Even in the deep, fish are light sleepers

rodcrafter@islc.netApril 21, 2012 

Do fish sleep?

Someone asked me this question while I was covering a recent fishing tournament. Not being able to reply at the time, I apologize to the individual if I seemed preoccupied and offer the following: I believe they do, and I have an idea when. I have found they go to sleep about the time I arrive and wake up about the time I leave.

In reality, fish do sleep, but not in the manner you might think. The majority of deep-water fish must keep moving and for the most part rest is achieved in diurnal/nocturnal cycles.

While they may not close their eyes -- most fish, with the exception of sharks, do not have eyelids -- they do sleep. Some species float in place at subsurface depths while others will rest among bottom structure such as wreckage or coral. Some build mud rises as nests, but the majority will find a secluded spot where they remain in a highly relaxed state -- the equivalent of sleep. But even in this relaxed state, their keen sense for survival forces them to remain alert for predators.

Wading for Redfish

On May 9, Sea Island Fly Fishers vice president John Holbrook will share his expertise on wading for redfish -- what can be considered "a gateway drug" to saltwater fly fishing. There will be free refreshments and a fly-tying demonstration during the 6 p.m. social hour.

Reservations are not needed and guests are welcome. For information, call Jack Baggette at 843-522-8911.

Cobia Tournament Change

There has been a change of dates for the cobia tournament sponsored by El Toro. The tournament now will be held on Saturday, May 19, with the captains meeting at 7 p.m. on May 18. Call Charlie Ledford at 843-489-7142 for more information.

New DNR Leader

Veteran state wildlife law enforcement officer Colonel Chisolm Frampton of Charleston is the new leader of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division. Colonel Frampton has been cited by the U.S. Coast Guard for the Meritorious Service Medal for maritime security. He also was awarded the state's highest honor, the Order of the Palmetto, in 1998.

New Waters

Like many anglers I am a victim of habit, an unfortunate symptom of living a largely urban life. Due to time restrictions and the desire to have fresh fish for dinner, I seldom fish new waters.

Much like a favorite rod and reel, you develop a fondness for things that you think you understand.

Nothing could be further from the truth. My comfort zone for the more familiar forces restrictions.

New waters require a fisherman to apply critical thinking skills. Being the eternal optimist, I am always looking for an edge to keep me ahead of the competition.

In retirement, things may change but for now -- having the boredom threshold of a 2-year-old -- I will reserve my exploration for periods of poor tides and inclement weather. Perhaps it is due to the casualties of progress.

In any event, I may ask my fishing companion -- he seems to have all the answers.

Tackle Tip: Outriggers

When a hook-up fails, many anglers instantly decide it is due to hook failure. Far too much time is wasted changing double to single hook rigs or circles to J hooks.

It may be a good idea to have a look at your rigger system. Check the stretch of lines, spring tension or snubbers. A cleaner release can make all the difference, and you could be surprised at the results.

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