Chital fish, also known as clown knife fish in English is a great delicacy in the Indian sub-continent. This is one of the most mysterious fishes in this region. A grown up chital fish can grow up to five feet in length and weights about 40 pounds. It possesses unbelievable strength and stamina to give any angler a spine bending fight.
Chital fish is a dream-catch to any angler. Its mysterious behavior, ability to give a great fight and hard-to-catch nature have made this marvelous species an ultimate trophy for any angler. But catching a chital fish is not an easy task at all. It requires a long preparation and hard patience for successful landing of this specimen.
Preparation: Finding the right spot is the key to any successful fishing trip. In case of chital fish it is not a hard task at all to locate them. They generally roam in schools in big rivers. You can see them jumping moving playing in river bends, beside large structures or dams where water has a good amount of depth. Once you have located them you will need to make a deposit of foods where you are intending to fish. Chitals are carnivorous. They live on marine insects, small fishes, larvae, worms etc. So, it is mandatory that your swim requires to have a good amount of these elements for a successful chital fish hunt. The best way to attract chital fish is using chopped earth worms in your ground baits. collect a good amount of earth worms; you can easily collect them from river banks or your garden. Cut them into small pieces with a scissors. Mix them with some dried fish powder, oil cake powder, half cooked rice and some edible oil. For more action you may use chicken liver paste with the mix. Make small marble size balls with the mix and throw them in your swim. Throw some live earth worms into the swim. There movements in the deep water will attract chital fish more quickly.
Rigs, Setup and Baits: Once your swim is ready its time to set your hooks. A Texas-rig is mostly recommended for chitol fishing. There is a wide variety of baits for chitols like minnows, snails, leeches, bee larvae, maggots earth worms, night crawlers and more. According to locals leeches are the best to use as chitol baits. But if leeches are not available, earth worm can be a good choice as well. Hooks must be sharp and relatively small as chitol fish has a small mouth. This fishes are bottom feeders. So, it is recommended to put the hook into the maximum depth. These fishes can be caught with or without the use of floats. It actually depends on the condition of water and bottom surface. In clean bottoms floats are not mandatory. But it is suggested to use floats if the bottom is weedy. A 20 pound test line is recommended for targeting a chitol fish. Luckily if you are able to hook one, you are about to have a fight of a lifetime.
By: Nasim Hasan