Five exciting destinations for sport fishing in India

Visitors get hooked at these angling hotspots

Tourism

June 3, 2021

/ By / Gurugram

Five exciting destinations for sport fishing in India

Ravi with a massive Dogtooth tuna fish that he caught while jigging at Andaman (Photo: Chandrasekar Ravi)

Though still a niche, angling or sport fishing is catching on in India. The country, however, offers a myriad of options for those looking for sport fishing spots. These fishing destinations in India provide stimulating opportunities for angling enthusiasts to enjoy either salt or freshwater angling amongst tranquil, picturesque scenery, with monster fish waiting to be seized.

The Andaman Islands

The archipelago of Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal is one of the best and most convenient places for sport fishing in India. The rich reef ecosystem, the mesmerising scenery, abundance of fish and the chance to conquer the catch of a lifetime, keep luring anglers from all over the world each year. Chandrasekar Ravi, a regular visitor and angling enthusiast who documents some of his live catches on YouTube, raves about the perks of the islands.

“I make it a point to do at least two trips each year, chasing after monster fish. I personally fish with a charter called Andaman Angler; they ensure that every trip of mine is memorable and I will keep visiting irrespective of whichever part of the world I am living in,” he tells Media India Group.

He adds that the company has experienced guides and fantastic charters who can help customise the trip exactly as per the anglers wishes, ranging from a budget to 5-star experience. As a result of its remote location, the unique advantage of these fishing grounds is the lack of large-scale commercial fishery, which means there is abundant marine wealth. A tackle shop is conveniently located nearby for ease of the tourist so they can stock up on refills, and there are various options for great food around Port Blair, where the company is located.

Kali River, Uttarakhand

An angler releasing a Golden Mahseer or Tiger of the River at Pancheshwar (Photo: Lalit Mohan)

The Kali River is famous for being a natural border between India and Nepal, and home to the striking and formidable Golden Mahseer (also known as ‘the Tiger of Himalayan Rivers’). An important point to note is that since this is an endangered species of fish, it is mandatory to release the fish back into the water after catching it and taking the iconic celebratory shot. The best spot for angling here is at Pancheshwar, where one can try fly-fishing or spinner-fishing in order to catch other Mahseer species such as Copper Mahseer or the rare Red fin Mahseer.

The opportunities for fishing are matched by the beautiful scenic views one can witness, such as the charming local villages of Kumaon on the drive to the river and the surrounding sandy banks, which are perfect for taking a break from fishing and enjoying a picnic with family and friends. Along with freshwater fishing, the class 4 rapids make for a great spot for white water rafting, popular with any adrenaline junkie.

Kovalam Beach and Coromandel Coast of Bay of Bengal, Chennai

Ravi with the Giant trevally fish on a trip with Poseidon Sport Fishing (Photo: Chandrasekar Ravi)

The pristine, crystal clear waters near these beaches make Chennai a prime place to find spots for fishing, especially for hobby anglers looking for quality time away from the noise and commotion of the main city.

“Though the fish density is not as great as the Andamans, it has produced some memorable catches for me and fellow anglers,” says Ravi.

He explains that having access to a boat makes it much easier for sport anglers to target and catch the spectacular species available, such as yellow fin tuna, king mackerel and barracuda. Some of the best charters available in the area are Poseidon Sport Fishing, South Fin and Super Marine.

“For people who want to fish from shore, they can always get in touch with Super Marine, who will teach them everything from the basics and show them the spots for big game fishing!” Ravi adds. Dolphins can also be spotted swimming along the boats, especially during the migration months of July to August and February to March. Anglers who have enjoyed salt-angling with Poseidon Sport Fishing sing praises of the safety precautions taken by the company, especially the Poseidon boat, which is an 8-metre European hull complete with features including a Twin 75 HP mercury Engine for ease of travel, a live bait tank and fish storage boxes, a marine Bluetooth audio system, and a centre console canopy to provide shade for a leisurely ride.

Jia Bhoroli River, Assam

Assam is a well-known haven in India for lovers of nature and water sports. The Jia Bhoroli River flows down the rocky valleys of Arunachal Pradesh and passes the Nameri Forest Reserve, making rapids and crevasses as it joins the Brahmaputra river, providing the perfect conditions for river rafting and boating. Along with being home to the fierce game fish, Golden Mahseer, anglers can attempt to catch the smaller species like Korang, Boka, and Saal fish. This river has been a famous angling destination since the British Raj, and every year since 1981, an angling competition has been organised here by the Assam Bhoroli Anglers Association in November and offers an exciting challenge for sport anglers to try their hand at. One of the biggest Golden Mahseers was caught here and reportedly scaled over 36 kg. The vibrant green surroundings of the forest provide the perfect backdrop to a serene fishing trip, and if visitors are looking for another active hobby to partake in, they can go for adventure trekking in the woods, occupied by animals such as deer, wild bisons and elephants.

Lakshadweep Islands

A sailing boat Lakshadweep Islands (Photo: Lakshadweep Tourism board)

Located off the coast of Kerala, these picturesque islands have one of the most distinctive features on this list, as they have the only coral atolls in India. Due to its isolated and scattered location, it takes a few hours to reach the prime spots, but sailing in the lagoons among the gorgeous tropical reefs will distract any angler from the journey. The surrounding turquoise seas are rich in marine fauna, the best of which is the variety and abundance of tuna fishery, caught by using the unique “pole and line” fishing method. Adventure water sport activities such as snorkelling, kayaking, surfing, parasailing and scuba diving are also available for tourists, and one should not miss out on the scenic night sea voyages.

Angling enthusiasts have an abundance of spots to try their luck at in India, and beginners can take use of the experienced charters available to learn as much as they can. A true angler can always remember their first big catch that started it all, and Ravi is no different.

“I have multiple memorable catches and it is difficult for me to single out one because no two catches are the same. We work equally hard for every fish, small or big. But if I have to pick one, my first big dogtooth tuna which I hooked and landed in the Andaman while jigging is my pick!” he says.

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