For many years Colin was a senior Angler’s Mail magazine staff man and he has enjoyed a long, interesting journalism career. He understands match fishing, pleasure fishing, carp fishing – the lot.
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SLEEPING ON THE JOB – SHOULD IT BE ALLOWED?
THE angler who appeared in court partly for sleeping whilst fishing (see the story in Angler’s Mail magazine) has opened up a very tricky situation for night fishermen.
So should you be sleeping on the job or should you be wide-awake waiting for bites? A lot of night anglers might not like this – but in my view you should be awake and ready to strike.
You don’t sleep whilst fishing during the day, driving your car, playing football, or taking part in any other sports. So why sleep when out on an all-nighter? And before anyone asks: yes I have a bivvy and a nice comfy bedchair. And no, I don’t sleep whilst on night sessions I just lie on the bed and rest my eyes.
I also go with at least one mate, usually two. This means one or two of us can actually drift off leaving one in charge of the rods if necessary. It is also a safety measure. If you take ill or fall in and you are alone you are in deep trouble. We are all also too sadly aware of night-time thefts and attacks on anglers – more than one angler can deter these incidents.
But first and foremost for any true angler is the care of the fish. If your alarm sounds and doesn’t wake you – or you are a bit slow getting out of your pit – a fish could have your rig tethered. Worse still in the case of inexperienced anglers it could actually pull your rod and reel into the water.
Many clubs say you must be within a certain distance of your rods. This is often not possible if you are inside a bivvy that can’t be positioned close enough to the tackle. Some clubs now have rules that say you must not be asleep if your rods are cast in.
Anyone who has done all-nighters knows that the sleep syndrome often kicks in heaviest the next day when the sun comes up. They also know that at certain times of the night, depending on the water fished, the fish do not bite at all.
Reel in if you know this time, get some sleep. Likewise, when the sun rises and if this is a venue that switches off when the light gets bright, take a break from fishing. There’s also something special about being awake at night, hearing the different sounds, the different animals on the hunt, seeing stars or cloud formations silhouetted against the sky.
You will understand if you have been there and drank cups of tea as you soaked in those hours of darkness, reflected on past fishing trips, and listened to fish slurping in the margins or inexplicably crashing out of the water at distance.
Like a good daytime angler you should also be trying to picture the underwater scene in your head, wondering what you have to do to attract bites.
It’s no good dreaming about fishing, you have to live it. And you only live it by being awake.
COLIN MITCHELL WILL BE BACK WITH HIS POPULAR PLEASURE FISHING BLOG NEXT SUNDAY.
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