Kerala

Monsoon windfall for anglers at Perumathura

An angler with his prize catch at Perumathura, near Thiruvananthapuram.

An angler with his prize catch at Perumathura, near Thiruvananthapuram.  

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Come rains, the delta is teeming with marine life and it’s an opportune time to take home some fish

Perumathura, a verdant coastal village 29 km away from Thiruvananthapuram, is a sweet spot for anglers during the south-west monsoon.

Lugging rods and lines, ardent anglers from the city head to the waterfront on rainy weekends to try their luck at the tidal mouth where the Arabian Sea meets the Kadhinamkulam lagoon.

Last Sunday, Ajith, who cleans windows on high-rises when he is not angling, was at the Perumathura harbour area with his friends to do some bay fishing.

On their way to the pier, they had stopped to pick up some live shrimp, entrails of a gutted chicken, sardines and anchovies for bait. As a fallback, they also bought few flashy artificial fish lure locally known as “minukku” for their glitter.

Dr Bijukumar, Associate Professor, Aquatic Biology, University of Kerala, says the rains bring an abundance of smaller fish from swollen rivers to the Muthalapozhi estuary. During the monsoon, the delta teems with smaller marine creatures that draw larger predatory species from the sea.

Line fishing

On the pier, Ajith used a hook baited with offal to lure marine catfish, thedu. He decided to forego his rod and do some line fishing. He twirled the line, weighted with lead, and flung it into the swirling waters of the bay. Ajith wore protective gloves to prevent the line from cutting his palm if he had to reel the catch in.

Nearby, R. Sivaram, a real estate agent and angling enthusiast, was using a costly foreign rod complete with an electrically powered reel.

He said a helpful rule of the thumb was to cast the bait in the wake of outboard engined fishing boats.

Large fish follow the slipstream of the boats, attracted by the smell of fish remains and blood in the water bailed out of the vessels with buckets by fishers as they chug into the harbour.

At 11 a.m., the rain was unrelenting. The drenched anglers stoically stuck to their posts, occasionally nibbling soaked biscuits and bread to stave off creeping hunger.

Then they began to strike luck in turns. Ajith reeled in a sizeable Red Snapper (Chemballi Kora). His neighbour baited a Ribbon Fish (Kadi Vala). It resembled a sea snake.

The others reeled in Grouper Fish (Kalava), Mullets (Kanambu) and Taranx (Manja Para). Then they took the catch home for dinner.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 7:32:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/monsoon-windfall-for-anglers-at-perumathura/article24250561.ece

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