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A fun-filled day of ‘Mugudu' fishing

Anisha Sheth
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People of Brahmarakootlu near B.C. Road with a ‘Mugudu' fish.— PHOTO: ANISHA SHETH
People of Brahmarakootlu near B.C. Road with a ‘Mugudu' fish.— PHOTO: ANISHA SHETH

People of Brahmarakootlu near B.C. Road made a quick buck this week catching a particular species of fish that had not been seen for years in the village.

On Thursday evening, groups of youngsters splashed around in a muddy pool just off National Highway 75 at Brahmarakootlu, 20 km from Mangalore. Every now and then, they would struggle with their nets to catch the trapped “Mugudu” fish (a kind of catfish), which is said to be tasty. Sometimes, they would groan in disappointment as Mugudu fish outwitted them and escaped into the slush.

Praveen Kumar of B.C. Road told The Hindu that the sight of fish jumping in and out had caught the attention local people a few days ago. Since then, they had been coming in groups with their “atte bale” (nets) and “beesu bale” to catch “Mugudu” fish. Mr. Kumar said that it had been around 10 years ago since this species of fish was found in the area. In this case, people of the village felt that the recent showers responsible for the appearance of the fish.

The mood of fishermen with each catch and loss of fish was echoed by the local people. To them, it was like watching a sport and cheering for the players.

One group that had caught a fish soon put it into a sack. Although, the move appeared to be smart as the fish often escaped, a bystander told this correspondent that there was no other way they could have taken their catch back to the ground.

He said that the group was using a “beesu bale”, which was a large net spread wide and could not be removed easily. The “atte bale”, in contrast, was a rectangular net several feet long and was held up by wooden poles on the short sides.

One group caught three large fish in one go, fetching them a handsome price. Yashodhar Kumar said that he had been fishing for nearly a week and he had caught several “Mugudus” on Thursday. A “Mugudu” fish that was around three feet and weighed seven kg would fetch at least Rs. 500, he said.

Rohit J., who was catching fish, said that he had caught around 25 that day.

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