We must start by saying thank you to all of our clients which have made this our busiest year yet. Not only returning clients but the number of new clients as well. Its been a very busy year with most of our regular clients coming in Spring (as advised by us) instead of Autumn, but then most of them coming again in Autumn.
The biggest catfish weights were down on last years sizes, with the biggest fish weighing 159lbs, 158lbs and 156lbs, all groups apart from one managed at least one 100 lb plus catfish. The most 100lb plus catfish caught by one group was Jay’s group who caught 10 catfish with us eight were over 100 lbs and the other two being in the nineties. One other group caught over 1200lbs of catfish and another over 1300lbs of fish.
The water abstraction above the dam is causing real problems here with a constant low water level, which cuts down the number of swims we can fish, this started early in May and it stayed low right through until the end of November. We only broke 2 props this year due to them hitting the riverbed!!! At least not replacing bouys this year has helped with us only losing the 2 props, as when these are below the surface and cannot be seen due to weed build up they cause more prop loses than striking the riverbed.
There are big problems with eastern europeans taking fish from the river illegally by netting, they are catching huge weights of fish then freezing them and sending them by road to Romania, when the authorities are informed all they say is they do not have the manpower to police the river correctly!!! This is really bad up at Caspe with some of the nets able to stretch right across the river. We were chatting to a guide in Caspe last week he said “I’m pulling these massive nets out of the water and destroying them regularly” Talking about nets a catfishing outfit was caught near the monument in Tortosa using a cast net to catch mullet, the very next day one of our clients saw them in a different place using the cast net yet again. They have been caught again since then and warned if caught again using livebait or any sort of net they would confiscate their boat. Well we had to laugh on checking their website and seeing they are now using chicken as a bait, perhaps it has sunk in at last that, any sort of net and the use of livebait is banned on the Ebro river.
We have checked all the tackle, lines have been stripped from the reels and replaced, 3 new Abu Suveran rods have been ordered and we have 3 more Shimano 6500 reels so we now have 8 sets of rods and reels that are exactly the same, much better than a mis-match of tackle. We have started to use a Tuna Curl hook and putting our baits on a hair rig, this is working really well and it is not necessary to strike just dis-engage the bait runner and let the line tightening set the hook.
We will be doing more carp fishing in 2015 we have caught some nice fish this year but seen some real river monsters whilst catfish fishing. The only problem is the channel catfish are taking every bait we put in before a carp can get to it, they are breeding fast and piling the weight on we have had a 23lb and a 27lb plus specimen this year and we are sure they will keep on piling the weight on, they give a terrific fight on carp gear so perhaps we should start channel catfish fishing.
We have noticed that there are some very big shoals of roach in the river especially at the Tiveny’s Weir where they are getting quite large, we are also noticing more and more perch in the river. This is a very good sign that the river is getting back to how it was 14/16 years ago. Also we are noticing that the sea bass that have not returned to the Irish sea are getting more and more numerous, with large shoals striking at the bait fish close to the jetty in Bitem, and this was occurring right up to the end of December.
Bookings are coming in fast for April and May so please book as soon as possible, both May bank holidays are already booked, you can phone Natalie on or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out all of the available dates.
Tight lines and bent rods