Hi Ken and all of you,
It is not easy to catch any of these monsters as they rarely take the bated hooks inside their mouth. If you want to catch them you have to prepare yourself on three fronts, namely Ground Baiting, Tackle Set up and hook baiting. I am not an expert on those things but with the limited knowledge I have, I will try to explain each of these steps.
Ground baiting; Ground baiting is a subjective since and there are many theories regarding this art of seduction. Many of you may differ and may have your own theories but as per the general consensuses, the points which requires most attention are,
• Ground baiting should be localized and should not exceed an area of 2 feetsx2feets.
• Place your hooks just ahead of your ground baited area.
• Non food items and any thing which contaminates the water should never be used.
• The ground bait should not smell rancid or foul.
• Never use huge quantity of ground bait as it will have opposite effect.
• The best ground bait for one trip is 3 kg. Cake crumbles, 500 grams. Mustered khully soaked overnight, 250 grams Poha. Mixed with clay (Clay should be about twice the volume of above mixture.). Mix about 150 grams of Calcutta Masala to this mixture. Mix some water and when the mixture becomes of clayey consistency make small balls leaving small amount of this mixture. Mix about ½ kg of cake to this mixture so as to make some loose mixture. Add another 50 grams of Calcutta masala to this mixture so it becomes strong smelling.
• Throw the balls as mentioned above with minimum splashing and go on throwing some of the mixture (Very small quantity.) every half hour.
• If you do not have with you any Calcutta masala add some ginger and onion to this mixture. You can also add jeera, tej patta, methi, kaloungi, jaiphal, dal chini, dhania and ajwain duly roasted lightly and then ground and mixed with coconut oil. Add some base, like mustered khully to it. The paste thus made should be kept in sun for at least 15 to 20 days before it gives a strong appetizing smell. I will prefer you go for the Calcutta masala as it is the best attractant.
Tackle Set Up; use a line which is well camouflaged. It should match the color of water you are fishing. Give a chance to the fish and use minimum breaking strength of line with minimum drag. 200 meters of 15 lb line is adequate.
The lightest peacock feather float adjusted with a rubber band tied on the line should be used. The angle of line with water surface (Float onward should be 30 to 45 degree depending upon the depth of water you are fishing.
The most important part is how to add weight with your hooks so as to place them correctly. Any of the biggies or for that matter any fish spit out the bait if it feels any weight attached to it. Never tie any weight before or behind the hook. The method adopted by me is that I pass my line through the weight and limit this weight by one small artificial pearl attached to the line just ahead of the hook with help of a rubber band. Through this method the fish does not feel any weight while taking the bait and the moment transfer to the float is maximum.
Hook Bait: Take one bread and remove the brown part. Soak that bread with milk. Remove excess milk by pressing the bread by both hands. Mix at least 100 grams of milk maid to this and mix properly. This mix should be soft and white. When placing this on hook dip that again in milk maid. This is the best hook bait I know. You can also use smelling Cheese. Change the color of your bait sometime by using small amount of haldi to it.
Hope these tips will help you in landing one of the monsters of Bhakra dam.
Best of luck