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New question for Boat Cop or someone in the know...

1446 Views 13 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Skunked
Every time I fish at night, I come across boats with only black lights on or no lights on at all. This isn't legal is it?

Here's the next question: does someone know of a white light that's legal but doesn't give off so much glare when fishing at night? Do they make running/nav lights with LED's that show up well but don't cast a lot of light that can hinder fishing at night by glare or casting shadows? If not, did I just give away a great invention that will earn someone millions???

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I am not an officer of the law, but I would guess that having no lights on at night would be illegal. The typical rear light on a boat should be on as an "anchor" light. While the boat is moving or running, both the rear "anchor" light and the front "navigation" red/green lights have to be on. I've seen water ski boats running during predawn (still dark) hours without lights and pulling water skiers on Saguaro and Canyon. My navigation lights will cast a soft glow on a nearby shoreline at night. I also have used 4 watt 12 volt incandescent bulbs that are in round aluminum covers (Home Depot) with heavy duty clamps on them that I have used at night. I also have Stan Sloan blacklight/flourescent lights I have not used yet because I am not yet using flourescent line. Fishermen will turn off their night lights at night because they think the light will scare away the big fish. I know the light does not scare away the baitfish.
you must have your back light on at night while your boat is floating on the water. this includes boats that are anchored out in coves wether your awake or not.

most guys turn there light off while fishing at night(me included) due to the glare the back light gives while using a black light.
I usuallly only do it in a cove and not very often but its still illegal. Also putting a hat on the light to cut down the brightness is illegal also( I know a guy who got a ticket for it ).

The light has to be a coast guard certified 4 mile light( I believe) on the back.

Hey lone ranger you will love that sloan light when you use it. it will light up the entire bank.I love mine.


The white light in back should be on at all times after dark. To reduce glare, especially for the one in the back wearing glasses, put a little bit of electrical tape on the part of the light facing the backseater. It reduces the glare significantly and the light is still visible. Just put enough on there to reduce glare. Don't cover the whole light!
Yep, that light can sure be annoying when you're in the back! Electrical tape? There's an idea.
yeah that glare cost me a big fish at Saguaro a while back. :cry:

Jason what kinda lights you running on your tube?
I too have been guilty of fishing at night with no light. BUT, not that this makes it ok, when I hear a boat coming, and at Saguaro, you will hear them long before you see them, I will click the back light on from my consol up front. Two good things about this is that it will make my boat visible long before anyone gets close, and the bright light bugs the shit out of Toad.
the lights were on my friends boat, on my tube, I just shoot bottlerockets at passing boats to let them know Im there. I (or anyone else) would have to be smoking crack to tube somewhere near boats on plane at night.
It is like they said, you have to have a 360 degree white light to the rear on at all times when on the water. when underway, you also have to have your front nav light on, that means when using your trolling motor. Here is my perspective on this, if the lake is not busy and you are not in the main channel of the lake i do not care if you have your lights off. If when you hear or see a boat you immediately turn them on until the boat is passed. If i see a boat that does not do this, then it is coupon time. if you are in the main channel then i will stop and warn the first time. this is a common sense issue. as for why we turn our lights off it is 2 fold. the bugs are killer during most of the summer at night and will literally will drive you off of the water. and the second is the glare factor. the stern light will kill you night vision. As for the led lights, I have not seen them. But that is a hell of a good idea.
Delw get to work on this one!!!!!!!!!!!!
Boat cop my understanding is that it has to be a white light on the back and visible to 4 miles (ie 4 mile light). on a bassboat central a long time ago it was brought up and A guy looked into other means. the bottom line was he was told NO by the coastguard.

Some guys take the light and flip it 90º(they sell lights that flip about 60º but with some modification you can make them flip 180º) which is also illegal it has to be 360º horizantal not verticle which would happen if it was flipped 90º.. As far as the courts in az I think if you had a light on the back of your boat any color they would let you slide since we have no coast guard here. :wink: oh wait I forgot we do they are in yuma .

All AZ boat laws were adapted from US Coast Guard laws. They were tweaked a little bit to the more stringent side, but they are basically the same. as for the light, it has to be white on the back and visible for 360 degrees
Delw, The white light has to be visible at least at 2 miles and you cannot have a blue light displayed, Boat Cop and his buddies got dibs on blue.
But aren't we all buddies of Boat Cop??? ...or is it true, there really is a clique??? :wink: :lol:
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