Goonch fishing expeditions on the Ramganga river

Another incredible freshwater fish swimming in the Indian waters is the Goonch catfish. These prehistoric looking fish can grow to incredible proportions. Over the years we have specialized in targeting for the Goonch catfish on the Ramganga river.

The Ramganga river provides the right mix of remoteness yet manageability to allow for a successful fishing expedition. We have located and identified pools and sections of the river which the Goonch prefer. Furthermore, we keep conducting recces to identify more remote and promising locations seeking bigger specimens. If you would want to be part of these expeditions, please get in touch with us, we will be happy to accommodate you.

The Goonch catfish

The Goonch catfish is well distributed across the various river systems within the Indian subcontinent. Despite their wide distribution catching them is a difficult mission. It takes years to identify the right spots and develop the proper technique customized to a given area.

Goonch fishing generally involves a wait and watch game with heavy bait fishing equipment. Both live and dead bait work and depending on the time of the year and prevailing conditions we tend to opt in for either one of them. Spot selection is the key as the Goonch prefer deep dark pools alongside the under-water ridgeline.

Goonch Catfish Pool

Goonch Pool

Investment in time is also critical. The longer you fish, higher the probability for you to hook on to a fish of a lifetime. Most of these locations are outback and require extensive planning, hence prior intimation of a few months will be required. For more extensive trips we can conduct multiple recces to increase your chances.

Remote camp locations

To accommodate this kind of fishing we adopt a mobile camping approach. Through this technique, we can cover multiple spots over the duration of the trip. Our facilities, in this case, are more rustic as compared to our other camps. However, we do try and make your stay as comfortable and adventurous as possible.

The trip will require hiking alongside the Ramganga valley, which can be categories as moderate. We will be walking along the rocky riverside and will also have to circumvent various small hills. We recommend our guest to be in good physical condition for this trip. We can also arrange for mules for those who find hiking a bit difficult.

Like all our other trips we can customize the itinerary as per the requirements of our guests. You can contact us through the link below or altenatively connect with us on our Facebook page. We will be happy to answer all your questions. 

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Physical characteristics

The Goonch catfish is an incredible creature, years of evolution has allowed them to master the depths of various river systems across India. Every feature of their body has been adapted for life underwater.

They may have relatively small eyes but their other sensory organs more than make up for it. These fish have extremely finely-honed senses of taste, touch, smell and hearing to keep them well connected with their environment.

The Goonch probably have millions of taste buds on its body. The gill rakers and the mouth would have a major concertation of these. Even the outer body has sensory organs, ranging from whiskers, fins, nostrils and even the tail. What is even more peculiar about the Goonch is the extended extremities of the fins. All the fins have this characteristic, we assume that they are an extension of their sensory arsenal making them a top predator.

Goonch catfish fin

Goonch Fin

If you look closely they have extremely long nostrils with an extended sensory organ, one can hence conclude that their sense of smell is extraordinary. Water flows over these highly sensitive organs allowing them to detect substances within its environment.

Goonch Catfish Nostrils

Goonch Nostrils

The Goonch catfish also has a strong sense of hearing. We normally don’t associate fish with hearing, but all fish have ears. They are not like conventional ears like that of land-based animals but are located inside the body and aptly called inner ears. You can read more about this incredible organ by clicking the following link to the article by

The hearing of catfish is much acute than other fish, they can hear sounds of much higher frequency. The low frequency sounds not detectable by the inner ear is captured through the lateral line.

The Goonch like other catfish do not have scales, in fact, their skin seems smooth as leather and hence have a higher sensitivity towards touch. For the same reason we do not recommend wire leaders, there is a possibility the fish may sense that and secondly it is to avoid unnecessary harm. They also do not have slime on their outer body like other catfish species, probably because of the clear running waters of the Himalayas.

The Goonch are incredible predators and we thoroughly enjoy fishing for them. Unfortunately, over the years there have attained a bad reputation. We intend to change that perception by showing what awesome creatures they are!

Goonch fishing trip report 1

Goonch fishing trip report 2

Our other services:

Mahseer Fishing in Pancheshwar

Mahseer Fishing on the Ramganga River