ANGLER’S MAIL correspondent and Korum tackle consultant Ade Kiddell has just returned from a very rewarding trip to Southern India’s River Cauvery, fishing at the Galibore Camp on the banks of the Cauvery.

Ade managed over 160 Mahseer in a package holiday arranged by fishing holiday specialists Angling Direct Holidays.

It was Ade’s third visit to Galibore and before he left Ade set himself a target of a 50lb plus Mahseer, but with the bigger mahseer not showing so far this season Ade knew it might be a hard target to meet.

Ade commented: ‘The trip got off to a flyer with two mahseer of 28 lb in the first two sessions as well as plenty of fish around double figures, then as the river level dropped the fishing went slow for a couple of days, the smaller fish up to mid doubles kept coming but nothing much over 20 lb, that was until the river level rose a few inches overnight and like the flicking of a switch the bigger fish started to show, with plenty of better fish up to 51 lb showing up to other anglers.’

The extra water triggered the fish to feed and the fishing continued to improve with Ade managing 12 fish in one hectic four hour morning session, including two over 20 lb, with fish falling to all the traditional baits of Ragi, Chilwa (small live fish) and crab.

With the trip progressing Ade was still confident of meeting his target, believing that every angler gets at least one chance a week to hook a big fish.

‘I felt I was well overdue my shot of first hooking and then landing a big fish,’ Ade said.

With loads of big mahseer rolling in the slower reaches Ade added: ‘I knew if I put the time and effort in my chance would come, my confidence grew even more when during a morning session a herd of elephants came to the river not 100 yards from my swim, I am very superstitious but I know the elephant holds good luck, so I just kept at it and made sure I was ready when my chance came

‘The same afternoon as seeing the elephants my Indian guide took me to an area below the camp where plenty of big fish had been seen rolling and about ten minutes after casting the cricket ball sized ragi bait without any indication the rod was almost wrenched from my hands, a 20 minute arm aching battle then followed as the fish fought hard and deep with a couple of hair-raising moments as the fish dragged the tight 40 lb line around sunken rocks.

‘Once subdued the huge fish was witnessed, weighed and photographed by Dave Plummer, probably the most experienced English mahseer angler, Dave correctly estimated the fish at over 80 lb and at a confirmed 83 lb he was almost spot on.’

Ade was joined on the trip by his partner Tjitske Bakker who landed over 100 mahseer using heavy barbel gear consisting of a Korum Precision 2 lb rod and KRX80 freespin reel loaded with 18 lb line.

With plenty of fish from mid doubles to mid twenties the tackle was tested to the limit, Ade was happy to admit he was impressed how well Tjitske had handled the most powerful of freshwater fish… and it’s a testament to her that she never lost a fish due to line snapping with a fantastic fish of over 24 lb being her best.

Ade would like to pass on a big thanks to Angling Direct Holidays for the first class travel and fishing arrangements. And also to Korum for their support in supplying the terminal tackle, rods, reels, and luggage used on the trip.

Ade concluded: ‘I have seen reports that the Cauvery no longer holds big mahseer – well don’t believe it!  Not only did I catch the 83, I saw plenty of big fish rolling and several big fish were lost by other anglers during the trip. But also watch out because the masses of fish in the 20 lb class will quickly pack on weight in the rich environment of the fabulous Cauvery.’

For the full photographs, grab this week’s Angler’s Mail magazine.

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