As that first cast gets sent out across the clear night sky, you can still make out the silhouette of the popper. The white splash of the popper being pushed through the water can still be seen…just. Your hearing is more in tune, as you wait for that all too familiar sound of a monster GT engulfing your popper, the legs start to brace so that if you get hit, you don't get sent over the edge of the cast deck. Then BOOM!! Like an explosion from a grenade, the water parts and the battle begins! What happens next is somewhat in your control, knots, tackle, technique and part luck, is he swimming past the razor like reef or is a taxman on his tail.
By reading this, I hope to put you in a position by where your taking care of what you can control so you got a fighting chance of landing that fish of a lifetime under the cover of darkness.
Do your research before you head out at night. Hit the water during the day a couple of times, and pinpoint the ledges, pinnacles and pressure edges where you think the GTs will be. Finding bait is essential as this will be a key when sounding at night as you won't have the visual. Try and put a solid mental image of what your going to be fishing, even try and close your eyes while you there and really get a feel for your surroundings, picturing where and how the current will hit the edges of the structure. Again, you won't have the visual aspect that you would during the day.
Approaching night fishing for GTs is very similar to the day. Have your drift lines set, with big long casts and work the popper all the way to the boat, and I mean all the way. There is only one thing scarier than having a GT hit you right at the boat and that is having it happen at night. Using large poppers between 125-250g are what I find best. The bigger the splash the better, and don't be afraid to pause and extend the pause. So many hits happen on a long pause after the GT has been watching…listening…and honed in on its target.
Standard extra heavy duty rods, reels, line, leader and terminal are still recommended for battling these beasts at night, nothing changes there, just be sure to have this organised before you head out. It is much easier (and quicker) to do it in the comfort of your home under lights than rocking around in the dark under a headlamp when shit is going off on a hot bite!