Fishing in India
Photo credit: Parth Joshi - flickr
Be it air, land or water, India is an ideal place for all kinds of tourism. Where almost every Indian state is bestowed with a river, fishing is one of the commonly enjoyed activities here. For some, fishing is their favourite past time, while for some it is their favourite sport.
Indian rivers favour fishing throughout the year. Fishing in India is gaining rapid popularity and is experiencing tremendous growth among angling lovers around the globe.
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Technically built fishing rods are replacing the traditional fishing rods, traditional ways of fishing are changing too. Fishing guides are also available to not only assist new anglers with the best fishing locations but also equip them with the skills required for fishing.
The excitement of a fishing experience is incomparable and no other sport can replace it. Holding the angle as quietly as possible near water banks while watching the sunset can cast a magical spell on all fishing adventurers.
Popular destinations for angling in India:
1. Ramganga River, Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
Apart from the breathtaking views of tigers, leopards, elephants and other wildlife, the Corbett National Park is also famous for the Ramganga River.
[Apprceciate nature's beauty while touring in Corbett and camping at Rishikesh]
Ramganga River that flows through most parts of this park is the best location for Mahseer and Goonch fishing expeditions. Surrounded with dense forests and serene beauty, this site is the only place where anglers can enjoy the thrill of fishing inside a tiger territory.
The experience of angling in the Ramganga water cannot be replaced by any other destination. The largest Golden Mahseer catch in this area was 70 lbs. A lot of people prefer visiting Corbett when it comes to fishing in India.
2. Beas Ghat, Uttarakhand
Photo credit: Diganta Talukdar - flickr
The Ganges is said to be the holiest river in India. Every year, millions of devotees make their way to this holy river to experience serenity. Apart from being the holiest river, the Ganges is also one of the popular destinations for fishing. The Ganges basin is densely populated; in fact, it is the most highly populated river basin in the entire world.
Thousands of anglers, from various parts of the world visit the Ganges every year. Fishing is also one of the main sources of living for the inhabitants of the Gangetic Plain.
The name ‘Beas Ghat’ is not unknown for fishing adventurers and for Mahseer admirers, it is one of the very well known names. Situated on the foothills of the Himalayan range, Beas Ghat is one of the best spots for Mahseer fishing. Till date, Beas Ghat has reported the largest and highest number of Mahseer catches in India.
3. Jia Bhoroli, Nameri National Park, Assam
Assam is home to one-horned rhinos and many other endangered species in the world. The beauty and diversity of Assam’s wildlife is ineffable.
The Nameri National Park lies on the foothills of the Himalayas. UNESCO has listed this park as a World Heritage Site and has also listed it as a Projected National Park. The Jia Bhoroli River flows through this park and is one of the most important water sources for the dwellers of the park. This river has been extensively popular right from the British period for the angling of the Mahseers.
[Explore the wildlife of a world heritage site, Kaziranga National Park]
The snow fed water of the river is crystal clear and is known to be a reservoir for some of the exotic species of fish. Apart from the Golden Mahseers, the river also contains other species like Murral, Goonch, Indian Trout, and Chocolate Mahseer.
Wildlife in this park includes clouded leopards, Indian elephants, hornbills, giant squirrels, tigers, white winged wood duck and several others.
4. Ranikor, Meghalaya
Photo credit: Abhilash C - flickr
Wildlife and natural beauty thrive in northeast India. Meghalaya (Abode of Clouds), one of the states among the ‘Seven Sisters’ of India is a hotspot for tourists. A journey of 4-5 hours from Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, leads to a small village called Ranikor.
This village is located on the Indo-Bangladesh border and is a passage for River Kynshi that originates from a small Meghalayan town called Rilang. The Kynshi River is one of the best spots to enjoy Mahseer expeditions.
[Hungry for adventure? Explore caves of Meghalaya and trek Khasi Hills!]
Ranikor is gradually becoming one of the most preferred destinations for Mahseer fishing, after Corbett National Park. A wide range of Mahseers along with some other sport fish is found in this region. Golden Mahseer, Chocolate Mahseer, Goonch and eels are some of the favourite species for the anglers. While at Ranikor, indigenous species of birds can also be seen.
However, fishing in Ranikor needs a lot of experience and patience too. Fishing expeditions without proper experience can be extremely risky. As fishing in Ranikor involves riding on local boats, balancing the boat while catching the fish can be extremely dangerous.
5. Mahakali River, Uttarakhand
The Mahakali River is another favourite location for the fishing in India. This river flows through the Pancheshwar village of Uttaranchal. The glaciers of the Himalayas are the origin point for this river. The rocky bed of the Mahakali is an ideal location for fishing Mahseers.
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Since the Mahakali is a torrential river, angling in it needs considerable experience and courage too. The water in this river is very clear and almost everything can be seen. The extreme clarity of the water provides one of the best angling experiences in the world. Night fishing is very popular among the fishing adventurers and can be carried out with the help of the local guides.
6. Andaman Islands
Photo credit: Jakub Michankow - flickr
Fishing in the mesmerizing Andaman Islands has its own share of fun. The islands in the Andaman are rich with varieties of fish species. Giant trevally, yellowfin tuna, and marlin are some of the most favourite species among fish adventure lovers. Havelock Islands in the Andaman is the most popular destination for saltwater fishing.
[Exlpore the beautiful marine life of Andaman Islands]
Popular species for fish tourism in India:
7. Golden Mahseer
Photo Credit: Robert Perrett
Golden Mahseer is often referred to as the ‘dream fish’ for fishing in India. It is one of the common names in the freshwaters of India. Since Golden Mahseer was once, the most commonly consumed fish in India, its market value and extinction rate are comparatively high. This species is considered to be the toughest member of the Mahseer family. While in water, the fish can weigh up to 150 lbs. Some fishing enthusiasts also call the golden Mahseer, the lion of the water.
[Take an adventurous holdiay close to nature in Corbett National Park and rafting in Rishikesh]
The Ramganga River flowing through the Corbett National Park is the best location for golden Mahseer fishing expeditions. Mid September-June is the ideal time to go for Mahseer fishing in this region; however, September-November is said to be the best time.
8. Goonch Catfish
Found mostly in the Indian rivers, Goonch is the largest among all species of catfish. Its gigantic size and the tendency to attack have earned it the title of ‘devil of the river’ and ‘river monster’ as well. Till now, the largest Goonch catfish catch has been reported from India.
[Experience the multi-day adventure tour of river rafting down the Alaknanda]
Commonly found in bigger rivers, Goonch catfish is one of the most popular fish among fish lovers across India. Goonch is a migratory fish that feeds on frogs, shrimps and other small varieties of fish.
It prefers to stay in the bottom of the rivers. Excessive fishing has resulted in degradation of these species from the Ganges and Brahmaputra, which was one of the largest reservoirs of Goonch catfish.
The Ramganga River, flowing through the Corbett National Park, is one of the ideal locations for Goonch fishing. Every year, thousands of fishing adventurers swarm into the jungle suburbs of Corbett National Park to catch this river monster.
9. Brown Trout
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Trouts are also one of the favourite species for adventurers fishing in India. Though this species does not grow gigantic in size, it is one of the most desired species for fishing tours in India. Trouts are closely related to the salmon family and they prefer to stay in salt water. Trouts migrate to rivers during the birth of their spawns. They normally feed on crustaceans, insects and small fishes.
[Indulge in fishing and camping in the Great Himalayan National Park]
North America is the natural habitat for trouts. They were introduced in India during the British raj in the early 19th century and since then it has become a popular fish for consumption as well as a popular fish for sport. Brown, rainbow, and steelhead trout are the most commonly found breed of trouts.
Rivers in the Himalayan region are the largest reservoirs for trouts. Trouts can also be found in Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, and Kyrgyzstan. The Tirthan River serves as the best site for trout fishing in India.
[Experience fishing in backwaters of Cauvery at the Valnoor fishing camp]
Fly-fishing is the most commonly used angling technique for trout fishing in India. Fly anglers, artificial and synthetic flies are now available for trout fishing. Fishing in the Tirthan valley is strictly limited to six fish per angler every day. The highest trout catch in entire Asia was reported in Kashmir in 2006; 29 inch in length and 17.5 lbs.