correct? Wiliam Reeves, via email

Rick Golder says: “From my personal experience, waving lights about scares fish and the shining of a torch or any form of light into the water could badly affect your chances of catching them.

“Carp have acute eyesight and as such anything that is unnatural to them during the hours of darkness, i.e. shining a torch on them, will certainly be more than likely to spook them. I have seen this myself when playing a fish at night and using a head torch to find out where the fish is in relation to the landing net. The result of this is normally startling the fish into setting off on an unexpected charge back off into the lake. To that end I now never use a torch for the night netting process!

“The other occasion I have seen fish spook was whilst out at night in a boat (not recommended on terms of safety), whilst attempting to free a hooked fish from weed. Again, on shining a torch down, the fish went berserk, even deep down in the lake, proving that the fish are highly sensitive to this. Therefore it is not something I would suggest will improve your catch-rate!”

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