Hook Them All, a Sikkim based fishing expedition and guiding company in association with STP pharmaceuticals, Golden Gaming, Roll House Gangtok and Bharat Fitness organized the first edition of ‘Angling Tournament Sikkim’ from 08 September to 10 September in the rivers of Lachung and Yumthang.

The tournament strictly followed the ‘catch and release’ rule as the tournament’s main motto was to spread the message of awareness on the importance of protecting and maintaining clean rivers. The organizers had gone to the venues days before the inaugural day of the tournament to clean the rivers and to set the stage for the competition.

The opening ceremony of the three-day long tournament was held on 07 September at Singring, Lachung. The ceremony had the presence of SDM (Chungthang), Sonam Topgay Tashi who was also the chief guest of the occasion. Along with him, the ceremony was attended by the Pipon, Lakpa Lachungpa, students and local residents. Dinesh Kumar Butail, a participant from Himachal Pradesh who was representing the ‘Himachal Angling Association’, donated funds for the students of Lachung.

The tournament kicked off on 08 September, with a local monk performing puja and by releasing a fish in the river symbolizing the spirit of the tournament i.e. ‘Catch and release’.

“We had anglers from Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Kalimpong and Sikkim participating in the tournament,” said Karma Paljor, one of the organizers of the tourney. The three-day tournament witnessed the competing anglers going after Brown Trout (Salmo Trutta) and Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchuc mykiss).

Dinesh Kumar Butail from Himachal Pradesh sealed his winning deal when he caught a 21-inch long Brown Trout weighing 2.4 kg. He was followed up by Orian Sada of Gangtok who caught the same species of fish weighing an impressive 1.6 kg and 18-inches long. Palchen Yongda of Gyalshing, West Sikkim secured the third place with a Brown Trout weighing 900 gms and 18-inches long.

The winners of the tournament were decided on the basis of the length of the fish, not the weight. Since there was a tie between the first and the second runners-up the panel had to decide the position based on the weight of the fish.

The winner of the tournament was awarded with an amount of Rs 30,000 along with a medal and certificate. The first runner-up was awarded with an amount of Rs 15,000 along with a medal, certificate and a fishing rod. Likewise the second runner-up of the tourney was given a certificate, medal and a fishing reel. The third position was scored by Palchen Yongda from West Sikkim who was bestowed with a certificate, a bronze medal, a spinning reel and gift hampers sponsored by Mustad, Zerek,Sure Catch & ATC. Also, the 4th prize winner Navin Chettri fro, Kalimpong was presented with a certificate, a spinning rod and gift hampers sponsored by Mustad, Zerek, Sure catch & ATC.

Tenzing Dheden from Gangtok was declared the ‘most stylish angler’ by the panel and was awarded with a gift hamper sponsored by Mustad, Zerek, Sure Catch& ATC.