It was a lazy October day. The sun shone bright and crisp but the ferocity of summer was gone, replaced by a soft warm glow of early winter. I was out fishing with my two uncles on a lake. Actually they were fishing and I was around. I was always around when someone was fishing. There were always a thousand things to be done and I guess people were glad to get help and would bear my presence.
My younger uncle chose a spot under a huge jamun tree and the elder uncle decided to cast from a head jutting out into the water. The choice and selection of your spot for the day is a fascinating task. Years of being at the water front and then one’s own gut feel went into deciding. Years of carp fishing gave me some understanding of reading the water and it is a pleasurable activity even when you are not carrying a rod.
As this was a private lake there was nobody else in sight.
The ground bait was soon ready and into the water some 15-20 feet away, the durrie spread out, the rods readied and the hook bait put, bread paste kneaded together with all other ingredients. The rest of the hook bait stored in an air tight container to be used for the rest of the day. One by one all three lines were in the water and the rods in the rod holder. Then the wait began.
On the far side, I could see my younger uncle reeling in some decent sized Rohu’s. We had also started to get a few nibbles and line bites. Suddenly one of the floats was bobbing like mad before going down and the centre pin reel began singing. Fish on! The two-piece pale blue fiber glass rod had a nice bend. About 30-40 meters of 8 lb mono (or was it mono then) peeled off effortlessly when my uncle handed over the rod to me. Before I could realize what was happening, with a huge flock of butterflies flapping like mad in my stomach, blood racing at 100mph and heart pumping so violently that I am sure everyone in the vicinity heard it, I was landing my first fish with rod and reel.
It was a beautiful 3 lb catla. The pat on the back is still a vivid memory.