Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fisherman's Haven

Jungle Lovers...if you have ever been to Corbett National Park and have read through the master pieces of Jim Corbett's hunting stories, you will find several instances of fishing experiences in Ramganga and Sharada rivers which are still over-trodden with a rich collection of Mahsheer and Goonch species. I keep looking at several advertisements about commercially arranged trips by the local companies to let you have a very exciting experience in reeling a big o' Mahsheer or Goonch in your stringer. If you have read about Corbett's little experience about the huge Goonch fish he caught with the help of two local brothers (one of whom insisted that he would carry the pole and the fish together such that others will think that he caught that big bully Goonch by himself ) you would always dream of having such an experience and having a wonderful day out in the serene sands of Ramganga river and among the virgin nature for a change. And, I am here to guarantee you that such an experience adds to your permanent memory and to a panorama of dreams that you would always cherish as long as you live. You are welcome not to agree with me...but please do so after having such an experience in Corbett National Park.
Ramganga River Valley in Corbett National Park
 However, I am here to talk about a little fishing trip I had in Virginia which all of us in the troop will remember all our lives. We were a troop of seven guys who were willing to do anything to catch some Bass (One of most aggressive bait eaters in Northern America) from the New River (just New River by name, but its the third oldest river in the World) to arrange for our evening barbeque. Among us, two were from Peru, one from Germany, myself from Bharat, and three from the USA. Only two among us had some experience close to fishing. Rest of them belonged to "more the merrier" group.

It was around 6 a.m. in the morning and we packed our gear to get to the Big Falls at McCoy near Blacksburg, Virginia. By the time we got there it was around 6.30a.m. and the Sun was not up, even though it was bright. This was the perfect time to cast the bait. Bass are very aggressive to live and moving baits especially on the top of the water. A very effective bait to catch bass is Canadian night crawlers hooked in a typical way. And we had carried about 5 dozens of those.

Since only two of us were experienced in fishing we started casting bait right below the falls looking for some prospective catch. Relatively less experienced ones with little or no experience in casting, started casting the bait anywhere they wanted, with no correlation to whether they knew they will get a fish there or not (sometimes their hooks got snagged on tree tops). Half hour passed...still not a single bite. We kind of started looking a little worried. Then one of the other guys who were casting almost anywhere caught a tiny Bass. You could very well imagine what would that cause to us. They started giving us such  looks that just said..."if you don't know how to catch a fish and have lied to us like all fishermen do, may be its time to admit it and we can all go home peacefully". But...may be they were not that lucky that day...
Please take a look at the picture below.
Big Falls, McCoy, Virginia

I was standing on the rock that you see on the bottom right corner of the picture. And I just dropped my bait right below the rock just for a try. And here we go...I just got a bite from a medium size Bass. No one looked amused or interested, because we were supposed to catch fish for almost 20 people and two in our bag would just not be enough. So we were planning to let those two insignificant catches go into the water. But...wait a minute...the other fisherman in our troop just hit one more Bass.
Large-mouth Bass

So we decided to stay and continue with the fishing. What went on for the next hour and half there, I have experienced something like that only once more in my life (I'll have chance to talk about it later).

Right after the other fisherman caught the Bass we felt like we have come across a whole school of Bass. Both of us did not have a minute to spare and we did not have time to even reel a fish to the shore.We had to just lift them from water. Thank god we had re-spooled our reels with 10 lb test lines the evening before. After half hour everyone else just came down and stood beside us on that rock. We were just casting the bait and reeling it in with a fish. We had all size of them ranging fro 4lbs to .5 lbs and after a total of one and half hours we had one hundred and twenty-five Bass in our stringer. The non-fishermen had not seen something like this before and all were just mesmerized. They fought around for almost 10 minutes to decide who is going to carry those fish and since we had elevated to such a highly respected level we were spared from carrying the fish, cleaning them, seasoning them and eventually barbequing them...both of us fishermen were sitting near the barbeque and were listening to the talk of the day...traditional lies of people who had recently developed interest in fishing...and who were just lucky to catch all these big fish with their own hands...who had had a lot of tricks to lure so many Bass at a time...and so on.

Still we enjoyed the eve like never before after such a day in a fishing trip...If some of my friends who were on that trip read about it they might remember me on that May morning  in  2008 in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Talk to you later...

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