AIGFA - All India Salt Water Competition - Nov 2013 (REPORT)

Articles / AIGFA - All India Salt Water Competition - Nov 2013 (REPORT)
Posted on: 2017-09-23 13:14:50 +0530 (IST)

AIGFA - All India Salt Water Competition - Nov 2013 (REPORT)



Neil Island (Andaman & Nicobar) Nov-20th 2013


The Maiden AIGFA's All India Saltwater Angling Tournament at Neil Island, Andaman concluded with a grand success after four days of healthy competition amongst all the participants from across India and local fishermen from Neil Island and Havelock.

AIGFA has conducted this event in its bid to promote sport fishing and to protect the fast depleting stock of fish throughout Indian waters. Beside the member participants a special category was created for the local traditional anglers to showcase their skills and to engage them in the conservation of the environment of Neil Island by encouraging them to adopt Catch and Release of undersized and brooding stock of fish. Many local traditional anglers joined enthusiastically and competed for a cash prize of INR 5000.00  offered by AIGFA to the winner.


Sanjay Mandal With his Prize Winning Fish


Many a fish were landed by local participants and released safely, maybe for the first time in the history of traditional fishing in Neil Island. Mr. Sanjay Mandal bagged the first prize amongst the local category by landing a mammoth 5.25 kg Green job fish from the shore. All the local participants were presented with a T shirt, cap, and a goody bag containing advanced fish safe hooks by Mustad, the oldest manufacturer of quality hooks, who are very keen to promote ethical sport fishing in India. Briefing the assembly about the benefits of sport angling Mr. Isaac Tang, the area manager of Mustad, Asia and Oceania said that they had attended many such meets throughout the world but never witnessed such an active and enthusiastic participation of traditional anglers. “I feel honoured to be a part of such an effort” he said.

Local anglers at the closing ceremony

The opening ceremony of this novel event, which started on 15th of November and concluded on 20thNovember,  was inaugurated by Mr. Ali H Husaini, the President of All India Game Fishing Association at Natural Bridge by casting the first lure out amongst loud cheering and clapping by all the participants.



First Cast By Ali



The main event amongst the participants was fought keenly and with a true spirit of sportsmanship wherein every angler was willing to help and assist the other fishing beside him. Landing a fish from the undulating rocky shore of Neil was not easy but more than hundred fish were landed and released safely. Almost two days were lost due to bad weather but all the participants braved out the adverse conditions and had a blast of time catching numerous fish ranging from mammoth Shovelhead Guitar Fish, Giant Trevally, and Barracudas to colourful reef fish. The first catch of the tournament was by Mr. Sahir Kuttir and he won the certificate in the category  ‘First Catch’.The special prize of the ‘Bravest Angler’ went to Mr. Rodin Rehman from Guwahati, Assam, who despite being differently abled to the extent of


Sahir Kittur receving his prize of first catch from the guest of Honour Mr. Vijay Kumar, SHO Neil Island


deprived of hearing and speaking, won the heart of all present by catching a good GT and helping others in case of any emergency. Recognising the passion and love

for sport fishing in this brave boy, the core committee of AIGFA has taken a call to offer an honorary trustee seat to Mr. Rodin Rehman.


Mr. Rodin Rehman taking a bow after receiving the Bravest Angler Award amongst enthusiastic clapping by all present.


Mr. Arun Mohile and Mr. Michael Gagarin where also honoured for being the oldest and the youngest participants respectively. A certificate of appreciation was presented to them by guests of honour present during the closing ceremony.

Mr. Arun Mohile And Mr. Michael Gagarin receiving their prize from the Pradhan of Neil Kendra Mr. Dilip Kumar and President of MSAA Mr. William Mascarenhas

One of the participants lost his balance while fishing from the treacherous rocky shore  of Neil and

Mr. Aamir Bhawnagri, a fellow participant from Gujarat ran through the water over the rocky shore and helped his fellow angler, risking his life and limb and for that


Mr. Aamir Bhavnagri receiving the prize of Noble Deed by the Pradhan of Neil Kendra Mr. Dilip Kumar


he was awarded the ‘Noble Deed’ certificate in the closing ceremony. The first serious catch of the event, a great GT of 12.5 Kg was by Mr. Owen Bosen from Bangalore from a very treacherous rocky formation and outside the framework of laid out rules of this competition, everyone recognised that catch as the winning one and a very special catch. For this catch he has won the admiration of all present.

Owen Bosen with his catch which won admiration of all present

There were three prize categories of Biggest Catch, Maximum Cumulative weight and the second biggest catch. The third prize of a certificate of appreciation and a cash prize of INR 15000.00 went to Mr. Darryl D,souza from Pune for his amazing catch of a Giant Trevally of 21.5 Kg while bait fishing. He also landed another good GT the same day.


Darryl D,souza with one of his GT and certificate of appriciation by Isaac Tang of Mustad

The second prize of maximum cumulative weight went to Mr. Hakeem Husain from Vasai, Maharashtra for his amazing catch of a Shovelhead Guitarfish of 68 Inches. This catch came at a time when the weather was proving a spoil sport and the gloom caused by absence of any fish that day was lifted and acted as a motivation for subsequent catches.

Mr. Hakeem Husain with his second prize winning catch, a 68 Inch long Guitar Fish


Mr. Hakeem Husain receiving his certificate of appriciation from Isaac Tang of MUSTAD

The first prize went to Mr. Derek D’souza, a fine angler and a gentleman par excellence from Bangalore for his amazing catch of a Shovelhead Guitar Fish of 75 Inches. The fish, locally called as ‘Baloo Badmash’ is perceived to be a very hard fighter and true to its reputation, it was landed after a great fight.

The ultimate First Prize Winning Catch , a 75 Inch long Guitar Fish  by Derek D'souza


Mr. Derek D,souza receiving his certificate of appriciation from Isaac Tang of MUSTAD

Owen Boson sponsored one good rod for the winner and accordingly it was presented to Derek D’souza by the Pradhan of Neil Kendra, Mr. Dileep Kumar.


The closing ceremony was presided over by the Pradhan of Neil Kendra, Mr. Dilip Kumar and the SHO, police station, Neil Island - Mr. Vijay Kumar along with Mr. William Mascherenus, president of Maharashtra State Angling Association and Mr. Isaac Tang, area manager-Mustad. Mr. Ali H Husaini, President-AIGFA opened the ceremony by a small speech wherein he thanked the administration of Andaman for their active support and praised the enthusiasm of local administration and population.

 “There are many beautiful places in India, Andaman and Nicobar is one of the most beautiful of them but the population of Neil is more beautiful and we are grateful for their whole hearted support and love. We came to Neil as 24 friends but are going back with many more” he said.

Few quotes

"This event was one of its kind in India and its grand success was not due to the good catches but due to the true spirit of sport prevailing amongst all the participants. It was a true league of gentleman Anglers".

Santosh Kolwankar (AIGFA Vice President - Angling).

"The sport of ethical game fishing is the way out for the predicatment our water bodies are facing and we should conduct many more events throughout India to create awareness. The involvment of local traditional anglers was an experiment which paid rich dividends and shall be continued during other events".

Owen Bosen (AIGFA Vice President-Environment)

"I thank and congratulate AIGFA for conducting such events, creating opportunities for anglers to learn from each other. This effort should continue."

Col. Pratap Nair (Participant)

"The whole purpose of joining this event was to learn and I am glad that I am going back home a better angler".

Manish Singh (Participant)

"This is the best experience I have ever had, I knew from my experience that an Angler community is always helpful, but this experience has taught me that Anglers are beyond that, they are indeed a league of Gentlemen. The cumulative angling experience on that one island was tremendous and we all learnt a life time worth of lessons imparted by some of the best anglers in the world."

Derek D'souza (AIGFA Founder Member and Tester of MUSTAD in India)


Our special Appreciation and thanks

  1. To Qutubudin Taher and Saad from Captain Hooks ( for providing all the logistical support and working very hard to make this event a great success.
  2. To MUSTAD, for sponsoring this event and participating in our effort to promote sport fishing in India.
  3. To SHIMANO for providing T-Shirts and Caps for all the Participants.

Over and above, our special thanks to the administration of Andaman for extending all possible help to make this event a success. We are grateful to the Pradhan, Police Department, Tourist Department and PWD of Neil Island for their help and support during this event.

Last but not the least, our apprecation and admiration for the sincere and honest people of Neil who worked with us in our effort to create awareness about the environment of waterbody surrounding Neil Island by actively participating in this event and helping us in all possible manner.


Picture Gallery

Just peeping down the window as your plane descends to land at Port Blair is enough to start an Adrenaline rush in any angler

While at Port Blair, it is impossible not to feel the history of this place. One of the most infamous places in the struggle of pre-independent India – The Kala Pani. The arrow pointing towards the Gallows brings out the feeling of horror and revulsion.

The only mode of affordable transport, inter connecting the group of Indian Ocean archipelagic islands is a fleet of ferries.

As you move towards the Neil Island, the first thing to strike you is the beauty of this place.

The Event Banner on the Neil Jetty.

As the participants reached the Neil, everyone has his own opinion. A group discussion on where to start.

Basic but comfortable lodging for all Participants.



The experiment which paid rich dividends. The local traditional anglers enrolling for the competition.

The Man behind the scene, Qutub from, the organisers of this event.

The First Cast, which started the event.

The fishing started in earnest second day, as few spots were discovered with help of local participants.


Michael demonstrating his skills in casting as Ali watches intently. This lad can indeed cast.

Hakeem braving the onslaught of crashing waves in search of a good hit.

Ingenious, Varun taking advantage of a fallen tree to increase his reach!

Mayur combing the likely places with his Popper.

The Master working the reefs scattered all along the coast of Neil.

Manish in Action.

A Grouper by Manish

The First Serious Hit, Owen desperately trying to stop the mad rush of a brute of a GT.

It was fortunate that others were fishing close by and rushed to help Owen.

It was a tough fight because bringing the fish over the rock strewn drop of was not easy. The fish snagged several time but the twisted leader Owen was using survived. The smile on his face says it all.

Dinesh also managed to hook and land two GTs same day.

A nice Emperor by the local Champ.

Few of the participants, took leave from the competition and tried their luck from a boat. Col. Nair feeling the pull of a nice one.

Col. Nair with his trophy.

Isaac from MUSTAD showing his skills on Jigging, a good catch indeed.

The event came to life when Hakeem hooked into this Brute. It was not an easy job to bring the fish round the Jetty to the only one step going down. Fantastic fight.

Landing the fish was not easy but was accomplished only with few line burned palms and a bruised shin.

A very impressive Shovelhead of 68 Inches.


Release after a brief photo shoot was accomplished with a round of applause.  

Not only this fish but all other were measured, recorded and released safely.

Owen releasing his trophy.

A Emperor which was released safely.

One More from the Local Champ.

A beauty by Aamir.

A special catch by a Special Angler, Rodin with his trophy


This one goes to Manoj Chako


The one which pulled Aamir in. There was a time, Aamir was fighting this fish underwater!!

Aamir recording his Catch.

Just before the release.

Darryl with his beauty. An impressive catch on bait!!

Parting Kiss before release.

Here you go…..

Derek feeling the pull. A fight to remember.

Well in!! The first prize winning 75 Inches Shovelhead !! Amazing Catch.

Thank you Fish for taking my bait.

Few light moments when we all exchanged our rigs and knots.

The youngest participant of this event, Mr. Arun Mohile!!

Signing the certificates of appreciation.

A fitting end to a great event.


More photographs and a complete film of this event will be posted very soon.