Underwater Fishing Lights
Deployment Strategies – Underwater Fishing Lights
Underwater fishing lights are only as effective as the technique used in deploying these lights. The quality of the light is important as well. The underwater fishing lights you choose to deploy are very important.
There are important considerations before purchasing underwater fishing lights for shrimping.
- Are the underwater fishing lights I am considering a price point light or a performance light?
- Is the light old technology (spiral LED wrapped) or new technology, what does Capt Lee Noga use? Why?
- Don’t choose a light based on price. Anglers regret buying low end lights. They do not perform well when manipulating shrimp.
Visit/Click Marker69.com to purchase this state of the art first computerized shrimping and fishing light. CUrrently, 3 patents pending. Top selling light in Florida.
Comes with all accessories to float light, defaults to sinking (metal frame).
It was exciting when I discovered “herding”. I could path the shrimp into both my dipping field and frame nets.
This tutorial is based on a LED light vertically upright in the water. This means the light does not shine towards the top of water.
VIDEO – Rather Watch My Deployment Techniques Video?
In 2015, Capt Lee Noga created 2.5 hours of video training broken down into categories. DO NOT skip any video in the series. Golden nuggets/ off topic tips & tricks are in all the videos.
Setting The Light Depth – Underwater Fishing Lights
Setting underwater fishing lights takes a skill set. Best tip I have.
If you have a depth finder on your boat your half way there. I want you to remember the number 8. Take your DEPTH and subtract 8 . The difference is how many feet you count from the weight up the rope. Then you clip the rope at that spot. The long line clip is attached to the MacDaddy underwater fishing lights.
Example: Let’s say I am in 11 foot of water.
DEPTH is (11 foot) minus “8” = 3 . The answer “3” is how many feet I count from my weight up my rope.
This is not necessarily where my light will remain. Its my starting point as I get acclimated to the water clarity, debris, current strength and wind chop.
Observe for any object in light field. If the shrimp do not deviate or show signs of being “spooked”, your golden. We want to see them bombing in a straight line right at you. This means you see them and they do not see you. The shrimp can snap that tail and skip on the water in a second and disappear into the darkness.
Using the formula is only the first step of setting your lights. It is a starting point. The conditions will dictate where in the column your lights will rest. You will need to make adjustments after the initial set. If you can sink them lower than the formula and still mark objects, your kill zone is optimized.
Sometimes, I do 3 re-deployments until I accept my kill zone. Remember, you have to allow for the drop in the water level as the tide goes out. I cannot stress the importance of having the lights set as low as possible. You need to be able to see. So set them low where you can ID objects in light field.
Most common mistake is setting your lights to high in the water column. Those that do not set their lights deep enough at the beginning of the tide pay the price. As the tide level falls the lights become to bright at hour 3. The shrimp run can slow down as a result. Tides last 6 hours. It is best to set them as low as possible beginning of night.
Tip: Lights perfect? Not yet. Pull them in and shorten the line between your light and weight by another 6 inches. Re-deploy, and see if you can “mark/see” objects floating by. If you can, re-deploy again and clip off another 3 inches (going towards weight). Sinking your lights an additional 6-12 inches at the start will offset the fall in tide. This prevents you from driving the shrimp away during the last 3 hours of tide. Falling water level makes lights brighter! BAD NEWS. Set them as low as possible before dipping. If shrimp run slows down at hour 3, re-deploy all your lights.
Light Deployment Tips For Shrimping From A Boat
Always have the light field out in front of you with no dark water areas.
Have the light circle touch your boat. If the lights do not touch your boat you will lose the shrimp in the dark spots.
If the light field is to close to the surface, you will drive the shrimp under your boat. You want at least 10-15 circle of light in front of your boat.
The use of green or white LED light DOES NOT attract winter shrimp. We prefer the use of a green/white combo. The green does not cause eye fatigue or headaches. Paired with the white we can see deeper. The MacDaddy light gives us both green and white LED’s.
PROPER LIGHT FIELD
Setting a proper light fields is more important then finding a good spot. Poor light sets will yield poor results. A good light set will give you the advantage in many locations.
When you deploy your lights, the illumination should be 15-20+ in front of your boat. The light glow should be touching the gel coat of your boat. Any dark areas in front of your boat will draw the shrimp to that area. They will disappear into that dark area and you won’t be able to see them.
Setting Multiple Lights Strategy
The popular light setting strategy is setting up goal posts using 2 LED lights. We set them at 10pm and 2pm, or 9pm and 3pm.
Throw your first light at 10pm position, throw you 2nd light at 2pm position. Leave a dark swatch of water in the middle. Meaning, do not overlap your light circles. Don’t allow the two circles to touch. Allow some darkness between the border edges of the circles.
This sets up a herding pattern steering the vein of shrimp towards the darkest part of your light field. It is like herding cattle. Shrimp will source the dark swath of light between your lighted football goal posts.
TIP: If you set your boat horizontal in the tide with 2 anchors, your boat will shift to the East once the tide gets developed.
You can compensate for this by setting your lights 4-5 foot more towards the East at the initial set knowing the boat is going to be shifted East when the tide gets strong.
Once you deploy your lights stand back and go into observation mode. If you see the shrimp steering away from your boat once they enter your light field your light field has issues. Your lights are too bright intense and probably too close to the top of the water column.
If the shrimp are running the edges of your light field, your lights need lowered. Why? They run the edges because that is the least lit area around your lights. They source the darkest water.
When your light field is correct, you should not have to over reach for any shrimp unless you are trying to reach one passing just outside of your light field.
Note: Have a ladder installed on your vessel or have some kind of recovery plan if you take passengers on your boat (man overboard). The law states you must have a flotation device exposed at all times in the event an emergency warrants immediate deployment. Personally, I spent the $60 and have a solid white circular ring. Some use $15 cushions that eventually dry rot, and need replaced every year. The rings do not rot.
Underwater Fishing Light Configuration Strategies
1 Light – No real strategy to share, deploy the light so that you can see as far out as you can without creating a dark area in front of the boat. The light circle must touch your boat.
2 Lights – Set them like goal posts, if you were looking at a dial on a watch, place them at 3pm and 9pm, or 10pm and 2pm. You want them opposite one another, and make sure the circle of light from each light overlap slightly leaving no dark areas between the 2 circles of light if your NOT deploying a frame net.
You want to open up the light overlap and create a 3-4 foot dark area between the 2 circles of light.
This creates a dark area that will herd them into your frame net attached behind you on a center cleat.
3 Lights: Set your goal posts and set a 3rd light a foot off the bottom at 6pm on a dial. Be careful you do not let the lead weight strike the 6pm light.
This Nbr 3 light in diagram will not give off much light to dip but will blow the big ones off the bottom. I call this the “blow it off bottom” light set. Your lights will be set at 3pm, 6pm and 9pm (watch style)
Note: If your setting 3 underwater fishing lights, your frame net has to be in a boat location where it is out of the dip net kill zone. Deploying 3 lights will break up the shrimp stream and they will not find the frame net. This is why I use the pipe technique when I deploy 3 kill zone lights. A (3) light set interferes with frame net results re-directing the shrimp all over the place reducing the harvest. So I push my frame net out of the way and set up its own “goal post” routine using a 4th light to herd the shrimp. Each light is shown in the diagram below as “green” dots.
4 Lights: See diagram above. Deploying a frame net can be as easy as setting it up behind your engine. You can tie it off to a cleat on the back side of your boat (opposite side of where your dipping).
A 4th light would be used to herd the shrimp into the frame net.
Using 2 underwater fishing lights, open them up and create a path of dark water. The shrimp will go between your lights and right into the awaiting frame net on in the center on the opposite side of the lights. If your using 3 -4 lights, look at diagram to left, I am herding them using light.
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Underwater Fishing Lights