It’s just over two years now since I hooked up with Ali and the Powai crew. Long Sunday afternoons spent staring at the surface of the lake trying to imagine what was happening underneath. These are shy and tricky fish and this is a venue that frustrates analysis and conjecture. It’s like a huge jigsaw puzzle where you don’t know the final picture and most of the pieces are missing.
Of course that doesn’t stop us theorizing and we could (and do) talk all day about bait and rigs and presentation. Every so often a fish takes pity on us and tries one of our offerings – invariably in the few seconds when the angler answers a mobile phone. It’s always tempting to imagine that any catch is a result of outsmarting these wily carp. I’m more inclined to believe that these are chance encounters and we can only be grateful for the brief time we get to interact with these magnificent mysterious creatures.
So, that said take the following story with a big dose of skepticism (make that two). There may be something you can use here – on the other hand it may be me ascribing motive and method to something that was pure chance.
It started with me reading the thread in this forum on circle hooks. I’ve been using them for a while for shore fishing and I’ve had a packet of size 8’s in my freshwater bag for months – always meaning to try them on the Powai carp. I’ve been tardy setting about this as I have a nagging doubt that carp just don’t have the right mouth for that type of hook. They suck and blow instead of biting, the real business is done at the back of their throats. So the mission yesterday was to compare the hooking potential of circles versus standards on identical feeder rigs. On the standard rig I thought I’d try out a “line aligner” presentation. The “line aligner” is an “anti eject rig” – the hook point is orientated toward the line a bit like a circle hook but it is flexible. Google it if you are inclined to try it – all you need is some heat shrink sleeving from an electrical component shop.
The feeder rigs were identical with the standard bait we use for golis in Powai; Bread crumbs (I use the crust only), Toasted channa, Rice atta, Ground Elaichi. I spiced this up a bit with some fruit pulp (waste from juicer) and a liberal coating of WD40.
The cork balls are coated with a little feeder paste so they just pop up off the bottom (essential tactic at Powai due to freshwater crabs). I cast the feeders out to roughly the same area about 4 metres apart and I rebaited them at about 45 minute intervals. It was a quiet day with very little pushing and shoving of the feeder but at about 5pm the line-aligner reel screamed and I was into this beautiful specimen. It took about five blistering runs and 10 – 15 minutes to land it – not an easy task as I could barely get its head in the net.
I had no scale with me but Ali and Vishal saw I had something big on and came to have a look. Just as well as I found out that there was no memory card in my camera.
We got these shots using a mobile phone.
So there you go – a head-to-head of circle hooks against line aligner. One fish is hardly a trial but I did feel more confident in the hook hold of the line alighner over a standard hook – possibly confirming that anti-eject rigs are the way to go.
PS. the fish weighed in at 17.5 kg and I was kidding about the WD40 (this time)
Ready to go back..
..and off back
Feeder Rig with line-aligner hooks (should be more angled but fish straightened the tubing out a bit)[/url]