Pump house gang strikes again aka-2008 Year of the Mahseer
Early am departure from Delhi,breakfast at an astonishing dhaba on GT road-every thing from food , preserves, aloo parathas,Lotto sports shoes, stetsons etc Buy one take one free…
Onwards! Bhakra by one 1 ish.Its huge!
We park the car on the road and have a very steep climb down of nearly 800m .Carrying only the bare necessities, we get down in order of appearance:
Ken-aka Mahseer ken
Home is Bhakra Hilton, run by Sandeep and his father Pavan, we just took over the place, charpoys were quickly assembled and voila-home.
Tackle readied, we cast along the banks this gang uses only plugs and spoons…though Henry being a carp man did break out his masala mix and tried bait fishing.
The boat comes by and we go out trawling-Henry scores a quick brace –both about 2-3 klg, Sanjay lands his first mahseer-the grin is on from ear to ear.
I run out of power on my cell camera and we sulk our way back to camp
More casting from the boom area and back to the hearth and home for the evening libations and a wholesome meal of fish curry-singhada-excellent dal rice et al.
Night is really cold, wind cuts through the light sleeping bag, and the peace is interspersed by various pieces from toccata and fuge in d minor to etude to night on bald mountain by mussorgski-my fellow pump house gang had all majored in snoring.I woke up a couple of times, hearing the sound of waters lapping, saw a fantastic sunrise through a maze of rods and tackle and it was time to go fishing.
This time around Kenneth and Lalaji, another angler of some 50 years experience
[To match Henry!] accompanied us. We dropped Ken and Lalaji on a spit (thokkar) and went ahead-Ken scored on a big 5kg mahseer, Henry soon opened his score with a biggish 4-5 kg wallah and Sanjay chipped in with a useful 3 kg.
Henry in the bow gets snagged on rocks same time as Sanjay in the stern.We go ahead to help Henry clear the snag, Sanjay is running out of line on his Berkley/Shimano combo; just in time Henry clears snag, retrieves his line, I go aft to help Sanjay out-start reeling in and- reel in a fighting 3 kg Mahseer,Thank you!
We go back and pick up Lalaji and Ken, continue trawling I get a hit, boat stops and every one reels in leaving me clear (SOP) and then I find line running out at an alarming rate.My drag was set very loose and after notching it up a click began the pump and wind session with the entire gang joining in as cheer leaders.Kenneth and Henry close at hand to show me the moves…
Well after seeing the effort required the previous day, I was taken by surprise to see another major run, this time in a 360 Deg- another 100m line gone, notch up the drag and continues on the pump and wind. After a good 20min,about 20ft from the boat, the fish surfaces and a collective ‘‘AHHHHH, big one” goes up. Me? all I’ can think is- I have enough line and my hands are not shaking too much…another run-shorter this time, I can hold the fish, a yet shorter run and I get it close to the gunnels. Lalaji nets it and Kenneth and Henry help in unhooking-Big?I may catch a 50kg later but this was my monster fish.
Pic session done, fish released in good cheer-amazed our Capn Preet-a lad all of 13 years, who was temp’ing for his dad, “you let the fish go??!!”
Back to the shore for some casting-Vijay loves casting with his home brew spoons-great looking tobies and cleos, twisters etc.
We head out in the boat and Henry gets a brace.
Sanjay latches on to another and I net it in,while attempting to unhook, fish wriggles free, treble goes thru pad of Henry’s little finger….so there I am , trying to do a waterborne version of ER! Cut the barb, cut the shank, get the hook out text book fashion.Head back to shore, Sanjay Sprints uphill on a 60 degree slope to get the FA Kit- oh yes, remember the first morning rush down the slope to the water? We forgot a lot of non essentials…just took rods/reels/tackle and went skidding down.
More pics on film , sga to continue with inputs from Sanjay and Keith
Ugly Stik , Shimano Exage, Rowen tackle
Line-15mono, 20 mono, 30 braid,14 Fire line
Plugs-Reefrunners, shads, Halco Sorcerer, spoons, tobies, cleos