Angling is a sport that is as vast as the ocean. There is no end to the range of species one can target. While on this quest, each of us will come across one species that takes you by the scruff of your neck and possess you so much that it will begin to haunt you.
This could be a different species for different people. A catla for some, a barramundi for many, a Mangrove jack for a few, a murrel, a GT, a carp, a pike, a trout, a salmon, the list is endless.
For me and my kids, this one fish ,that has driven us nuts is the murrel . Here again this is not the Marulius of Gujarat, the Cauvery , the Andhra region or the North Indian water bodies. This fish, for us is the Periyar Murrel ,our special fish .
The PINK Ghost.
On a recent trip to the river we fished 3 days two sessions a day Morning 6 am to 10 and evening 3. 30 to 6. We made endless casts. We fished one rod at a time (rubber frogs) each getting about 20 casts. Here, these casts have to be laid with pin point accuracy on to the river bank between the roots of the Pandanus ( a sort of wild Pineapple like bush)
Out of these twenty odd blind casts you make at likely holes , we get about 4 to 5 perfect casts. The casts are made with utmost stealth.. no shuffling of feet, no banging of oars. Many a time even forgetting to breathe. When one casts the other two are responsible to position the boat at the very best angle . Any flaw in terms of unnecessary sound or wrong maneuvering attracts a glare that could kill.
The only time we see the ghost is when we hook one or when we miss one. Yet again it is just a blur of pink, an explosion on the surface, all over in a fraction of a second. If you hook the fish then it’s a dogged fight to pull the fish away from the brush with locked drag and bated breath. Once you have the ghost near the boat its time for high fives and pics.
On these three days we raised 5 fish and landed 2. The statistics suck agreed. But that one fish is worth a thousand casts and in the end Nirvana achieved.
We are still not sure of the murell’s identity. There are some experts still waiting for certain data from us. Initial impression was that it is a pseudomarulius, There are a few other scientific names that are being thrown around. But the ghost doesn’t care. He still waits in his hole for that one perfect cast.