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 Post subject: A truly noble fish...
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 10:25 am 
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Location: Bangalore, India.
...is the mahseer.

It has been a little over a year since I started fishing but it was only on the 14th and 15th, on my second attempt, that I actually caught a mahseer - four of them as a matter of fact. Well, the fourth is debateable but we will come to that later.

I don't recall being on a jolly during a weekday but speaking to my friends who were at camp and hearing the crickets over the phone had me yearning for the water - very badly. So arrangements were made and I was off on 14th afternoon. The highway was clear and the old 800 was pushed to its highest ever of 130 kmph. :twisted: Could have gone faster but visions of an engine bursting into flames had me slow down a bit.

Anyway, I reach 45 minutes before schedule, which gave me adequate time to tackle up for the evening session.

Despite prayers to the angling gods there was no action to speak off. Probably due to the overcast sky.

Image

After a couple of hours or so of this fruitless sitting around, Prathap and I decided to try our luck at Forbes Sagar to which we duly drove and got into the coracle as night fell over the water.

Finally the gods smiled on me. I felt a few bites and was ready to strike when Prathap asked me to raise the rod. Bit of an odd request thought I but I have enough respect for his experience to follow it. The rod was duly lifted and then it happened - the line went taut, the reel sang and the rod bowed down to its worthy adversary. At long last I had a mahseer on the other end of the line and the feeling was pure joy.

The fish was estimated at 1.5 kgs but even then I was not prepared for the power that a small runt like this could put out.

Image

After some time we moved over to the opposite bank and cast out from there and once again I was rewarded with a mahseer estimated at just under a kilo.

Image

We kept at it until 10:30 p.m. but the action had tapered off. So we clambered upto the bank for our packed dinner of chicken curry, daal and chapatis and probably a few creepy crawlies that got scooped up in the dark.

Back to the coracle and as Prathap had predicted the action started on the dot of 1 a.m. and he caught a small mahseer.

We were now getting a few bites but nothing came of that.

The next day we were at Forbes again by 9:45 a.m. and within 30ish minutes I was on my third mahseer of the trip.

Image

However, the sky was still overcast and the fish weren't in an obliging mood. We decided on some murral action and Prathap must have caught something like ten or a dozen of the blighters, whilst I got my regulation one murral. All were released. We also saw some large schools of Tilapia.

It was back to the cottage for a very late lunch and just in time for the 4 p.m. ground baiting session. Contrary to past experiences nothing seemed to be biting - again, probably due to the overcast conditions.

I reeled in so that I could have my tea and dream rather than concentrate on rod tip and line but then realised I had a Baitrunner reel and that I should try this feature. The bait was chucked in, the rod rested and I was sitting back enjoying my cuppa when the rod was violently pulled to the left and the reel screamed. The bank sticks almost gave way because they could not be driven in too deep. I snatch the rod and struck. BIG MISTAKE! I had forgotten to disengage the baitrunner and ended up with a birdsnest. I untangled the nest as fast as I could in the hope that the fish was still at the business end of the line but alas it wasn't.

Anyway, I bait up and chuck it in again. 20 or 30 minutes later the very same thing happens. This time I do it right and the fish is on. I bring it to the edge of the bank and it's the biggest mahseer I have caught - Prathap estimated the weight at 2 kgs. Now whilst I was in the process of giving Prathap the camera, I decided to give the fish a little slack so that its head could stay submerged. Second BIG MISTAKE. I did not check to see if it was well hooked and was left holding a limp line. :roll:

Image

After this there was absolutely no action for almost two hours, so I packed up, had my dinner and left for Bangalore.....at a very sedate pace.

The tackle used: SureCatch 8' 2-piece heavy rod, Shimano 6500 A Baitrunner, 25 lb. mono and alternated between size 2/0 and 5/0 hooks.

Rustam


Last edited by Rustam Bana on Sat Nov 18, 2006 2:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 1:51 pm 
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Dear Rustam,

Congrats on some great fishing, nice story and some great pictures.


Regards,

Bobby


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 2:04 pm 
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Good show! Congrats on your first mahseer.

Bops


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 2:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 10:08 am
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Location: Assam
Nice catch and the pics too Rusty


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 10:39 am
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Location: Mumbai / India
Rusty mate welcome back .. That smile on youre face says the world .. happiness ... and must i add the bun pao at Blue gardenia still there somewhere ... and ure writing improved staying of the forum --- but we miss you and the repartee ... so heres a sincere request ... can we have back the ole Mr Bana .... some spice mate .... for the bandra boys at least .. what u say men ??


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 3:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:43 am
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Location: Bangalore, India.
Thanks chaps and I hope I get the chance to put more such mahseer stories up in future. They really are poles apart from the murral I am used to catching.

Rustam


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 3:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:43 am
Posts: 708
Location: Bangalore, India.
Quote:
Rusty mate welcome back .. That smile on youre face says the world .. happiness ... and must i add the bun pao at Blue gardenia still there somewhere ... and ure writing improved staying of the forum --- but we miss you and the repartee ... so heres a sincere request ... can we have back the ole Mr Bana .... some spice mate .... for the bandra boys at least .. what u say men ??


Fred, I never left. I just did not want to participate in raping this forum.

I am all for a bit of banter but this inane chatter conducted by Gavin and you is a frigging bore. How many bloody times does one beat the same bloody horse on the majority of the threads?

Let me give you an example. Before reading this thread, I was reading Vishal's Mumbai Calling thread and by the time I had finished it, I actually had to check the thread title again to see what the original discussion was really about. Unfortunately, this seems to be the case with the majority of the threads.

Believe me when I say that I don't have a personal axe to grind but if I were a mod here, Gavin and you would get one more warning after which your accounts would be suspended for at least a month.

Perhaps you should have let sleeping dogs lie...

Rustam


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 10:39 am
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Location: Mumbai / India
Hey Rusty .. great to know you had the b----to at least speak your mind and i respect you for that . Personally i have nothing against you and its a matter of personal choice whether you liked the posts or not . If you asked me a PM would have been much more gentlemanly that posting your agony aunt griping on whether you liked the repartee between me and Gavin .Maybe you need to look at the earlier posts that you made to understand why im so pissed with your holier than thou attitude . Please use the same yardstick to judge yourself when you judge others Anyways I guess im in the wrong place with just trying to lighten up the forum . Sorry Bops . if ive screwed up your forum . it was not my intention .. this is the last you hear from me on IA . and Im sending you the balance of the IA stcikers that I made .. ive no use for them now


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 7:05 am 
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Fred,

No need for anyone to leave on my account. Whilst I have been guilty of the same I never plumbed the depths you guys seemed to have managed and I knew when to stop. That's the difference but you chaps probably still don't get it.

Anyway, if there is nothing personal then get your arse back in here and stop being such a queen. :mrgreen:

Rustam


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 2:01 pm 
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Hey guys, take it easy. This was what I was hoping to avoid :(

Personally I feel each of you has contributed handsomely to this forum in terms of angling experience and information. It would be a black day indeed if you had to walk away for such a trivial matter!

Fred if I don't see you on the forum over the next couple of days you're gonna have a personal visit from me :twisted:

I haven't said anything about anyone screwing up the forum so don't assume things.

Take a chill pill guys, go fishing!

Bops


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 Post subject: Muddy waters.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:39 pm
Posts: 755
Location: UAE
Hey you Fred Fish!,

I have not met you . But I do feel that you are one hell of a guy.Just let the drag go man!
Fred, I always believe that anglers in general are beautiful people. Look at them trudging around in some god forsaken stretch out on the mountians, meditating on the banks of some river somewhere, sailing out into foggy seas. Sleeping on the forest floor .
Look at the rest ,... perverted, child molesting, double dealing devils!!

Comon man you are special . Get back , wet your lines and stay around I need to have a beer with you.

Tight Lines
Jeen


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 5:37 pm 
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Enlightened

Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:57 pm
Posts: 66
Hi Rustam,

Interesting species of mahaseer. I am convinced its a Deccan mahseer which is not a native of the Cauvery. How these have got into the lake is a mystery. Although I am a member of WASI and have been since 1972 I did not attend the last two AGMs. At the AGM year before last, my last attendance, the introduction of murral into the lake was announced which shocked many anglers of yore. Murral love baby mahseer for breakfast, lunch and dinner and maybe tiffan.

When I was joint secy of WASI, 1975, Tata Electric at my request donated 10,000 fingerlings from their Lonavala nursery. About 7000 survived before I released them at Sangam. At that time I did not know they were a different species.

Till then there were only two species, lets forget the scientific names,
in the Cauvery. The common deep body known as the Southern mahseer and the slimmer and silver coloured and longer than the first of similar weight known as the Himalayan or N Indian mahseer. What is now being called the silver mahseer, dark grey, by anglers is a hybrid. Some of the more knowledgeable anglers at that time claimed the Deccan mahseer was a threat to the native mahseer. I fully agree with them. I got to know the Deccan mahseer very well when I visted Shomoga a few years ago.

Back in the 70s monsters inhabited the lake and the feeder canal. In 72/73
the daughter and son of my friend Pervis Sethna of Bombay had their rods broken in the canal near the bridge. What I believed to be an almighty large fish, at about 200 metres the dorsal fin appeared to be about a foot high, was confirmed by the local fishermen to be about 180lbs '. It had broken many a net. Narayan Shetty, Pervis Sethna and I often fished from the weir, in the canal and at the mouth of the lake and the average take was about 35lbs. As a matter of fact Narayan Shetty was awarded an Ambassadeur 10,000 and a gold crested cap by ABU for landing the heaviest mahseer in India one year. All the previous years the award went to anglers for their take in Assam.

Sunder who is now one of the managers at Galliborai/ Bheemeswari camps was dragged off the makeshift raft he and the three members of the Transworld Fishing Team of the UK were fishing from where the canal enters the lake. Incidentally the team hit paydirt later at Galliborai with a 92 pounder. That is another story.

The last large mahseer taken in the lake/canal was 70lbs 11 years ago and there were ominous signs the mahseer were being frightened away by the dynamiting upstream. The canal was choked with weed. Mahseer belong to the carp family and feed on weeds. To make matters worse the fisheries dept left Shivasamudaram which was the death knell for the mahseer.

Can you tell me the type of terminal tackle you use for bottom fishing. Because if you are following the local fishermen practice I have some advice for you. Bheemeswari is ideal for mahseer Nov/Dec that is if the water level is not too high. You can ring Bheemeswari camp for advice. I cancelled my booking last year because of the late heavy rains.

Hope to hear from you. Tight Lines.

Don


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:37 pm 
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Hi Don,

That was an interesting read. It would be very nice if you could share more of your experiences for us to have a dekko.

You've been fishing a lot longer than most of us have and any information you contribute will be appreciated.

Tight lines!
Bopanna


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 9:28 pm 
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Hello Don,

Perhaps this thread http://www.indianangler.com/viewtopic.p ... ht=harangi will explain how the blue finned mahseer found it's way here.

Quote:
At the AGM year before last, my last attendance, the introduction of murral into the lake was announced which shocked many anglers of yore. Murral love baby mahseer for breakfast, lunch and dinner and maybe tiffan.


I am not qualified to comment on that but it was probably done due to the absence of mahseer at that point of time.

Quote:
When I was joint secy of WASI, 1975, Tata Electric at my request donated 10,000 fingerlings from their Lonavala nursery. About 7000 survived before I released them at Sangam. At that time I did not know they were a different species.


What species did they turn out to be?

Quote:
Back in the 70s monsters inhabited the lake and the feeder canal.


Would you be refering to Forbes Sagar or the smaller lake on whose bank the current WASI cottage is situated? Were the big mahseer only found in or close to the current or were they to be found in the stiller waters as well (closer to the highway)?

As it so happens, Narayan Shetty's younger son, Sahadev, is a close friend of mine and he has mentioned about Pervez Sethna visiting them in Bangalore and the fishing but he has never mentioned anything about a 180lb mahseer. I know that legend claims the mahseer to have been even larger but 180 lbs. in the 70's? Hope she is still around for me. :mrgreen:

Funny, you should mention the Transworld Fishing Team. Their book, the one dedicated to Narayan Shetty happened to be my first bit of fishing literature and it was a thoroughly good read.

Quote:
Can you tell me the type of terminal tackle you use for bottom fishing. Because if you are following the local fishermen practice I have some advice for you.


Very basic ledgering, I'm afraid - a 5/0 beak hook embedded in a ball of ragi with approximately 2 oz. of lead wire spiralled onto the mainline, circa two feet from the hook. Since lead does not seem to be holding its place in the current, we plan on tying a stone to light line attached to a swivel on the main-line, so even if we had a snag it would be easy to break off and still retain the hook. We would be grateful for any tips you could throw our way.

Thank you for a most interesting post and I hope to read more of these in future.

Rustam


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:29 pm 
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Hey Rusty now that you mention the rig with a stone let me tell you what I used to do to solve the same problem you face .. Whenever I would fish with a line and bait out a bandstand I always had the problem of getting snagged quite a bit in fact all the time . its always the lead wieght or the stone that would get snagged . I had finally after many tries worked out a way to go around this . I would buy the Bhajyia Thread the ones the guys used to tie the Wada pao in and then take a candle and wax the thread . Then i would tie the terminal rig to the thread and tie any stone that would hold the thread . In case it did get snagged for any reason just one tug with the hands broke the thread and the terminal rig would come back . Then just tie another piece of this reinforced Bhaijya thread and cast out once again . Ive always found that its never the hooks that get snagged but the lead wieghts or the sinkers that do .. It worked for me at bandstand . maybe it would work at WASI . Cheers Fred


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 7:09 am 
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Quote:
Then i would tie the terminal rig to the thread and tie any stone that would hold the thread.


Fred,

Need a clarification here...your terminal rig had a swivel to which you tied the thread or did you tie it directly to the leader?

I know the white cotton thread you speak off. Would waxing it make it that much stronger? Just wondering if this thread is strong enough not to break when a stone is being cast out.

Anyway, it's good to know this method works.

Thanks.

Rustam


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:09 am 
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Enlightened

Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:57 pm
Posts: 66
Hi Rustam,

The mahseer from the Harangi nursery are the Deccan mahseer like the fingerlings I released into the river at Sangam. They may be called by whatever name you like but they are the same species.

I am talking of Forbes Sagar exclusively. This lake was the spawning ground for mahseer, a fact that was known by the anglers who fished long before the 70s,and to say that the murral fingerlings were released into the lake in the absence of mahseer at that point of time surprises me. The individual who released the murral fingerlings and the committee could have consulted the older members who were responsible for launching the mahseer project in 1974. I dont suppose you know the mahseer were almost on the verge of extinction when WASI approached the government and took over the 12 mile stretch to protect the mahseer from poachers and the fishermen co-op who had the run of the place and adopted illegal methods to truck away loads of fish.

Sahdev Shetty was a little boy when his father and I fished together and he wouldn't have heard of the 180 lb mahseer. It was I who as jt secy endorsed his father's claim for the ABU award. I don't suppose her knows that.

I guessed you are using a stick of lead coiled around the line. My terminal tackle is made up of 2ft of 80lb fluorocarbon terminated at a swivel and above the swivel a split torpedo rubber lined lead sinker 1/2 oz slipped onto the main line. These sinkers are available with Cabelas. The weight of the sinker can be either 1/2 or 1oz depending on the current. My gillie prefers 1/2 oz. The weight is heavy enough to take the bait to the bottom and permits it to be presented to fish off the ground or rock for an easy strike.

Its my pleasure to give a helping hand.

Tight Lines - Don
.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:20 am 
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Yeah Rusty I had a Swivel at the end ... and waxing does make it strong and waterproof . Use multiple strands of the thread based on the weight you want to cast out and the breaking strength of the line being used


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:27 am 
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Bugger Guys!!

You all ruined it, I was looking forward to the "Bandra Bawa Bashup" :lol:

Just kidding, it is great to see both of you posting again...keep going.

Good advice Fred, used to use the same thread or old "Manja" but did not wax it as I wanted it to break off easy. Waxing does not make too much of a diff Rusty. It's only a short length of thread is required and it is Bio Degradable..speeds up the process if you do not wax :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 5:37 pm 
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Hi Don,

I admit I am at a loss as to why they introduced the murral into Forbes Sagar.

To compound what appears to be an error, my friends and I release most of the murral. At most we will take one for the pot or home.

Quote:
I dont suppose you know the mahseer were almost on the verge of extinction when WASI approached the government and took over the 12 mile stretch to protect the mahseer from poachers and the fishermen co-op who had the run of the place and adopted illegal methods to truck away loads of fish.


Forgive me for living but I did not even know there was a fish known as the mahseer until a couple or so years ago. Infact fishing was a subject I had no clue about until quite recently.

Quote:
Sahdev Shetty was a little boy when his father and I fished together and he wouldn't have heard of the 180 lb mahseer.


That would indeed be true but I am surprised no one has mentioned it yet. Something like this would hardly have been kept a secret or remained one.

The description of your terminal tackle reminds me of what my friend Prathap uses. Except that he uses a 60lb leader which is probably due to circumstances rather than choice. It is certainly something that I intend doing in future. Thanks.

I have also seen the lead weight you refer to on the Cabelas website but what I don't understand is the weight of lead you are using. Why only 1/2 to 1 oz.? Is this for the margins at Forbes Sagar or the Cauvery as well?

The few times I have seen people fishing for mahseer on the Cauvery, I have seen great big weights attached to their line. This leads me to another question - why do we use uptide rods rated for maximum casting weights like 8 and 10 ozs.? Is it just for the strength that a higher casting weight accords a rod or because we need to cast a ball of ragi weighing 2 to 3 ozs. plus the lead weight?

Rustam


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 5:44 pm 
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Thanks Fred and Bobby. I am going to try this in the future and I am pretty sure I have a bundle of dori around.

Quote:
You all ruined it, I was looking forward to the "Bandra Bawa Bashup"


Sorry to disappoint you. Perhaps next time. :mrgreen:

Rustam


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 9:00 am 
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No worries Rusty, pretty sure Freddy used this rig to catch Catfish from his balcony..


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 1:32 pm 
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Im not into cats Bob ... U are .. know what I mean ?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 1:57 pm 
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Freddy you’re incorrigible

Yes I do know what you mean “MEOWWW!”


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 8:14 pm 
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Hi Rustam,

Just a handful of anglers visted Forbes Sagar at that time, a nawab from HYD, another muslim gentleman from Mysore, Eric Boesinger and I made our first trip 71-72. We two were at the headworks when Pervis Sethna, his two children and a friend came down from Mumbai and that is when I met them and the whole gang have been friends since. Narayan Shetty joined us after 1974. Most anglers had given up on the mahseer. The favourite spot for ground baiting by earlier anglers was opposite the spot where the KEB monitoring station is now located. They were friends of the Clarkes and Pereiras who were residents of Shivasamaduram and those anglers were all gone before our arrival. The Clarkes and the Pereiras gave us this piece of information and what was most interesting according to them the mahseer would swirl around from the 5th day in anticipation of the feed once in the morning and again in the evening. Most of those anglers would fish from Tippus bridge, what was left of it, opposite headworks and most times a hooked mahseer would run downstream into the channel under headworks gate and get broken.

I can assure you that the 180lb mahseer is not a story. The local fisher men confirmed its presence and why nobody else knows about it is because Bangalore wasn't crawling with anglers. The majority of outdoors
men were shooters, hunting was permited at that time. and I too did more shooting than fishing. The majority of Bangalore based anglers learned angling on the Cauvery. I think we can stop harping on the matter.

A sinker is not used to anchor the bait. A 1/2 oz lead sinker will sink to the bottom or onto a submerged rock but can still be carried with the current but at the bottom and that is where the anglers judgement comes into play. If he allows the bait and and sinker be carried by the current the lead is sure to sna. Accurate casting is required and do not cast to a spot some distance short of the target spot believing by releasing line the bait would be carried to the target spot. You will get yourself the biggest snag of your life.

You say you have just started fishing, I have been fishing for the past 50 years plus and I an still learning.


Don


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 10:26 am 
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Don a 180 lb Mahseer is really hard to believe ... have there been any catches documented in that range ... anybody have any info on that ... or this seems to be an exception ... somebody must have been throwing his hormone medication into that part of the river for something to have grown that big

Sorry Don , no offense but i sincerely find this extremely hard to believe .. anybody like to prove me wrong with some real documented info


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 11:38 am 
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Hey Rustam,

Those are some fantastic mahseer you have there. Welcome to the Club. Looks like we have another lifer amongst us. I should be hitting the river next in early jan2007. Hope to get that big one then.

Regards,

Mighty Marlin.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 2:30 pm 
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Quote:
Looks like we have another lifer amongst us.


You can bet your Gucci sandals on that, Akshay. ;)

Just dying to find out what a big one will be like at the other end of the line.

Incidentally, what fish are you holding in your avatar?

Rustam


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 4:31 pm 
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Enlightened

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Posts: 66
Hello Fred,

Its your bad luck you were not with me and my friends in the 70's.



Don


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 5:21 pm 
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Hi Don .. or my good luck ... I would have camped all my life at the bank rod in hand , no job ,, and no fish ..catch up with you when im in Bangalore ... if youre in mumbai gimme a call ... 9829287872


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 3:15 am 
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Enlightened

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Hi Fred

Thanks pal, must meet up sometime. Here is Pervis Sethna,s BOM nos:
Office: 25783814, Res: 25700975 (after 8 pm). Will give him yours.
Mine: 9845173984.

Any luck with rawas? Pervis too would like to know.

Tight Lines - Don


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 3:57 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:57 pm
Posts: 66
Sorry Rustam for not answering your question on anglers using rods for 8 to 10 oz lures. I shall speak for myself. I use a 12ft surfcaster rated for 10oz mainly with a Daiwa Sealine Series baitcaster to facilitate long casts. As far as I am concerned the rod handles well and helps me to hit the target area. The rated 10 0z lure weight is incidental. I use my Daiwa BG90 spinner with the rod too at night and for shorter casts and spinning during daylight hours.

My second rod on the river is a 11ft Ugly Stik. My son Syddon uses a 10ft Ugly Stik when he is with me. A 7ft light Ugly Stik fitted with a Mitchell 300X spinner for taking live bait completes the rod/reel combination for the river.

I prefer spinning to bottom fishing but on a fast river like the Cauvery the latter method is great fun.

Don


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 7:07 am 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:43 am
Posts: 708
Location: Bangalore, India.
Thanks Don.


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