Few anglers on the west coast realise that India, with its dozens of rivers and thousands of streams, offers vast opportunities for sports fishing and angling… Whether you’re the type who likes to string a worm onto a makeshift line and catch your own dinner or a thoroughbred professional angler with the latest in fishing tackle – India’s waters, both fresh and salt, can be a pleasant surprise. The country has an estimated 50,000 km of waters – rivers, streams, and lakes included and an additional 3,000 km of coastline Although sport fishing is still the preserve of a very select elite, there’s definitely a lot of scope for some satisfying angling. Major rivers and the coastal waters lapping the shores of peninsular India harbour marine sport fish such as mackerel, marlin and sea bass.
What makes angling or sport fishing easy in India is that most major cities lie along rivers, as a result of which getting to a suitable fishing spot is generally not a problem. Furthermore, most states have well-organised Departments of Fisheries, where special hatcheries ensure that there’s always a gene pool of local and exotic fish. Fish sanctuaries and hatcheries in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and other states through which major rivers flow, maintain a vast stock of fish which are specially bred for re-stocking rivers.
It probably won’t be long before veteran anglers will be able to attribute some of the `biggest ones’ to Indian rivers!
Timing your trip:
Angling or sportfishing is possible on Indian rivers almost throughout the year, although most state authorities forbid angling during the monsoon months, when fish are breeding. Regional variations in climate, can however, cause hindrances: most of the Himalayas, for instance, are too cold to allow any angling during the winter months. On the whole, October to November and mid-February to mid-May are the best times to go sport fishing in India along the coasts.
Licenses and permits:
Fishing licenses are mandatory for all eager anglers, so go to the designated official before you throw your line into the water, or you just might find yourself being hauled off and penalized. In most cases, fishing licenses are not issued during the monsoon (when most fish species breed); in addition, most licenses are issued for only a specified stretch of water. Furthermore, there are stipulations that all fish caught must be released into the water, and anglers are restricted to a specified number of fish per day.
Angling licenses can be obtained from the organizations and offices listed below, for fishing in the corresponding state or region:
Kerala: High Range Angling Association, Munnar
- Coorg: Coorg Wildlife Association, Madikeri
- Karnataka: Wildlife Association of South India, Bangalore
- Tamil Nadu: Palni Hills Game Association, Kodaikanal Assistant Director of Fisheries, Udhagamandalam
- West Bengal: Fisheries Department, Mirik
- Assam: Angling Association, Tejpur
- Maharashtra: Fish Association of Powai Lake, Mumbai Tata Hydroelectric Works, Lonavla
- Delhi: Assistant Warden of Fisheries, Delhi Administration,(at Okhla Barrage, Okhla)
If you’re a foreigner, and heading off to the Lakshadweep or Andaman & Nicobar Islands to do some sport fishing, you’ll need a permit from the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi- or an authorised official in the state. The same applies to certain areas of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and other border states.
Things to bring along:
Patience – and lots of it! Angling requires oodles of patience and the skill to battle it out with a heavyweight fish of up to 200 kg for the next hour or more! To purchase your A-Z angling equipment contact Casa Ibrahim in Goa:
Phone : 0832-2512643
Contact person: Mr. Nasir Shaik.
This article has been compiled from: