Choose life. Choose a lake. Choose a swim. Choose a bait. Choose a rig. Choose sleepless nights under the stars. Choose the nocturnal music of branches creaking in the wind, leaves whispering, and the eerie night-calls of owls and wildfowl. Choose bright moons shattered in the rippling surface of lakes, and purple skies at sunset perfectly mirrored. Choose silent mist-shrouded pools at dawn. Choose visions of white-flowering waterlilies turning green-gold in the half-light. Choose the flashing bronze flanks of carp, twisting below the surface, on the edge of visibility. Choose a heightened heart-rate. Choose an emotional rollercoaster. Choose the psychological assault-course of planning, watching, locating, preparing, casting and waiting. Choose the endless hours of strung-out anticipation. Choose the rush of striking, hooking, fighting, and landing (or losing) the fish. Choose to walk the tightrope between desperate failure and the adrenaline-inducing, life-enhancing triumphant high of success. Choose life. Choose obsession. Choose Carp Fishing.
"Greg Freestone, Carpspotting 2011"

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Winter Carp Fishing on the Ebro

The great thing about carp fishing on the Ebro is that the river fishes well all year round. So instead of struggling for bites in the UK during the winter months I thought i would give the Ebro a go, even though i was only heading out for a few nights i aimed high and was on the hunt for just carp and big unforgettable ones too..
Winter time seems to sort out the bigger fish whereas the summer produces more fish but of a smaller stamp, So i thought i was onto a winner when i headed out but wasn't prepared for the obstacles that lay ahead.

I've seen in some catch reports over the last few months that some nice 40's had been coming out on the stretch of river i was going to fish so i took up a trip with Nick Shattock as he had a good idea of the spots i could find these monsters..

We arrived on a nice sunny day late January and was so glad to be getting away from work and back on the hunt for carp..
We met up with nick in Riba-roja d'Ebre and got ready for our few hour drive up north to the hot spots.
We didn't want to jump straight in the first swim we sore so headed to a few places he knew.
The river was running wild due to the floods and most of the swims we went to was under water so we found a spot near caspe that was a bit less wild and looked good for a bite.
The views are stunning around these parts and hold very big fish even though the river was flooded it didn't put us off and we just got on with are challenge and got the rods out and sat it out for the night.

The next day came without a sight of a fish let alone a bite so we decided to pack up and head back up river to see if it had calmed down a bit. Chiprana was still bad so headed up to Escatron and the river was still ripping though so we got out the map and spotted a small lake that looked like it joined up with a small part of the river.
After driving for hours we found some dirt tracks that we thought would lead us to the lake, so out came the GPS map on my phone trying to find our way though the maze of tracks searching for anything we could. But all we found was a nice little stretch of water that looked fish able and after getting out the truck for a look around we sore stacks of fish - not the size we was after but we was running out of daylight so but said lets do some pastie bashing.

Pastie Paradise

After a night of catching fish that a 200lb cat fish would of loved we decided to pack up and try and find our way out of the maze of tracks but that wasn't to be as when we went to start the truck the battery had gone leaving us stranded in the middle of nowhere. luckily some Romanians turned up a few hours later and saved the day or we would have had to have another night at pastie paradise.
After a few hours driving and feeling really low me and nick headed back to all the other swims we had looked at hoping things had changed and just to see some signs of carp.
We was running out of ideas and went back to chiprana and setup on the side of some cliffs.
Nicks dad had joined us for the night as we didn't want to risk the battery going again so we all set up camp for the night.

Morning came with no joy and the weather was getting worse with 60mph winds and 4 - 5ft waves.
The river had turned into a dirty brown mess with alsorts drifting though our swim so we packed up and called it a day and hit the road

It was a great few days, was a bit gutted we didn't catch the targets we was after but the enjoyment of seeing the river from so many spots and the buzz of trying to catch a fish in these hard times was worth every minute. Nick Shattock was a top guide and a top bloke, he did everything he could to try and find where these lumps were hiding but it just wasn't to be.

Check out his website -

This sort of holiday is for people that are after an adventure and want to hunt big carp or cats.
He will definitely help you on your hunt and will give you some good knowledge to take home with you.

Here are a few other swims we looked at on the trip back to Riba-roja d'Ebre

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