I write this in the field...
Day 1 & Day 2 (Day 2 morning session)
Mist covered fields slipped by silently as I drove the last few miles to the ‘spot’… it seemed as if it would be a great day… the sun cresting over the hills, slowly burning away the mist… warming up life to the day ahead. Man I could not wait to hit the waters… I could already feel the bite and the fight! Sreeeeee was the only sound I heard!
I reached the spot at 05:30 hrs… perfect timing I thought…
gives me enough time to gear up and yomp down to the ‘spot’! My local shikari greeted me with a luke warm cup of tea- no bother I had better things to do than sit and drink chia… Priorities- that’s what daddy always said!!!
As I scanned the waters, all I saw was fish jumping every where… the frenzy was on!
“Dude, get on with it… times a wastin’” was all I said to myself and let go my first cast! Remembering the “rules” for the spot, I let it sink deep… real deep… slow retrieve… nothing… no big deal… its just the first cast- “waddaya expect? A bite on every cast??? Slow down tiger… you ain’t at the pump house… ze rules are different”…. And I cast out again… and again… and again… not a damned bite all morning…
I was shocked, I was surprised, I was amazed- what’s going on?
The afternoon went by deep in thought; analyzing everything from casting to the type of lures used (Tried everything from toby’s, kast masters deep divers, floating, jointed, long leaf spinners short leaf spinners… everything except for a stick of dynamite!!!) to the number of birds in the air and clouds in the sky.
16:00 hrs and out to the spot again… casting, plugging, spinning screaming… BITE DAMNED FISH!!! My frustration was killing me… despite a beautiful sunset, the evening ended with zero bites!!!
Sitting at the rest house verandah with all my tackle laid out before me, I tried hard to figure out what was going wrong… the weather was perfect, the time of year was right… the only conclusions I could come to were:
1) Sheer bad luck (but I don’t believe that for the amount of fish feeding on chilwa in a 1 km stretch was insane)
2) Lure shy fish (but then again, the local populace only has access to toby replicas, why did the other stuff not work?
Points to ponder!!!
Staring at the tackle made me reach for the phone and call the last King of the toitles
… on the phone I sobbed and cried while he was nice enough to give me a shoulder and a simple suggestion: face east, roast 2 chillies and drop them in piping hot mustard oil… at the same time he asked me to recite the following line a million times: “I will not laugh when someone catches a turtle!”
(guys trust me as outlandish as it sounds, I followed his advice to the T). Besides the incantation he also suggested a simple add-on for the terminal tackle.
Early next morning, after a million incantations, I hit the spot… low in spirit and high on sugar (the tea was toooooo sweet)…
lame cast out into the water… let it sink let it sink… slow the retrieve… WHAM!!! What a bite!
It came out of nowhere and in my dejected state from the day before; I wasn’t quite ready for it- the toby was taken deep +15’ of depth and the line went out fast… Sreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee… trust me guys at that point, it was the most beautiful sound in the world!!! Even though the sun had not yet fully risen, my day looked bright already… it was bite after bite all morning… all in all, 4 golden mahseer (avg. weight about 10 lbs) were caught, kissed and released (I did not have a camera with me at that point). 3 fish were lost due to improper handling at the landing site and I’ve completely lost count of the number of bites that did not connect… WHAT A MORNING!!! All hail the toitle king- if it was not for his incantation, I don’t think it would have worked out today.
The local shikari had been kept busy all afternoon to get live bait… I wasn’t sure if my luck would hold out as the beat had moved (this place has different beats according to the time of day)… Hit the waters again at 16:00 hrs. I was wary of changing anything, lest I upset fate and get no bites… the only thing that was changed was the treble… on account of loosing all the fish in the morning… casting out and working the water landed me 2 small guys both under the 3 lbs mark… something was up… time to try the next bag of tricks… aka the K-rig… so called after the guy who told me how to tie it!!!
The lines were baited with chilwa caught from the waters; one to a hook, just under the dorsal fin… weight about 5 ft behind the hooks… cast out and then began the waiting game… result- 8 singhara (avg. weight about 4 lbs) and 1 eel… not a bad day by far… the singhara and the eel were kept for the pot…
The day has ended and the sun has set… tomorrow is another day and lets see how it goes… will keep you guys posted!