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The aim of my new freshwater fishing column is to relay to you my experiences as I travel the lakes and rivers of our Regions and beyond. This then I hope, will be of some help to both experienced anglers and those of you just starting out on their fishing adventures here in Southern Spain. Many of you keen anglers will have paid a visit to Alfonso XIII in the past and experienced the wonderful surroundings - Silence is deafening - the best way to describe this peaceful venue. The reservoir is situated off the MU552 between Mula and Calasparra in the Region of Murcia. From Murcia city west take the C415 signposted Mula and Caravaca De La Cruz. Off junction 33, caution here 33 is the next junction after 30, this is the C330 signed Cieza. Take the first left to Calasparra after 10 kms turn right to Embalse De Alfonso XIII. Follow the road round the lake until you see three green wheelie bins on your right. This is an unmade road down to the water. You will pass a sign Zona De Pesca and from here there are various locations to fish from. There are no amenities here and it is important to take your rubbish away with you when you leave. Please Note at this time there is no access from the Cieza end due to a fallen hillside. A Murcian Regional Licence is required to fish here.

Having arrived at the location which was deserted and having no knowledge of the water I looked on the bank for signs of fishing activity. Having found a couple of recently discarded empty sweet corn tins I decided this must be the place. The Old Fish Wife proceeded to tidy the rubbish away into a carrier bag mumbling about litter as usual! It was early morning and the waters were flat calm, not a ripple, an island was situated seventy metres to my right and fish were feeding off the top around the weeds surrounding the island, some jumping out of the water and splashing down after attacking the flies sitting on the mirror like water. These must be Bass I thought splashing around like that. I was too excited and eager to get started, I wanted to get rods set up everywhere, set baits out at all distances, float on the top, float off the bottom, method feed……………like a child in a brand new playground. Sense had to prevail and knowing time was against me on this first exploratory trip I started by catapulting sweet corn to an area ten to twelve metres from the bank where I was sure there was a drop off. The water was not clear but with polarising sunglasses I could see a sudden change in the water colour. This I decided is where I would float fish. I am the first accept that you must take time to learn a water and it can take years. How many times do people roll up at a venue set up and just cast out into the water without thinking what is beneath? It is better when arriving somewhere you have never fished before that you take time to evaluate the water, weed beds, islands and reed beds also what you cannot see, shallows, gravel bars etc etc. Local knowledge is worth hundreds of hours fishing experience so it was pleasing to see two local fishermen arrive and set up with floats fifty metres to my right. I watched to see if they would fish off the top or the bottom………..the bottom. I followed suit with sweet corn on a size fourteen hook. The float was on a stop knot at a metre, enough split shot to take the hook down and I was up and running. That was the float fishing side taken care of for now.

I set my rod pod up and decided to use just one rod for distance until I knew more about the waters. I made up a simple bolt rig with a one hundred and twenty gram tube weight, then cast out a boilie on a hair rig to within ten metres of the island. I sent a few boilies out with the catapult around the bait area near the island, set the alarm and had a sit down, it was getting warm.
Coffee was on, I sat and took in the scenery, this was a fantastic place to be. I watched my fellow Spanish fishermen and they were not having much success, still neither was I for that matter, it did not matter for the moment it was just good to be here.
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