ok...3 days, 3 lakes : no fish caught...but thats not the whole story.
We Saw schools of mahaseer in Bhimtaal , who were groundbaited by a local boy with Haldiram's Aloo Bhujiya. The boy had an atta hook setup in the middle of the bhujiya floats. the 'seer ate up ALL of the bhujiya. only to ignore the atta. Next we improvised and floated kurkure and cheese balls. Same results...the fish loved it. I then got a boat and trolled with a spinner and a live fish bait ( 2 rods)...same experience: no bites. But there were boils everywhere..probably grass carp.
Bhimtaal has an active fishery program, the department being right next to the lake. Seeding includes Grasscarp, Mirror Carp, Silver carp, Mahaseer.
Saattal is a network of 5 lakes ( 2 dried up).There was plenty of top water action/boils through the evening in main sat-tal lake. There were plenty of insects being taken along the tree-lined shoreline...wind making the insects fall in the lake. There is a "ghat" which the locals groundbait daily and take out carp, mahaseer for dinner. small sizes, but consistent catch.
Garud-tal is more cutoff from the tourist rush, but i didnt see any boils/top water action. It was raining, so maybe that affected the fishing. The guide told me a "firangi" fishing party had camped there for three days, with no bites...but im sure they must've saw some fish to be camped for three days!!
Naukuchiatal was dead...no boils whatsoever.
There were river systems across the tals, in the surrounding valleys. There was talk among the local guides/shikaris about mahaseer in the river systems. They also proudly talked about bleaching the river for the catch...to their dismay they got a sermon that lasted 15 mins, about the ills of wiping out entire fish bloodlines, with the bleaching powder. Don't think I would've made a dent, but what the hell...
Licenses are rs 25/- per rod for shore fishing and rs 50/- per rod for boats. row boats can be hired for about rs 200/- an hour. paddle boats are cheaper, but make hell of a racket!
we reached there in 6.5 hours door to door....that ain't half bad for a weekend fishing trip....now only if i knew how to catch