Tuesday, 28 December 2010

The mighty Ebro

Rising in the cantabrian mountains and 565miles long, the Ebro is spains most important river,providing a source of hydro electric power and water for the fantastic delta system of rice paddies and irrigated fields.Of course a by product of all this water is the fishing,which ranges from the well known carp and catfishing at mequinenza, to the trout fishing in the upper reaches down to the world class bass and mullet fishing on the delta.
Delta and lower ebro.
The first time i fished the ebro was 7 years ago and i arrived on the river very near where it goes into the sea on the delta system,i had only caught two catfish before which was on a small lake in france, the biggest being just over 50lb which was at the time a monster to me.By the time id left i had caught two fish over 100lb from the bank on live mullet.The river was in flood with all sorts of debris floating past, which to begin with made the fishing very difficult until a local guide showed me the shoals of mullet which had gathered around the sewer outlets and were being attacked by catfish.The mullet shoals exist a long way up the river and if you find them then the catfish arent far away.I have seen carp and catfish in the river less than a mile from the sea in very brackish water,the whole delta system is crossed with irragation channels very much like the fens in the uk,these are full of carp and ive had some great sport fishing match style on these.The sea fishing here is also very good with charter boats at Riomar landing large sport fish and ive caught lots of dorrado on a light feeder rod in the harbour at San Carlos de Rapita,there is also a very interesting fish market on the docks here where the local boats land the days catch and auction it off.
Upper ebro.
The famous village of Mequinenza sits on the confluence of the rivers segre and ebro and it is here that numerous catfish over 200lb are landed every year.The segre is a fast flowing shallow river which looks more suited to barbel fishing than monster catfish,however it is home to the 250lb plus catfish which seem to love the fast waters and attacking the fish that live there,ive seen catfish hunting in these waters and they are very fast and efficient hunters dispelling myth of them being slow moving scavengers.Above Mequinenza is the embalse de caspe which is a very large lake which has been created by the daming of the ebro,here the fishing for carp,catfish and zander is very good with a large head of fish.While i spend most of my time fishing for the carp and cats of the ebro, i also set aside some time for the roach,rudd,crucian and zander fishing which can be very good.


Spains longest lake with a coast line of 115km and depths of up to 70ft,a long drive from the uk, but with lots of potential,several different types of barbel including the mighty comizo which grows to 40lb and is caught with small live baits and lures,also home to lots of large carp and the locals told me of some very large catfish being hooked and lost,we fished this in the winter in very bad conditions for two nights on our way to another local location,we caught carp up to 20lb,barbel to 6lb,crucians to 4lb and some small wels catfish which gives substance to the locals catfish tales.This lake is one of the best ive seen in europe and i will be returning in 2011.

A winter sunset in spain.