Sindh Festival goes to Charna Island : Anglers succeed despite rough seas

KARACHI: Churna Island, 9 kilometres away from Mubarak Village, a secluded spot away from the reach of the average Joes of Karachi saw a lot of activity on Thursday morning, as anglers from across the city attended 'Deep Sea Fishing Tournament'.
Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Sindh Government, in its ongoing cultural activity 'Sindh Festival' organised a deep sea fishing tournament in collaboration with Agha's SportFishing.
The tournament was a step to promote the ignored sport of angling in Pakistan held at Mubarak Village, snugly sitting at the shores of Balochistan, surrounded by the beautiful hills between Sindh-Balochistan borders. 
Teams and fishermen participated and competed for catching various kinds of big and small fish.
Despite the unfavourable and windy weather in context of fishing, anglers participated with great enthusiasm and excitement. Out of seven teams six succeeded in catching their targets. Tournament results were finalised on how big of a catch were you able to hook.
During the six-hour long contest, anglers caught hammer jack, mackerel (surmai), grouper (ghisser) and cobia. Cobias are the most favourite target in fishing due to the large and heavyweight size, while groupers are popular owing to looks and size both.
Ijlal Hussain and Syed Rafiuddin stood first in the tournament for catching 26.5-kilogramme heavy and 5.5 feet long cobia. They were the only ones who succeeded in catching the giant fish. "Anglers prefer to catch cobia in a tournament due to its heavy weight and length," said Ijlal while talking to Daily Times.
He said that cobia, also known as dark fighter is known for giving a hard time. "This one took at least 45 minutes before it surrendered. A same sized mackerel can be controlled in 10 minutes," he said.
Ijlal said the same most fishermen say, it requires patience to be an angler, but the reward is what attracts most people to the sport. "I caught this one from Dilram/Dil ka pathar place, 9 km away from the shore. Weather was so rough and windy today, but fishers who have a craze, don't care about conditions," he admitted, while proudly stating he and his partner were happy for winning the title 'heaviest fish hunter'.
Akhter Hussain who secured second position in the tournament caught a grouper, hammer jack and mackerel; but the grouper got him second place weighing only 8 kilogrammes. Akhtar was the third one to return back to land after the sporting event.
"Due to wind, fish were not floating in the upper levels of the sea," he said, adding that however, they caught three including a grouper which was also not easy. Participating in such a beautiful event for anglers was also a reason of joy for him, he concluded.
Mazhar Hussain, who also hunted an 8kg grouper, won the third position. Other anglers were Nadeem Azhar, Agha Azhar and Ali.
Talking to Daily Times, Agha's SportFishing President Syed Aziz Agha said, "We are in the 25th year of holding such kinds of events, but this year it was a part of Sindh Festival," he said.
Speaking about the weather conditions, Agha said that it was not the best time to hold this tournament, but still it was appreciable that the PPP and Sindh government took an initiative to promote this neglected sport
Agha further informed that around 15 teams including female anglers had been invited, but due to the unfavourable forecast and lack of facilities at the point only seven male teams participated. "Sea was chop and rough today and fishing was a bit difficult," he said.
The anglers left for the open sea after 7am, and almost none returned unsuccessful. Special trophies were given to three top position holders along with trolling reels.
On the occasion, a little musical event was also organised for the general public of Mubarak Village in which famous 'dhamal' singer Saleem Javed and TV actor Nadeem performed. 
It is necessary to mention here that beautiful and picturesque Mubarak Village has been suffering from lack of facilities such as electricity and water. People of the place demanded of the government to provide them at least basic facilities, as well as support for increasing tourism.

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