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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:28 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:54 am
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Location: RAJASTHAN
HI KHAMAGANI ,I am 23 year old angler from Rajasthan, chittaurgarh . This year after my completion of graduation in law i started fishing murrel for almost 3 months, in this period i have gathered a good amount of knowledge on the species so i decided to share the same with you guys.

Visit my introduction page at http://www.indianangler.com/viewtopic.php?t=5089

Note: It is possible that some of you guys are aware of most of these facts. I have read some post and will try to omit similar readings like the way murrel attacks on surface baits and underwater baits, effects of moon-sun, sunlight, bait actions etc.

About murrel in short: there are more than 27-28 species of snakehead in Southeast Asia mainly in Thailand. In rajasthan we have 5-6 variety of snakehead. It is a predator fish i.e. eat other fishes. IT is declared invasive species in most of the part of usa, there is bounty/reward on killing them in certain seasons. what makes murrel different from other game fish is its ability to survive in low oxygen waters to such a extent that in Drought when few ponds and lakes gets dried out this fish has ability to hide itself in mud patches for days like eels, there is very less know that disease affects them, Generally pesticides and other external factors affects them. The Fish has ability to swim reverse using pectoral fins (it can come on surface and slowly goes backwards), both male and female protects the egg and take care of Fry for 1-2 months. Number of eggs depends upon the size of female (age factor), i have heard as many as 1500 fry at a time. During feeding them the female does not eat or takes bait normally, their eyes color is also changed (red if i remember).

Physically male are shorter than female but in body formation females have slimmer body after big head while the male grows broader even after the head. Unlike most of the other fish murrel sinks i.e. it will die if u will not unhook in water for long time. Further a dead murrel will not float may be the reason behind is their evolution as low oxygen creature which can crawl in mud (lol).This fish has big mouth but comparatively smaller food pipe.

(Please Before reading below text I want to remind that angling is a sports to catch and release and not to kill every fish we catch , my personal views are same but as murrel is also a part of rare rajasthani delicacy I did wrote the below stuff. )

Murrel and Game: Although it does not ranks anywhere in giving fight in clean waters but it’s a very tacky game in weed. Also the best beasts are always in weed (undergrowth, overgrowth, tree shades in summer, rock formations in flowing waters). Except for mahsheer or other reputed game for murrel we believe in catch and cook (sorry if I offended somebody) that is the main reason we regard murrel as game fish. The fish is odorless and smooth with negligible bones if skinned in proper way. In Rajasthan and some part of M.P we call it sanwal(murrel),in olden days it was part of royal delicacy, live fish was transported on horseback from lakes /pond /rivers to the maharajas table. The meat of murrel was compared with other Game meat. One other reason was the use of each and every part of fish in medicine (that we will discuss later).

Memory of Murrel : Murrel stays in its territory ,my uncle explained me this with the story of nawabsahab who commanded to catch some 50 murrel ,tagged them with silver rings each with description of place of catches and released them in same waters, later they found most of them returned to same area.
My experience is that during casting it will bite as many as time if it taste like real bait and unless the fish sense human presence.
Ecology and Murrel : this fish adapts according to waters in which it lives , the colour,food habits changes. The biggest change come in taste of meat if somebody asks me to arrange murrel of different habitat it will be as follows:
1) Rivers with flowing waters plus rocky surface: in rocky surface their diet in selected assorted food stuff that ultimately makes their meat fine.
2) Rivers with flowing waters
3) Lakes with least interventions because of farming etc., i hate pesticides.
4) Ponds
5) River (with dams/city sewage inlets ,industries and other waste )
Further smaller is the fish the better it tastes (best size is 800gms-2kg max)the reason is that in bigger fish threads in meat gets bigger and then its taste bad (further aged fish also tastes bad)i came to know that murrel in river kali Sindh(TRIBUTARY OF Chambal) adapted to the black gavel texture of river bed (murrel in kail Sindh has black abdomen-chest instead of white).

Weather & Murrel : In order to catch murell in big -deep waters season and weather conditions are important while in small shallow water with less than 10 feet season is unimportant. Further habitat which are isolated from human/commercial fishing activity are best. In small waters any season with bright sunny day morning -evening when water is warm is suitable to fish except in summer. in summer both in large and small waters murrel will be active early morning 6:30 and when sun gets lil low around 4:30 pm, also in sun striking daytime on can fish near places with shades for fishes like trees adjoining to rivers and lakes . murrel has habit to take oxygen at surface so in summer it will come at surface every 5-10 mins also it will try to be near shades only while in winters it will only come on surface in small waters (because the small water gets warm in daytime). but in winters - large water murrel may go to a stage similar to hibernation ,very seldom takes oxygen (one more explanation of this summer-winter reasoning is that till the time summer comes the dissolved oxygen % water gets very less while in winter it its more )

Natural life and size of murrel :
Now that’s a debatable issue , most of the things are hearsay but i have heard these from dozens of old guns so i trust these normal life span of murrel goes to 8 years i met one guy(75-80 years) who fishes with harpoon technique (spear like weapon we call it ballam ,people in kayaks made of single tree trunk waits in summer when water gets low just above the fish, the moments the fish breath out, bubbles are released on surface and on that spot people attack with speed and precision through harpoon generally pierces fish's head) Now this old guy told me that when mureel gets exceptional sizes it will not roam upper surface instead because of her own weight it will feed on surface only .
Regarding size: a fish of 13 kg is possible and evident but a fish between 13-30 kg will be rarest and anything above this is myth. Because in most of the hearsay which i can recollect are estimates of fishes roaming on water surface, now generally what happens is the fish appears bigger in water than normally what it is (refractive index-science stuff) and second thing is most of the old catches were estimated weights by fish’s size.
Recently i came to know of record size of 28kg caught in ghandisagar dam years ago ,also a size of 16-17 kg is frequently reported by commercial fishermen.

Carp and Murrel relation: Introduction of carp in murrel habitat will increase the success rates of murrel and its fry while vice versa is disaster. But never introduce grass carp in murrel habitat it will make the water like glass not a single green thing in water.

(Note :Please forgive if used to many product references, I have tried to keep it generic. )

Best baits:
• Live baits -frogs ,chicken liver, fry of rohu,catla(other carps)
• Sofbaits- silicon frogs
• Mepps spinners size 2-5 silver gold , balck with yellow/orange spots
• Arbogast JitterBug/something similar for night fishing (moon light)
• Jointed lures with stripes or murrel fry lookalike.

Attractants: Fish cod liver oil tablets from medical stores (cut one tablet spread the oil on lure) works as magic on murrel , the fish bites the same lure twice or thrice till it does not get hard hooked.one can also try other animal oils castor oil etc. as attractant .

Night fishing with green light fishing: I have still doubt on this method.

Line : My favorite is braided 40lbs ,with nylon leader 60lbs ,demerit of braided is that it gets wet ( heavy once its wet ) casting range is affected.

Rod: I have many but the best is according to anglers own height for a short height person 7-8 feet is max with 2 parts. For me it is Penn Squadron 8 feet. I hate telescopic.

Landing net, a must have : it is a disaster if u can’t land a good game further after coming on surface murrel jumps thrice its lengths ,the 1-3 kgs trophy jumps most (believe me i have broken guides of two different rods in the absence of landing net.)

Reel: Anything above 2+1 ball bearing medium to small spool as will work; i use 7+1 daiwa with small spool thanks to braided line (more strength in small diameter).

MY TROPHIES: I have been successful in landing many of 3kgs,4kgs but my biggest catch which i landed is of 7.5kg male (minimum weight as inaccurate commercial scale i got) .i will be posting them in time for this time i am posting the big one only .

The guy holding this trophy is our cooking staff. The fish was caught at 4.45 pm evening on a sunny day with silicon frog in boat .Took some minutes to land because of weed .
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MY favorite locations
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Regards


Last edited by BobjiSHAMBHU on Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:29 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:15 pm 
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Fishaholic
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Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:39 pm
Posts: 755
Location: UAE
Hi Bobji,

Very informative and good to see your observations on murrel behavior. Congrats on a super murrel there. The locations are perfect murrel habitats and incredibly beautiful.
would like to visit someday...

Jeen


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 Post subject: I am happy
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:54 am
Posts: 15
Location: RAJASTHAN
Thanks you so much this encourages me a lot, well there are more super murrel bigger than what i had landed waiting for us in these spots will write on those in a week or two :))

i appreciate that u appreciated


regards,


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:21 pm
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Location: Bangalore
Very well written article Shambu!! Really enjoyed reading it!! Especially the story of the name in your introduction!! :D [smilie=coolup.gif]
Have to great time sharing and gaining angling skills here.
-Pradeep


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 Post subject: Thanks
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:45 pm 
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Location: RAJASTHAN
Thank you so much Pradeep , will post epic stories in future :))


regards,


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 2:59 pm 
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Location: Bangalore
I am curious to know what is the bird wading in the shallow waters.. any idea? Good snap and a nice bird. Is it looking for fish?
I see that it has a distinct features, particularly leg, where the lower half is thicker than the thighs. Should be a strong digger in the marsh.
-Pradeep


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:36 pm 
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Location: RAJASTHAN
Hello and happy new year,

Thats a Bronge Winged Jakana , ya this bird feeds on both shallow/marshy waters(frogs,insects,small fishes) and but the in picture it is standing on weed/lotus . But you will be surprised to know that i have seen 2-3 jakana, & morehen being attacked by big size murrel atlest 2 are being drowned ,don't know how murrel eat them because the food pipe is smaller than what fits in mouth . Also once i have seen an unsuccessful attempt on pond egret too .


regards,


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:56 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 5:37 pm
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Location: Bangalore
Fantastic pictures and report here Bobji....looking forward to more.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:21 pm
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BobjiSHAMBHU wrote:
Hello and happy new year,

Thats a Bronge Winged Jakana , ya this bird feeds on both shallow/marshy waters(frogs,insects,small fishes) and but the in picture it is standing on weed/lotus . But you will be surprised to know that i have seen 2-3 jakana, & morehen being attacked by big size murrel atlest 2 are being drowned ,don't know how murrel eat them because the food pipe is smaller than what fits in mouth . Also once i have seen an unsuccessful attempt on pond egret too .


regards,

Happy New year!!

Are you sure it was a murrel that attacked and not crocodile or some thing big.. watch out.. just in case!!
Haven't heard of murrel attacking anything bigger than the size of frog and minnows. As you rightly said the food pipe is also smaller which makes murrel a value for weight and money in terms of food.
-Pradeep


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 Post subject: Yes Yes
PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:54 am
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Location: RAJASTHAN
Yes Pradeep i am very sure about 2 out of 3 incident because it was not to distant from me , i have clearly seen head and mouth ,but i still don't know how they eat them because rest everything happens underwater :)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:26 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:31 pm
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Hi Bobji,

Wonderful post, Thanks for taking the time to write and share this info and what lovely pictures too. Wish you all the best in the future with some mammoth murrel :)

All the best, Scott

.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:43 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:46 pm
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Location: Mumbai
Bobji, beautifully described.


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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 1:16 pm 
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Location: India
Very informative write up on the Snakehead, Bobji. The pictures you have shared about the fishing location are really wonderful. May I ask in which part of Rajasthan is it located? Since I am from Delhi, I could try a trip someday. I have tried to look for Murrel in the Yamuna upstream in Delhi but have yet to catch one. I cant wait to try out your tip about using cod liver oil.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:15 pm 
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Extremely well written. I went to a lake last week which held quite a few murrel. We could often see fish coming near surface and making a splash and we felt that they had to be murrel. But. Unfortunately we got no strikes even after trying all day long. Fishes would come up near our lures but no strikes. We were using spoon lures. Also used blue fox spinners occasionally.

We have had good success with mulleys on the spoons. One question I have is will using the cod liver oil on spoon help with mulleys too?


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 Post subject: well it depends
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:31 pm 
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hello
since summer time is mating/breeding time ,most of the big snakehead will not charge on lures only of sizes 2-3 kg(rarely) and below will because the big ones are taking cares of fry till mid july (estimate).

the idea of cod liver oil,caster oil,animal fat etc is to call the fish in still water on a particular place ,second is to make the fish sure that the lure is worthy to eat even after wrong attempts provided we are not visible to fish.

this will work of any lure that can hold it on surface if the spinner has hair it will hold it else you need to cast on same place again and again because cod liver oil will spread in the area where the lure is casted .

changing location on lake may help you, best way to fish in lake is through boat ,keep your bait little slow but seeing the fish coming from back of the lure then dont stop the spinning just make it sync with fish neither to fast nor to slow. i hope you will get success next month

regards,


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 Post subject: Nice write-up
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:15 am 
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Posts: 12
I like the details you put into it, you know, it's helpful to those who hasnt got a clue what murrel fishing is about.

keep up the good work


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