On The Ebro Blog

22
May 2016

Darren to the Rescue……

Well as the tough start to this year continued it was great to have more regulars in … them being the “Crazy Gang”…As I waited eagerly for Tony to run straight pass me as usual at the airport and Pops strolling through the doors followed some time later by Nick!!!!! Umm well Tony didn’t disappoint as he flew past me with his caramel crunch flavoured puffy cigarette thing boiling away!!!!! But no Pops it was Darren and new guy Martyn……change of plan then and hopefully next year Crazy Gang please….Darren had to be on best behaviour being future Son in Law but after a quick chat we sorted it!! and new guy Martyn who had done plenty of time on the bank also in high heeled sequin boots in his Glam Rock days!!!!!                                         What will this week bring???????                                                                                                                  Well after a quick change of clothes and boots for Martyn!!! We were off to the Fig Tree . Truck loaded with drums guitars and sequins…….I mean rods more rods and bivvys we were soon set up nice and cosy ….4 cat rods 2 carp and 3 mugs of tea. As always with the Crazy Gang and new and future members drinking tea is an obsession…..now I like a cuppa once my eyes are fully open but Tony and gang  didn’t stop …….at least they had a kettle this time (Pops!!!! If you read this). So as I got all the rods on the spots and they drank tea we were all hoping that the river would wake up and give us a great weeks fishing!!!! 15 20 minutes passed and rod 4 was rattling, Martyn first up and was into his first ever cat fish, not a monster at 15lbs but a start….I got kebabs in for dinner washed down with tea of course!! and I left them to it for the night. Next morning I arrived to news that they had done battle ….not with a cat but a big carp which was resting nicely in the retainer . Breakfast washed down with tea time to have a look!!!! Wow now that was a great surprise not only bigger than the estimate but a real Ebro stunner all 41lb 4oz.

Darren 41lb 4oz

Darren 41lb 4oz

Darren had got us off to a great start as he had done last year with a cracking 38lb common. We fished hard all day with just another small cat to show for our efforts but we were all off the mark. The night came with the carp rods placed nicely and the cat rods out with plenty of freebies and lots of fish showing….Next morning no cats again but the carp retainer was wet!! Martyn this time with a cracking 33lb common.

Martyn 33lb

Martyn 33lb

Where were the cats????? The next evening looked very bleak, dark clouds loomed over us so we quickly packed up camp and had a lovely meal at the Tapas bar. Coming off that night proved to be a great decision as it poured down all night very heavy rain…..Morning came with breakfast on the balcony looking out to a very wet Nature Reserve ….we left the fishing till the rain eased up that afternoon but got some cat rods out where we managed another small cat. Following day we slipped and slid down the track back to the Fig Tree, other venues had been mentioned but after a good down pour and a pre-baited Fig Tree we decided to finish the trip off here. Tea and toastie making facilities and camp set up we were going to have to improve if we were to get this season started!!!!! Well apart from 240 tea bags, 2 loaves of bread, packets of cheese and ham…ohh 32litres of water and 2 gas bottles not much to tell you…..the lads had fished so hard and done their best but 2 better cats at 30lb + and a 40+ together with a few more tiddlers and Tony with a nice 25lb carp was all we could manage.

Tony 25lb

Tony 25lb

So it ended Tony being a regular here for the last 7 years (thanks bud) had never seen the fishing so hard but what with another trip booked for October we should be able to get our own back then. At least we managed some nice carp which meant as hard as this year has been we have still caught some very nice fish each trip. I’m off to buy some more tea bags and gas and let’s hope the river starts fishing well again soon!!!!!!

 

until next time  Paul

 

 

 

proved to be

 

 

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13
May 2016

Trip Number 9

Yes it really is Chris and Jonny’s 9th trip……as with Russ and Mike who were here last week and many more I can’t thank you enough for your continued custom well it’s more than that as we joked last week with Russ its bordering friendship!!!!!!! Those of you who have been before will have seen these two so many times on the photo boards, they even gave birth to the Fig Tree swim so after a tough start to the season can they bring us some much needed luck?????  Well their trip was delayed 2 days thanks to an air traffic controllers strike by the French meaning their flight was cancelled the day before their arrival!!!! So just 5  days to catch some whoppers…..We started off the first evening down at the garden where the carp got the better of us so we finished the day off at the tapas bar where we ate prob everything on the menu!!!! Food so nice 😄😄. Morning came and it was off to the fig tree, day only trip where we managed to get off the mark with Chris catching a nice 63lb cat.

Chris 63lb

Chris 63lb

That evening it was the steak house where again we found it very easy to eat our way through most of the menu!!!!!! Morning came and it was time to roll up our sleeves, trip being cut short by 2 days meant we were going to have to fish a couple of nights so we set up camp in the fig tree. Days were very slow but it allowed me and Chris to play who could take the best photo comp too which I think we called it a draw. The one thing that did keep us entertained was a pair of Ospreys which stayed around for a couple of days, probably on their migration but stunning to see them diving for fish, we manged a couple of pics but even our 21st century cameras couldn’t zoom in that close.

Osprey homing in ......and doing better than we were!!!!

Osprey homing in ……and doing better than we were!!!!

That night we celebrated just being there with desert wine, cava and ouch Desperados… thanks for that Jonny!!!!! Far to drinkable but in the early hours my carp rods sprung into life which ended in me landing a nice common.

29lb 8oz

29lb 8oz

Morning came and after a couple of tablets ……thanks again Jonny!!  we set the rods for the morning session but ohh so slow……I went off to restock up on Desperados as Chris missed out the night before….on my return they had a rope in the water, well done to them both….left unattended after 9 years of training they had actually hooked landed unhooked and roped up a decent looking cat!!!!!!

Jonny 85lb

Jonny 85lb

Well done Jonny and Chris at last a decent fish, we stayed that night but only had the desert wine more cava more Desperados to show for our efforts. We landed a couple of small cats during the day but that evening the tapas bar was calling so round 2 of tapas it was. Morning was a couple of hours down at the garden but even here we couldn’t get them to bite……a continuation of a tough start to this year, we have caught some very nice fish but boy they are making us work hard for them….got to be down to the very cold North Easterly winds that just don’t seem to want to change direction. So trip 9 came to an end not our best but plenty of food, cava, jelly snakes, Desperados, photos, woolly hats, butterfly’s and of course obligatory banter. Jonny is off to work this year after passing his Degree with more than flying colours so very good luck to him, Chris is going to the board room to tell the big bosses Paul says we don’t need a High Speed rail link just upgrade our c@£p phones so we can Face Time …🤔🤔 and I’m going to have a word with the river!!!!!!!

until next time Paul

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28
Apr 2016

The D Team…….

Time for Russ and Mike’s return after missing out last year. We always have a laugh when they’re over so I was looking forward to seeing them again. Peace and quite has to be top of the list for them so  garden it was . Didn’t take long for Russ to land a small carp quickly followed by Mike. Day 2 garden again and a couple of carp and small cats graced the bank followed by a sea food feast that night, so all going well. This was their 9th trip here, and never previously wanting to fish Mequinenza we felt it was time to give it a go. The swim I’d caught some good carp from earlier this year ticked their pueace and quite box so it was there we headed. Luckily the swim was vacant so great stuff and we were soon all set up for a 2 night stay. Carp rods out to start but we had a plan to get some cat rods out should we want. Weather wise wasn’t great as it was so windy and it is  quite open with huge waves crashing straight at us but that evening one of my margin rods was away, after steering  it clear of a couple of snags it was Russ you took over to land a very big carp. Now Russ you could say is a big lad but he makes big lads look small just ask my bed chair!!!!!!! So you just have to take my word for it this was a big 41lb 2oz stunning common.

Russ 41lb 2oz

Russ 41lb 2oz

Great start then and another big carp from this swim. Nothing much happened until we brought the rods in as no night fishing allowed here apart from one of the funniest nights ever, probably due to the good quality wine or should I say the good quantity of wine but you had to be there!!!! Hence the D team is now official ……( take too long to explain!!!).

Next morning …..tad of a sore head but one of my rods was away again, I lifted into …..well nothing as my main line cut off straight away but it was a bit of action. Mid morning and with us all catching a bit of sun down one end of the swim one of the alarms was on melt down…….it was one of Russ’s rods which was down the other end!!! Well Russ is a big lad but cricky he can move !!! but after playing the fish for only a short time it found a snag and dumped the hook!!!!  The day was so much better than yesterday and by evening a good few fish were showing, trouble being was getting them to feed …..we gave it our best but even put out 2 cat rods we couldn’t add to the 40 on the first day, 2 more lost fish to my rods due to a snag littered with old line. This was just a short trip so we packed up early which gave them a couple of hours back at the garden where they managed to finish their trip with a small cat. It will have to go down as one of the funniest ever, and with a nice carp to show for their efforts, Russ is back later in the year so look forward to that and we should get amongst the fish then.

 

until next time Paul

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27
Apr 2016

6 PB’s!!!!!!!!

Well after last weeks cracking 161lb Cat from Mequimenza what would this week produce. Nice to welcome Simon and Kevin here which was to be their first time fishing the mighty Ebro. More pleasure  anglers then” bivvy boys” the  garden seemed the perfect place to start. Water still up we squeezed ourselves in with 2 carp rods 1 cat rod keeping it simple until I had had a proper chat and found out what they wanted from this trip. The garden is looking absolutely stunning at the moment and what with the Nightingales providing the music all that was needed was a fish!!   Well 30 minutes in and the cat rod was away, just like last week it absolutely tored off straight down the margin, poor Simon so funny as he hung on with the rod bent double and line screaming from the reel. He gained some line back but this was a very powerful fish and it kept taking it back again. Eventually it locked up s&@t after all that….the fish was still on but although it could take line we couldn’t get it passed the snag what were we to do???? Pump up the dingy and get out there was my answer, out I went which was tricky with the flow but I soon untangled the line from around a fallen tree and Simon was back to being well and truly beaten up!!!! only for it to get back into the snag. Out I went again this time I kept hold of the line as the angle Simon had to play the fish wasn’t good and I duly  pulled the fish into my dingy and rowed back with Simon not knowing what I’d done. Back at the bank the waiting Simon thought he had lost the fish but he couldn’t see I was virtually sitting on it, as I stood up and passed him 85lbs of cat fish. To be honest I was surprised it “only” went 85lbs that was some fight and great start for Simon and a PB.

Simon and Kevin 85lb

Simon and Kevin 85lb

2 hours passed and it was starting to get dark when Kevin was off the mark with a lovely common and new PB of around 22lb that ended day 1. Day 2 started with Simon landing a nice carp into the 20’s and Kevin landing a lovely little cat at 29lbs both new PB’s, so 4 runs 4 fish 4 new PB’s great start for them. Day 3 and we were feeling like a Mequinenza trip, truck loaded up off we went and set up in the Town stretch along with about 30 other rods!!!!!!!!!! All day with no action apart from late on when a 2lb roach manged to get perfectly hooked on a 5/0 with a ring of 5 22mm halibut pellets!!!! and another PB.

Kevin 2lb roach on 5 pellets

Kevin 2lb roach on 5 pellets

We gave it a good go but nothing more came of our trip and only 2 fish were caught here all day. Day 4 we had to go to Ribaroja as the river was being flushed through by opening all the doors of the dam. 3 carp rods out and Simon fancied a go for the big roach so quiver tip out as well . First blood to Simon and a cracker at 1lb 9oz and you’ve guessed it PB number 6!!!!! Now I know as did the lads these were no huge Ebro monsters but never the less 6 PB’s with the first 6 fish is good fishing. Kevin’s go on the quiver tip now and ohh he made Simon wait…….after 2 hours of missing bites he eventually told us he couldn’t see the tip!!!! so didn’t know when to strike ….lol. Bit of adjustment in his sitting position and it wasn’t long before he was into a roach no PB this time but they went on to catch a few more before we run out of swim feeders. The next day they were up and out early to catch their plane back home, great mixed bag of fish 6 PB’s and as always a few stories, good food and banter, thanks lads for a great few days and hope to see you again.

until next time Paul

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12
Apr 2016

Nothing too Heavy!!!!

So far  this year we have had some very nice carp and although last week was tough we got off the mark with a couple of nice cats. This trip  it was nice to see back again Martin and Angela, busy people back home so it was going to be all about relaxing enjoying a few different venues with a bit of fishing “nothing too heavy”. Day one we had a few hours after their arrival so we put a couple of rods out down the garden and got off the mark with some nice carp. Nice meal that evening and the plan was to have a look at Mequinenza after both the cats and the carp. On arrival we were unable to get in my preferred swim but the next one down was and a bit more comfortable being in the nice spring sunshine. We put  4 cat rods out and we had a great looking margin so 2 carp rods here, with all looking so good time to sit back and enjoy. Nothing really happened a few recasts but the wind was so strong very cold and blowing straight into our faces we gave it till dusk but decided  a nice steak meal was in order. Following morning we all relised the result of not putting on sun cream even if the wind is freezing the sun still burns as all our faces were very red and burnt!!!!!! Day 3 back up to Mequinenza but a more comfortable swim with the wind on our backs, 4 cat rods out and 2 carp rods cast into the weed patches where we had seen some carp moving. Day past with the only action being me rowing our baits out well over 180 yards into the old river bed. With the Sun going down and the river looking lovely rod 3 taps then pulled over we had a run!!!!!! Martin picked up the rod pulled into a very solid resistance, let battle commence !!!!! To start with like many people experience the cats don’t always do much, as was the case here, the fish came towards us, then over one of the other rods under another but we had it all in control until it woke up an Martin knew then it was a good fish. Powerful bursts of power, unstoppable power, were we hooked up to one of the Big Girls!!!! Fight must of lasted 15-20 minutes before I reached down to see its huge head come out of the murky water and glove her out. An incredible sight not just the fish lying there but of Martins face has he relised he had achieved a life time fishing goal and probably relief the fight was over!!!!!

Martin and Angie 161lb Wels .....Mequinenza

Martin and Angie 161lb Wels …..Mequinenza.

Martin 161lb

Martin 161lb

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At 161lb a really great result, this river system has to be up there as one of the best  fishing venues, surely the best in Europe.

Day 4 we went to Ribaroja targeting PB roach and carp. 3 rods out for carp and a feeder rod out for roach!!!! After an hour of constant casting, getting a nice bed of ground bait out the roach started coming and some very nice ones too with Martin getting 3 new PB’s the best being 1lb 10oz

Nice roach fishing at Ribaroja

Nice roach fishing at Ribaroja.

Four days completed four different swims and many boxes ticked we decided to finish off the trip at the garden, great sport with both Martin and Angie catching many carp Angie with a nice and quite rare Mirror and a good common of 22lb. We put a cat rod out which ripped off but what with the flow and not much room to move it was always going to be hard to land a big fish, unfortunately the hook pulled. Last day started well with a nice carp and 33lb cat, with only half an hour of their trip to go the cat rod was away again, Martin pulled into an absolute steam train, it screamed off down the margin taking so much line. Martin got it back to a point where I took over, prob only 20 yards away the hook pulled …….Ouch!!!!! that was a good fish. Well that was the last action and didn’t really spoil a really great trip.

The goal for Martin and Angie was to relax and do a bit of fishing ….. Nothing too Heavy!!!! we did that, the company, banter and food not to mention a very heavy fish!!!! completed one of those memorable trips not just for Martin and Angie but for me as well …..new target at 161lb for us all to go for ……roll on the rest of this season.

until next time Paul

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10
Apr 2016

A Couple of 80’s

With the season off to a good start with the carp it was nice to welcome Danny, Curtis and Jozef here and they wanted cats !!!!! There was no wasting time either quick look at the factory stretch and “Figgy” on the way back from airport, quick change of clothes and off we went. River was still flowing but with a little extra lead the baits were held in place nicely, little but often baiting approach, camp set, off we go!!! First 24 hrs was a chance to see if anything was showing and where!!! Talking to the very enthusiastic lads the following morning it was apparent that there were fish here but on our normal line which wasn’t reachable casting heavy leads so dingy was brought into action and all baits dropped a further 30 yards out. 5pm second day and Danny is into a fish, now the factory stretch does flow but with 2 doors of the dam open the current was strong and this fish was taking full advantage of it!! Great scrap with the result being this 85lb moggie.

Danny and  Joz 85lb

Danny and Joz 85lb

With the lads off the mark mood and confidence was good and with many fishing showing late evening and into dark the signs were there for more fish. 1am and it was Curtis who was in……another great fight in the strong currents and dark!!! and another 80lb + cat banked .

Curtis 83lb

Curtis 83lb

Following day was quite very strong winds and current up and down mixed with a lot of weed coming down meant for tough fishing conditions but the lads stuck at it keeping the pellets going in. Night came with nothing, following day not much better….but with the 4th night the wind had dropped and again the fish were rolling over the bait but it produced nothing. Was it time for a change???? Well the first swim looked promising trouble is when you have invested a lot of time effort and pellets in one area and with fish rolling it’s a big decision to move……well the lads stayed put one more night but again nothing. Eventually we did move but it seemed the cats here just not feeding probable cause being cold water temps just 8 degrees!!! although the 2 they had caught at the start were full to bursting!!!!!

last day they had in the garden swims where they caught a few carp to low 20’s…….. So to sum the week up good start, prob should have moved after day 3 and a few carp to get a bend in the rod at the end. Said it many a time it’s not always easy but there is always another day!!!!!

 

until next time Paul

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