My love for the Indian Salmon, better known as Rawas locally, started a year ago. I had attempted various trips to the western coast of India to catch these species and had to come back empty handed all the time. What kept my morale up were the many stories by local fishermen from the western coast about their Rawas catches and this helped me not give up on this prized catch.
Wiki Definition of the Indian Salmon – Eleutheronema tetradactylum , also known as Fourfinger threadfin , Indian Salmon , Blue threadfin , or Rawas , is a threadfin fish of the Polynemidae family. This highly commercial fish known for uses in aquaculture occur mainly over shallow muddy bottoms in coastal waters forming loose schools. Adults of this highly vulnerable species enter rivers during winter. Adults feed on prawns and fish with occasional polychaetes, while juveniles feed on prawns shrimps and mysids.
I began researching the Rawas – their habitats, feeding habits, the environment they prefer etc. and even started applying the knowledge I got from the research during my trips. Another important thing I did was keep in touch with local fishermen in different parts of the western coast to keep myself updated on the latest sighting of this fish. I had learnt long ago that the locals are an important source of information, as they have the best knowledge about fish migration patterns.
After many months of research and multiple attempts, I found the window for which I waited for so long. A local fisherman told me of Rawas sighting and I decided to head out for another attempt, but this time with all the knowledge I had acquired.
On reaching the location, I spent a good time discussing and understanding from the local fisherman as to how he had been catching Rawas. We reached the spot and following his advice, I casted my lure into the waters where I could see Rawas feeding like a crazy. This was the moment I had waited for so long and my excitement levels were at its peak. Just when everything seemed to be perfect, a group of dolphins suddenly appeared from nowhere and spoiled the party and within a few minutes all Rawas vanished. Dolphins are a delight to watch for anyone, except Anglers, as small fish run away in their presence and fishing comes to a standstill. Not only are they are too intelligent for taking the lures but also are protected and cannot be fished in the Indian waters.
I was so disappointed and sat for a long time praying that these Dolphins would go away. The local fisherman saw my disappointment and sat with me to keep my spirits up and told me that I could start casting soon. Growing restless I changed the lure and started casting for other fish near the rocks hoping to land some species which hide in the rocks. Soon enough I managed to hook a grouper and a red snapper. Some consolation for losing the opportunity for Rawas.
With the Dolphins still around, I had lost all hope by then of catching a Rawas. However, my friend seemed to have a plan. He opened his lure box and chose one big size metal spoon may be 40 to 50 gms in weight and started casting near the Dolphins. My smile came back as the big sound of spoon hitting the water caused the Dolphins to vanish.
Within few minutes Rawas began to feed again. By this time the sun had started to set and it was getting dark. I started casting and got a few bites on my lure and even managed to hook four times but lost the fish as the hookup was not complete. I realised something was wrong with my technique and asked the local fisherman. He set my drag according to his preference and also provided me some info what to do after a hookup. With this knowledge I started casting again and within a few casts hooked another Rawas and my reel started screaming. Love that sound and can never forget it. The fish fought like a warrior and it was one of my best fights till date. My friend the local fisherman was continuously guiding me from behind while I was in the fight. I will remember his voice giving me instructions for a long time.
It took sometime to land the fish and I treasure each minute of this fight. After the quick photo I released this beauty back to water. I thanked the fish for respecting my months of struggle. It is a moment in my life which I can never forget. I have to say that targeted angling feels extremely rewarding.
About The Author
This blog post was submitted by Sachin Datarkar. Sachin, lives in Pune and works in Intel as a chip design engineer. He has been angling for over 4 years now and is crazy about this passion. Sachin prefers saltwater angling over freshwater and makes a trip to India’s western coast every month with his buddies to purse his passion.
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