Fishing has always been a big part of life, and a critical part of the economy, in India. The country is filled with numerous streams, rivers, and tributaries, and the southern part of the country is bordered by both the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. There are ample places where fish gather in large droves, creating many opportunities for amateurs, professionals, and industry fishermen alike to pass the time, get fresh ingredients for a meal, or sustain a business. The fishing industry is so huge in India, in fact, that it brings in over $5 billion in revenue a year.
Regardless of what type of fishing you prefer to do, as fishermen, especially beginners, should always start with the basics – that includes researching the best fishing spots, determining what species of fish you want to catch, and choosing the right gear for the right type of fishing. Once you’ve got your tackle box ready, and know what type of fish you’re looking to catch, you just need to head to the best spot you can find.
To help you get started, I’ve put together this list of the four best fishing spots in India, along with the type of fish you’ll most likely find at each, to help you get started.
Corbett National Park
Home to a wide array of outdoor activities, including some great fishing on the Ramganga River, the Corbett National Park is an amazing destination for hikers, campers, and fishermen alike.
Once you’ve gotten permission from a Divisional Forest Officer (the Indian equivalent of an American Park Ranger), you’ll be able to enjoy to some of the best angling, not just in India, but in the world. Particularly in the period between June and October, the Ramaganga is teaming with a host of Brown Trout, noted for their exquisite flavor, as well as Mahseer and Goonch as well.
If you need a break from fishing, there’s plenty more to do in Corbett National Park. There’s a wealth of beautiful flowers, trees, and other scenery to admire. If you’re lucky, you might even see a tiger!
The Mahakali River (Pancheshwar)
A favorite of fishers, anglers, and water enthusiasts for generations, Pancheshwar hosts an annual angling festival every March, where some of the best anglers in India, as well as some international sportsmen, compete to see who can land the biggest Golden Mahseer.
In addition to the Mahseer, the Indian Carp, Tilapia, and Pink Perch are also plentiful. While your best bet for fishing this lush river is by angling; bobbers, spoons, and fly techniques will also work incredibly well.
The people of Pancheshwar are a very communal, friendly bunch, and will make you feel right at home. Since the region is filled with streams that break off of the Mahakali River, most of the residents are avid fishermen, and will be more than happy to discuss the best fishing spots with you, and give you some pointers to help you catch more fish.
The Pabbar Valley Region
Located just to the northeast of the city of Shimla, the Pabbar Valley is made up of a series of interconnecting streams and rivers that flow out of Punjab. Fishing is more than a favorite pastime in this part of India – it’s a way of life.
There’s a host of varied fish species that inhabit the waters of the Pabbar Valley. The Brown Trout makes a return, but there are also plenty of Catfish, Catla, and even Rohu that call the region home. No matter what you’re in the mood to catch, there are plenty of options in the Pabbar Valley.
Please be aware: since the local government of the region has split rivers into two categories, general rivers, and trout rivers, be sure you’re aware of which classification your fishing spot is. If your spot is classified as trout, you’ll need a specialized permit from the government in order to fish in that spot.
The Jia Bhoroli River
Located in the region surrounding the state of Assam, the Jia Bhoroli River is one of the best places that any fishing or angling enthusiast could ask for. The river is teeming with many different species of fish, and you’re all but guaranteed to get a bite by taking advantage of this amazing natural habitat.
While the most sought-after fish in the region is the Golden Mahseer, other species native to the Jia Bhoroli River include Saal, the Korang, the Gorua, and even the Boka species. While fishing here is great year-round, the best times to visit the Jia Bhoroli River are in-between the months of October and April, when the cooler temperatures force the fish to swim closer to the surface to take advantage of the sun’s rays and warm themselves. It also makes them more eager to latch on to your spoons, worms, and other bait, since the cold season drives away many of the insects that they feed on during the rest of the year. We had also seen the Mahseer breed at Basar during the Bascon Festival. They had an event for mahseer sighting.