Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
January 8, 2013

Andy Whitcomb

Let it Glow

As a kid, some of my favorite toys possessed the magical ability to glow in the dark.  Guess not much has changed.

Glow in the dark lures can be found in a variety of forms from soft plastics to spoons.  One of my favorite methods to fish is to cast a glowing spoon just before sunrise at the mouth of a tributary of Lake Erie and brace for a steelhead to hammer it. It was 3 degrees this morning in Pennsylvania so it will not be long before I will be hunkered over a hole in the ice, jigging some tiny glow in the dark soft plastic grubs in the dark depths of a snow-covered lake.

Here is a pointer if you want to try out these glow in the dark wonders: Try charging them with a flashlight.  One angler I know uses the flash attachment from a camera for a quick, powerful charge. Tip: Look away and hit the lure with the light under your coat or fishing vest.  You do not want to alarm the fish of your presence, or blind yourself for a couple of minutes.

For Christmas presents last year, I gave away a couple of the Rapala “Charge N Glows.”  Bought one for myself too, you know, for “research purposes.”  They are cases that charge your lures, and are about the shape of a case for sunglasses. Drop the lure inside, close the lid and push a button for a few seconds to get a solid charge all over.  While standing in a dark, very cold lake, every 10 casts or so I would fire up the world’s smallest tanning bed.  No bikini line.  No farmer’s tan.

Fishing in the dark can be challenging enough, casting by ear, relieved to hear a splash. However, it can yield some outstanding results. Fishing pressure is less in the dark.  And, during the winter, a significant portion of a bite is a “reaction” bite.  A little eerie glow fluttering by is one good way get a reaction.

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad living in Pennsylvania. Visit him at

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