Rohu fishing at KRS
Rohu fishing at KRS
Rohu fishing at KRS
I had been fortunate to be invited to Joe Assassa’s camp near Mysore (www.mahseersportsandadventures.com) and decided to take up his kind offer over Xmas and New Year. Just in case my Boss is reading I did add a couple of appointments in Mysore to justify the trip down from Bangalore. I arrived on the Saturday Night and we followed our usual pattern with a hearty meal and a few beers at the Park Lane Hotel before heading off to Joe’s apartment for a hard earned kip.
Sunday morning crept up and with slightly thick heads we began to prepare for the fishing sessions to come. Supplies were purchased and ice packed into huge boxes for chilling the food and kingfishers. By noon we had arrived at the camp on the banks of KRS reservoir. The camp is still in the building stage but there are three tents and a temporary kitchen set up. A toilet and shower block, kitchen and a Dining Golga are being built as we speak. Although it is a bit like camping on a building site at the moment the potential is only too obvious. Great views over the lake and magnificent sun sets.
Joe has been baiting up one area on the lake for two months now and the benefits of this are becoming apparent. A mixture of 50kg of rice husk flour, ragi and maize has been fed every day but this is such a massive water that it is not making much impact. We have fished the same area on a couple of occasions and results have been very varied. As always anticipation and hope makes one think that this is the day where all the planning and prep is going to pay off. So the time flew by as we made boilies and groundbait and we decided to begin our campaign the next day. We also decided to bring in Xmas with a cold beer or ten.
Early on Xmas eve we breakfasted (well a cup of coffee - full breakfast is served later in the day on the lakeside) and loaded up the jeep to transport our piles of gear and bait to the prebaited pegs. Arriving to begin fishing at about 8am as the mist started to lift, revealing a calm lake with some huge fish swirling and topping. Joe and I set up in slightly different ways as he is after the truly big fish and I like to get a few bites. I’ll let Joe tell you about his methods and I’ll just concentrate on my efforts for the purpose of this article.
Tackle consisted of two 12ft 3lb test curve Greys Prodigy carp rods twinned with Shimano 10000 baitrunners loaded with 20lb line. These were fished from a rod pod with bite alarms and bobbin indicators. End tackle was inline method feeder stopped by bead and swivel with a 15 inch hook length of 15lb mono tied to a size 6 Drennan specimen hook (hair rigged).
Groundbait for the method feeder had been prepared the night before. I use a mix of 8 loaves of bread soaked and mashed then add ragi powder and rice husk flour. This is then mixed until it is dry enough to crumble but wet enough to stick together when applied to the feeder, plenty of maize and dog biscuits are then added along with a kilo of Keema. The maize is soaked for at least 36 hours and then boiled in a pressure cooker for half an hour and left to stand in the unopened cooker overnight. I add flavouring at this stage. This mix I feel is attractive to most species and as we are fishing in virtually unknown territory it covers a lot of options. My idea with the dog biscuits is that as the balls break up the dog biscuits float upwards and then form a trail downwind which would hopefully lead fish to search for the source of the food. Knowing my luck it would have the opposite effect and lead the fish away from the baited area. As it turned out I suspect not many made it to the surface to float off.
Hook Bait was a choice from a veritable buffet of pedigree dog biscuits, prawn, sardine, and beef steak, maize soaked in cardamom flavouring, luncheon meat, bread and even a few Hirahulus (worms).
Action over the next few days on this rig was slow but steady and a succession of Carp to 20lb and rohu to 10lb were caught. However the interesting bit and the main point of this article is to tell you about my other rod and the rohu action.
I also set up a quiver tip (feeder rod) with 8lb line a similar end rig and set out to fish this “English match style”.
For those who are not aware, a quiver tip is a specialised type of fishing rod which has a highly sensitive tip that bends around when a fish pulls the line. The sensitivity of the tip shows you every line movement which increases your chances at catching all sizes of fish. Most rods come with their own range of tips which vary in sensitivity. This allows you to use the appropriate tip for any situation. You fish with the rod at right angles to the prebaited area you are casting to and once the line has settled you should tighten up to the feeder so that there is always a slight bend in the tip. This allows you to see when a fish picks up your bait, If a fish takes your bait normally, then the tip will bend towards the fish. If the fish takes the bait but swims towards you, then the tip will unbend and the line will go slack. This technique gives you a chance of striking at fish you would normally have missed. Experience will tell you when to strike but in the case of rohu fishing it is usually a case of catching the rod before it disappears into the lake as they tend to hook themselves on the rig I was using. However tilapia are a different ball game and nibble at the bait giving small tremors and drop backs.
A marker on the far bank was picked to give me a consistent point to aim at and I then catapulted in 25 tangerine sized balls of the feeder mix at about 60 yards into approx. 15 feet of water. I then intended to cast to this spot consistently every 10 minutes, if I didn’t get a bite, in order to build up a bed of food. Starting off with Maize on the hook my tip remained motionless and about half an hour later I switched to Dog biscuit. This brought instant attention and the tip trembled before curving round and the first rohu of the trip soon graced my landing net.At about 3lbs it was a nice start and gave a good fight on the lightish rod . I fished this way for the next few days, making small alterations to the rig and constantly changing baits. I caught a lot of rohu, some carp and one fish which I think is known as a Kalibas or possibly a black carp (anyone help me out?). Largest carp was just short of 20lb and this put up an almighty fight on the light rod. By the end of the week I had stepped up to 12lb mainline and a 15lb hooklength as I lost a lot of fish with the hooklengths snapping. I suspect this is due to the hooklength being so short and will look at fishing a fixed feeder with elastic running through it to act as a shock absorber .
I caught rohu on Maize (both plastic sweetcorn and real maize), chunks of Steak, luncheon meat, chilli boilies, custard boilies and worm but by far the most effective was dog biscuits - they appear to love them. If I fished worm on the hook I caught a tilapia every cast with fish to almost one pound. What became apparent was that as the Tilapia got used to the dog biscuits I was catching more and more. By the end of the week I was catching as many tilapia on dog biscuit as Rohu. They have a very annoying habit of stripping the bait off the hook and I will experiment in making some very hard biscuit sized boilies, using the biscuits ground up as the base.
MY best day on this set up produced two carp at 12lb and 15 lb plus 21 rohu to 8lb with a sprinkling of tilapia. Total weight with the addition of another carp about 18lb on my other set up was over 100 lb. (50kg). On another day I landed 27 Rohu to around 6lb and over 40 tilapia. By any standards that is fantastic fishing and just shows what KRS is capable of. All fish were returned apart from on the day pictured above when the Big boss-man, the leaseholder for the fishing rights, called us to say he wanted some rohu for his party that night.We had no choice other than to oblige.
A couple of tips on fishing the dog biscuit: I like to maximise the time my hook is in the water so a little bit of prior planning helps. I drill enough biscuits for a days fishing in advance and load up baiting needles so that reloading the hair rig is instant. Instead of fiddling with boilie stops or small pieces of twig I tie a bait band on to the hair instead of a loop. This then pulls through the biscuit with the baiting needle when stretched and holds inside the biscuit, keeping it on the hair. I also tie up a dozen hooks lengths in advance so that in the event of getting snapped or snagged the new one can be tied on straight away. I always like to have everything I will need within reach ( not just because a I am very lazy) and like to sit down as you will always fish more effectively if you are comfortable and know where everything is .
I would like to thank Joe for making my Xmas and New Year and I can only proclaim that the camp and the fishing are going to be a huge success. I was fed and watered and entertained splendidly. Jowra the chef kept a constant supply of breakfast omelets and cold beers coming to the water’s edge and evenings were spent eating good food (Beer Can Chicken is something to behold) and there was plenty of fishing talk.
I will always have a play around as I love to catch fish and the rohu sport at KRS is fantastic but the main thing that attracts me to the fishing on KRS is that it is so big and therefore so unexploited, the next bite could be a monster. So far we have merely scratched the surface and on my return I will concentrate on the bigger fish (well maybe just one day on the match tactics). However when Joe starts his fishing competitions with up to a Lac (£1200) up for grabs, decisions will have to be made. Do I sit it out for big fish (one carp is worth around eight rohu), fish dog biscuit for rohu and the occasional tilapia or just simply go for an all-out tilapia attack on the float and worm? Whichever way there will be a lot of fish caught. I look forward to my return in about three weeks as I am now back at work (if you’re still reading boss) !