This summer has presented ample opportunity to hit the waters during the night. Working a late shift at work, lack of free time in daylight hours, and the overall "itch" to feel the line peeling off the reel has made the night fishing a more common experience.
The first thing when planing on hitting the water after dark, please be safe. An all round white light is required and its totally necessary. It will have almost no effect on your fishing, but does help other boaters know you are there. You defiantly don't want to be hit by a passing boat. There are several companies that make these light for kayaks, they are battery powered so there is no need for hard wiring. http://kayakfishinggear.com/lightsandlighting.aspx
Some other items you will need that you would normally not pack on a daytime trip would be other forms of light. I have a headlampe that is made by energizer, I prefer this one because it has two settings red and white lights, the reason I choose this one is because you don't have to cycle through settings to turn the light on and off. I also pack a superbright compact flashlight, your sense of hearing will amplify when your vision is not as strong in the dark conditions, that being said you will hear other wildlife on the shore. Its nice to watch deer or be able to see beavers swim by.
Now on to the fishing techniques, I will fish the same areas that I fish in the daytime, because I am famalier with the area and know they usually hold fish. I will always have a texas rig with some sort of dark, usually black, worm. My choice as of lately has been a black and blue zoom paddle tail. A topwater bait is a good choice to have at night as well. You can't see the strike of a topwater lure, so the feeling through the rod and hearing the action is crazy exciting. My personal favorite is a black on black buzzbait called the cavitron, its a buzzbait that can be retrieved super slow and makes a squeaking noise that other lures don't.
Dock lights also hold fish really well. This can be a really sweet way to catch fish because when you set the hook you can acatually the silhouette of the bass turning to make a run. I like to use a 3/8 oz shakey head for this because it sinks slowly and most of the strikes will come on the fall. Find yourself a string of lights that come on everynight and you can have some solid fishing.
The fishing before and after dark have a lot in common, but are also extremly different. It can be the most serene and relaxing, but most exciting fishing all at the same time. It will definatly sharpen your sences and I think it has improved my ability for "feel" during the day.
Give it a shot. Post some photos on the Backwater Kayak Anglers Facebook Page.