IndianAngler featured in the Bangalore edition of the Times Of India newspaper today!
They’ve caught the fishing bug
Game fishing is more than a game for this bunch of avid anglers, finds Nirmala Govindarajan
Mahseer, marlin, murrel, sailfin, barramundi, cobia and giant trevally. No, we aren’t about to enter a fish market. These are game fish that members of indianangler, an online angling community, have caught and are yet to catch.
“Always, the one that gets away is the biggest,’’ says Mumbai-based indianangler, Santosh Kolwankar, a chemical exporter by profession. “The biggest fish I’ve caught so far is a 20-pound barramundi. I’m off to Malvan in South Maharashtra, hopefully to catch Cobia,” he says.
“I’ll never catch my dream fish,’’ concedes Delhi-based advertising professional and indianangler, Kenneth Augustine. “I am from the hills in Mussoorie. When I was a kid, I was a stick and line fisher. For the past 20 years, I’ve been into serious fishing. The biggest fish I’ve caught is the golden mahseer, in a secret spot up the Ganges. Before I turn 50, I want to buy a boat, sail for a long, long time and catch a blue marlin and bluefin tuna,” he says.
Indianangler Derek D’Souza, VP, tech and marketing in an ITes firm in Bangalore concedes he’s caught a Salmon in San Francisco. “I primarily do salt-water fishing and hope to land sailfin and giant trevally,” he says.
Salt-water fishing is a different ball game for indianangler Alexis Greenwood, finance analyst with an IT firm. “It’s mahseer, murrel and rohu for me. In India, you always dream of catching the running water record mahseer,” he says.
Anchoring the interests of these anglers and about 900 more of them is software professional and International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) representative, Bopanna Pattada, the brain behind indianangler. “I’ve been in England since childhood. When I came here, I was looking for information on fishing in India and didn’t find enough material on the net. So, I set up this online forum to promote game fishing in the country,” he explains.
Indianangler started out with one member in 2006 and has grown to a 900-strong online forum in 2008. “One angler who finds his group tells the other,” says Bopanna.
Indianangler and businessman, Marcus Campos met Bopanna while fishing in the Cauvery river and became a member. “I’ve always been into angling, not too many people in India share this interest; it’s a very small fraternity. One reason why Bopanna started indianangler is to get more people who are into this sport on board. People new to angling learn a lot about the kind of fishing tackle to be used in a particular spot.
I’ve met a lot of like-minded people here and have learnt about different fishing areas. I’ve introduced a few friends to the forum, go fishing with some and interact with anglers in other cities on the net. This forum has also helped a lot of foreigners who come to angle in India,” he says.
And thanks to the forum, Derek has made friends with anglers in England. “I am from Mangalore and got into this sport when I was in England. When I came to India and went out looking for details on equipment and how to handle fish here, the only wisdom about angling was in Jungle Lodge. I was looking then at going abroad and buying colourful equipment. Then, I stumbled into indianangler which, thanks to its members, had a wealth of information on where I could buy my rod and reels, apart from details on where I could travel. Through the community, I made a friend in England, visited him and fished with him. He in turn came to India and fished here,” he says.
In effect, indianangler has made the fishing community so much bigger.
“Anglers are a breed apart, we are a rare species and in this country there are not very many of them. Indianangler made my fishing circle so much bigger. I regularly meet up with anglers in Delhi, have been invited to Mumbai by the indiananglers and have also fished with Bopanna in Bangalore. I’ve become good friends with so many people in the network, most of whom I’ve never met. I know about 300 of these members well,” smiles Kenneth.
And these members range from teenagers to those in their 80s. “And you can start angling with basic equipment costing Rs 2,000 and advanced gear that costs up to Rs 20,000. Fishing is the largest sport in the US, every third person there is an angler. Angling is a niche area and the endeavour of this forum is to conserve areas in India where it’s popular, as the sport grows. In fact, we are planning an all-India competition for salt and fresh water fishing in November,” says Bopanna.
And what the forum’s largely taught anglers is patience. “We also learn the importance of having the ability to change with the kind of location we are fishing at and the need to be able to change our tactics depending on the species. Most of all, we learn to take ‘not catching’ in our stride,” says Bopanna.
“And since game fish are too valuable to eat, they’ve got to be released,’’ adds Santosh.And when the indiananglers bond, they share a secret or two! “Angling is very secretive, if we find a great river or spot a big fish, we tend to keep it to ourselves. The minute we start bonding, we let the information out,” says Kenneth.
ADMISSIONS OPEN www.indianangler.com
Link to online article. http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Reposito ... kin-custom
P.S I didn't grow up in England guess they mixed up Derek's intro with mine