The winners of the angling contest with their prize catch at Jayanti Sarovar on Tuesday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
The fish acted smarter during the daylong angling contest at Jayanti Sarovar, which marked the 110th birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna JRD Tata on a breezy Tuesday.
The annual show was a damp squib for two more reasons though — one, the wily wind; two, Id celebrations allowed very few participants at the 20th edition of the contest.
Only 35 anglers from Jamshedpur, Ranchi, Ghatshila, Calcutta, Kharagpur, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack came to try their luck at the picturesque lake in Jubilee Park. This is the second time when the event was held at Jayanti Sarovar. Earlier, Beldih Lake was the venue for prize catch.
The contest started on a windy note at 7.30am. The fish played hide-and-seek with the bait and hook and only six could be netted till 1.15pm.
“The weather played spoilsport. Conditions were breezy, which is not good for angling. The fish seldom bite it because the bait moves,” said Shankar Naskar from Tollygunge (Calcutta) who caught a 1.5kg mrigal after hours of wait.
Jamshedpur Angling Club secretary Geoffrey Bonjour conceded that the wind and the festival of Id were like double whammy. “The number of participants this time was unexpectedly low,” he said.
To make matters worse, katlas and mrigals played truant with the anglers.
If Mohit Vardhan of Ghatshila cursed his luck when a 4.5kg mrigal broke the fishing line and vanished into the lake, Arup Mandal from Calcutta wasn’t any luckier.
“I did not expect this. I should have allowed the katla to play a little more before pulling the fishing line,” rued Vardhan. Mandal, who had last year netted the biggest fish weighing 23kg, was taken aback. “I did manage to catch a rohu, weighing about 1.5kg, but it snapped the line in the last minute,” he added.
On the sidelines of the contest, expert Lee Chee Seng David from the fishing division of Shimano Inc. — a Japanese firm that manufactures fishing gear — spoke on ethical angling at the Nature Education Centre at Tata zoo.
Shilas Tirkey of Jamshedpur won the competition with his 2.75kg mrigal. The Sonari resident edged out citymate E. Kandil who managed a 1.9kg catch. Shankar Mandal of Kharagpur finished third with a 1.8kg mrigal. They walked home with imported fishing rods sponsored by Shimano.