Escapades of Jude, Owen, Robin, Bunty and I, at the Wasi lakes.
Always expect the unexpected. Now if that isn’t the silliest statement I ever heard! Heck you can expect everything, nothing is unexpected! Are you confused? Imagine how confused I was when a mahaseer about 5kgs or so came on the end of my 3kg line!
It had been one of those days we all have, where you just could not get a bite. We were at Wasi lakes around eleven in the morning. Fishing was simply terrible, with the hot sun, very windy, and of course, no fish. WASI is a pristine lake; arguably, you could drink the water straight off the coracle. Located on the channel of the BWSSB, it is now slowly filling up with water hyacinth and water lily, the water coming in, churls into mini whirlpools and open water. Those who are new to the area are ill advised to venture too far in the coracle towards the channel leading to the BWSSB head works, because after a couple of turns and the swift current.
To get out of the sun, and have a beer or two, we idled around to the front of the tree on the banks and under an overhanging branch. The relief from the sun was a welcome change, and it allowed us to cool off and relax.
Robin and I had set a couple of rods on the banks. As we drank beer, we could see the telltale slow pecks of a small carp or tilapia on our ragi bait. Slowly, we would reel in the bait, which was nibbled away either on the bottom or top. Or find a good size tilapia stubbornly attached to the hook.
Jude on the bund began catching these tilapia at a fairly fast pace. The total tilapia caught were fifteen in number.
A while later, as my bait once again began moving as if a tilapia was on it, I slowly and gently began pulling the resistance back toward the shore. This one seemed as if it had a huge big tilapia, because it was a lot harder to move toward the shore. As it moved closer, the resistance increased. I reached for the net thinking I had really gotten a huge tilapia. Slowly I lifted my rod to bring it to the surface.
As I watched, a dark shadowy area was rising toward the surface. At about the same time that I realized this was a rohu, he swirled on the surface, throwing splashes of water everywhere, and headed away from me like a miniature freight train. He had swallowed the ragi, and was firmly hooked on. Brought him in gently, weighed my catch and released it, pronto.
Know that first and foremost, Jude and Riaz are `meat` fishermen. Put food on the table! Any of you who have read their exploits know of their obsession with fish.
Another of us, Owen is also obsessed with fishing. Bunty sitting on the bund busily casting-reeling in, casting-reeling in, suddenly had a huge tug and before you could say `jack robinson` his reel screaming found his catch taking off towards the channel. Owen screaming and waving from the other side of the lake `send the coracle`. Bunty trying his level best to see that he does not lose his catch, a mahaseer, went towards the Owen, in the coracle. Bunty couldn’t bring him in. So after him, Owen and Bunty went! Only, they weren’t going anywhere. The catch had run off about fifty yards and stopped.
They brought the coracle over to the bund again. The water was about ten feet deep, so in the clear water, they could not see the catch. As they sat on top of him, the mahaseer would occasionally move two or three feet in one direction or another. Bunty kept pressure on him, trying to lift him off the bottom, but he simply would not budge. Did I mention that I they were two ghillies, Owen, Bunty and Riaz trying to figure out what to do?
For over an hour and a half they tried anything and everything with the fish with no success. On one occasion, one ghilly took one of the boat paddles and poked it around him to get him to move. He would move only when he saw fit, and only where he wanted to move, under a rock.
The definition of fishing includes patience, but after about two hours of attempting to budge this fish, Owen and gang had apparently run out of that particular commodity. I guess he figured that if the line had not broken by now, he might be able to apply a little more pressure.
At any rate, the Ghilly took the line in his hand just where it entered the water, and began to lift. Low and behold, the fish began to rise! For just a moment they could see the entire fish about four feet under the water. And for a fleeting few, heart-pounding seconds Bunty thought and they all believed that they may catch this fish.
The fish had seen the Ghilly, and with one quick swirl he broke off and swam away.
The next thirty minutes was a school of sorts, edged by Owen, they managed to gingerly coaxed the mahaseer into the landing net. The mahaseer, a beauty weighed in at 7 kgs.
I guess I didn’t learn my lesson, because later in the evening I landed a beauty, a Mahaseer.
On the whole the journey and fishing was not bad, with Owen landing a beautiful Mahaseer, at the Forbes.
Shall request Owen to put in the inputs of the photographs.