Hey Terry -
Welcome back from the 'dark side'... since you had the chum slick going you should've live-lined a pollock on a big fly!
I'm kidding, I remember my bait days well. I learned a lot about where fish would be at which tides, and times of day that way. It was a lot more bearable to fish deep in the night with bait because you simply threw your offering into the dark briny mystery and waited for a reply. I agree with you, there is little 'tuning' into what's really happening around you; with the exception of the scent radius of the bait.
Frankly, I do not enjoy fishing at night nearly as much as dawn or dusk despite the presence of larger fish sometimes right at my feet. There are exceptions, some nights are pure magic - but I hate windy nights or those with a lot of junk in the water, or both.
Thanks for the report,