I stand half-corrected
Last Nov at Bhimeshwari, we got hit bad by that cyclone. Water level was wayy up. Our first day of fishing got a 70-lb goldenand a couple of 20-pounders. The water was already high. We got that big fish in shallower water, at dusk.
Then it rained and rained for four days flat. Fishing was shot. The only fish we caught were baby mahseer and carnatic carp, underneath bankside trees!
The Cauvery is one big river. During high and murky water, the fish could be anywhere , and the dark conditions dont help either. Also, I feel that the ragi bait is not 'smelly' enough for the fish to home in, in these conditions.
In Malaysia, half-rotten oil palm fruit is now standard bait for mahseer (imagine a super oily red date). The fruit creates an oil slick that attracts the fish from downstream.
In fact, one of our favourite tactics is to hang a perforated sack of crushed oil palm fruit in the water(sort of like a rubby-dubby for shark fishing). The oil and smell drifts constantly downstream, but not the groundbait. In a new swim, it may take 1 or 2 days to get the mahseer, but they WILL come!
Btw OB, remember the pics of the fish tag I promised you? Well, I've just emailed them to Bops. Hopefully he'll send them to you, on some lubrication (masala tea?).