FORMER Angler’s Mail reporter Gary Newman rates this 62 lb redfin mahseer as his best-ever fish and he caught it in consecutive cast brace with a 45 lb golden mahseer.
The 42-year-old specimen ace took the amazing mahseer catch from the Saryu River on the India/Nepal border.
Gary said: “I’ve fished extensively in India for mahseer for the last 15 years or so, but they have never been a species that I’ve been particularly lucky with.
“I’ve caught them to 52 lb from the Cauvery River in the south, but have lost several very big fish as well.
“I had always fancied a trip to the Saryu, where it joins the Kali River, as it has a reputation for producing some big mahseer.
“I went with the target of catching one in excess of 30 lb if I was very lucky – my previous best from northern India stood at 22 lb, caught over a decade ago.
“I arrived to find the river was low and very clear, and was praying for a little bit of rain to colour it slightly.
“Otherwise, I knew that it was going to be almost impossible to tempt a big fish on a lure, as they are so wary.
“Unfortunately, no rain came, and other than a few small mahseer to around a couple of kilos, I had little to show for my efforts.
“A decision was made to switch over to fishing with bait.
“This consisted of whatever live and dead fish baits our guides could obtain for us, as it isn’t something that is in plentiful supply on these rivers.
“On my second session fishing with bait, I had a very powerful take during the early afternoon, when the sun was beating down. As soon as I connected with the fish I knew that it was a big one.
“It ran downstream and I stumbled across the rocks trying to keep up with it and luckily it came to a halt just before it got out into the main flow of the Kali.
“Gradually it started coming back towards me but at times my line was grating on rocks – I was thankful I was using mono and not braid.
“And when I saw the fish surface for the first time and saw the size of it, I took it very easy until my guide, Bobby, was finally able to land it for me.
“I could see that it was big and was thinking that it might be over 50 (lb), but Bobby said that it was much bigger.
“He was right as it bottomed out the 60 lb scales we initially tried to weigh it on, and I was in a daze as we put it on my bigger set and the needle settled on 62 lb.”
Second mahseer makes it classic brace
Gary continued: “After that I didn’t cast out for a few hours, and finally put a bait back out just before dark.
“I couldn’t believe it when not long afterwards I found myself attached to another big fish.
“And luckily I also managed to land this one – not to mention avoiding breaking any bones running across the rocks in the dark.
“This fish weighed in at 45 lb and I couldn’t believe how lucky I had been to land two Himalayan mahseer in two casts for a total of 107 lb.
“It’s probably one of the biggest ever braces, certainly in modern times.
“I’ve caught a lot of big fish over the years, from all over the world, but the 62-pounder probably rates as the best fish that I’ve ever caught.
“I doubt I will be lucky enough to ever see another of that size from northern India, let alone catch one.
“I landed it on two size 8/0 Owner SSW singles fished in tandem on 50 lb mono to 30 lb Big Game main line, with a 2-6 oz uptide rod,” concluded the Korda TV production manager, from Chesham, Buckinghamshire.
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