Participants were drawn like fish to bait to the first Sangai International Angling Competition here on Friday.
Altogether 400 anglers took part in the competition at Kangla outer moat as part of the 10-day Manipur Sangai Festival inaugurated by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday.
Another competition will be held at Thanga of Loktak lake in Bishnupur district on November 28.
The competitions are organised by the All Manipur Angling Association under the aegis of the state tourism department.
Art and culture minister L. Jayantakumar inaugurated the competition. Wishing the participants good luck, the minister said, “May such competitions successfully help promote society.”
The president of the association, A. Shivadas Sharma, said, “We are trying to add the flavour of angling to Sangai festival. We are organising this so that participants enjoy angling at the Kangla moat, feel the festival at different venues and take back home its essence.”
“Many from different parts of the country and abroad enquired about the competition but we failed to reach them as we launched the website late. We will try to organise it better next year,” said Sharma.
T. Basanta, who caught a fish weighing 2.4kg, was awarded Rs 50,000 while the second, third and fourth position holders got Rs 30,000, Rs 20,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively. Those who secured the fifth to tenth position were rewarded Rs 5,000 and a fishing rod each.
The consolations prize winners included three from Nagaland and two women.
“We are not professional anglers, but we are taking part in this angling competition to support the Sangai festival and promote tourism. The fish often take the bait. But we can’t catch any. Even so, we enjoy it at the fullest,” said Santa Potsangbam, one of the two women participants who got consolation prizes.
The entry fee in the competition was Rs 2,000 each.
“The revenue we collect from this competition will be donated to the government,” said the general secretary of the angling association that was established in 2009.
“Our motive includes the preservation of the wetlands and environment. There are more than 2,000 anglers in Manipur and we have nearly 500 members,” he added.
The first three position holders in the competition to be held at Loktak lake will be awarded Rs 30,000, Rs 20,000 and Rs 10,000 while those securing the fourth to sixth positions will be awarded Rs 5,000 each with a fishing rod.