Best Angling (Hobby Fishing) Destinations In Tamil Nadu
Angling, or hobby fishing, has gained significant popularity in recent years in Tamil Nadu, especially among young people. We encountered a group of anglers from Chennai during one of our recent expeditions to Ooty who came only for angling. They were armed with modern fishing rods and gadgets and passionately casting their lines in a lake in Ooty. They told our team that they regularly travel as groups to various parts of Tamil Nadu for angling adventures. The Anglers added that thousands of young enthusiasts have embraced angling as a hobby, especially during COVID-19, and have dedicated their time and resources to nurture this passion.
In this blog, we will explore some of the finest fishing spots in Tamil Nadu. We will provide you with essential information, including elevation, accessibility, available fish species, and insights into fishing licenses where necessary. Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, these fishing spots offer chances to enjoy the peaceful scenery of Tamil Nadu.
Please note that we have selected only a few from an extensive list of potential destinations.
1. Mukurthi Lake and Streams: Ooty’s Premier Trout Fishing Destination
Trout fishing in Ooty has a fascinating history dating back to the British era when they introduced trout to India. By the early 1900s, the steelhead strain of rainbow trout found its way to Indian waters, particularly in the hill regions of Ooty, Tamil Nadu, as well as Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir. Though trout is present in various lakes and rivers in the Nilgiris, the Mukurthi Lake and its tributary streams reign supreme among trout fishing enthusiasts.
Anglers from far and wide, even international visitors, come to Ooty for the thrill of trout fishing. To engage in this pursuit, acquiring a fishing license is essential. It can be obtained from the Assistant Director of Fisheries in Ooty (please consult the Collector’s office for precise details).
From January to August, the period offers excellent conditions for trout fishing in Ooty. You can try both fly fishing and spinning here. Mukurthi Lake, situated within the Mukurthi National Park, is just an hour and a half’s drive from Ooty town. Upon arrival, you can explore various spots, including the rivers that flow into the lake.
Trout and other hobby fishing species are also present in Krumund River (check the areas above the falls), Portimund Reservoir, Mejod River (areas below the falls), Emerald Lake, Peermund Stream, Chembar Stream, and more. Enjoy the thrill of trout fishing amidst the serene landscapes of Ooty.
2. Pichavaram: The Magical Mangrove Land for Anglers
Pichavaram is a coastal village near Chidambaram in the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. It is approximately a 5-hour drive from Chennai and about 3 hours from Pondicherry. The famous temple town of Chidambaram is just 12 km away from Pichavaram. The primary attraction in this area is the mangrove forest nestled between the Vellar and Colernnon estuaries.
This picturesque location, situated at sea level, is easily accessible by road, making it a convenient choice for a day of fishing. You can hire a small boat to explore the mangrove area or the rivers for good fishing spots.
A special fishing license may not be required for hobby fishing, but make sure to check the requirements with your boatman. You can ask either the staff at your accommodation or taxi drivers in the area to help you arrange a boat for your expedition.
3. Kamaraj Sagar: A Popular Angling Location in Ooty
Ooty, located in the Nilgiris, stands out as the premier angling destination in Tamil Nadu. The cool climate, availability of quality accommodations, and various introduced and local fish species contribute to Ooty’s popularity among anglers.
The Kamaraj Sagar dam, situated approximately 10 km from Ooty town, is easily accessible by road. Ooty is about a six-hour drive from Bangalore and three hours from Coimbatore. The average elevation is about 6000 feet. Kamaraj Sagar is an artificial dam surrounded by pristine forests and a popular picnic spot. Hence, it’s worth noting that the dam area can get crowded with tourists during the daytime.
According to some experienced anglers, Thallaikunnu, a place near the Dam, is a good spot for catfish and crappie fishing.
4. Emerald Lake and River: Ooty’s Prime Fishing Spots
Emerald Lake and the adjacent Avalanche Dam area have long been a hotspot for fishing enthusiasts in Ooty. This picturesque picnic spot, located approximately 25 kilometers from Ooty town, boasts excellent road connectivity and a delightful drive to reach the lake.
One noteworthy aspect is that Emerald Lake is among the places in Ooty where rainbow trout was introduced in the early 1900s. About 5 kilometers away lies Avalanche, another inviting lake ideal for fishing. To engage in fishing activities, obtaining a fishing license is a necessity, which can be conveniently acquired from the Fisheries Office or the Collectorate.
5. Sholayar Dam in Valparai.
Valparai, a picture-perfect hill station bordering Kerala, is a biodiversity hotspot in the Western Ghats. Wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers flock to this area to witness many endangered endemics, such as the Nilgiri Tahr and the Great Indian Hornbill. Valparai boasts numerous water bodies and streams, making it ideal for anglers seeking a fishing adventure.
Valparai is accessible via Pollachi (110 Km) or from Kerala Via Athirappally (45 km). Sholayar Dam is about 20 km from Valparai town, perched at an elevation of 700 feet in the Anamalai Hills. Many fish species, including carp and catfish, inhabit the dam waters. To ensure a hassle-free fishing expedition in Valparai, consult with your hotel and local guides to make the necessary arrangements.
6. Kodiveri Dam: Try Mahseer Fishing in the Bhavani River
The Kodaveri Dam is on the Bhavani River, known for its rich aquatic life, including the highly sought-after orange-finned mahseer. One prime spot for angling along the river is the Kodiveri Dam area.
Located in the Erode district, it’s approximately 70 km away from Coimbatore.
The Bhavani River is renowned for its diverse fish species, including catfish, different varieties of carp, and the prized mahseer, particularly the orange-finned mahseer. While we have only a little information on obtaining an angling license here, it’s worth noting that many are engaged in angling here without special permits. Even if there are restrictions on angling at the tourist spots within the dam site, you can always explore a bit further along the river to find excellent and hassle-free fishing spots.