For those readers new to the area or who are not familiar with some of the venues I mention in my weekly columns it may become frustrating reading about the competitions taking place at the various fishing venues in the regions covered by the Round Town News and not knowing where to get the information to enable you to fish these venues yourselves. Over the coming months I will endeavour to visit and fish as many of the popular fishing hotspots as possible and hopefully pass on information for you the reader. The first venue I visited on my tour was Embalse De Pedrera near Torremendo. A Valencian licence is required to fish the water.
The reservoir is easily reached by road from either the main A37 or the A7. It is also signposted in the area. From the A37 take the CV95 towards San Miguel de Salinas, (this exit is found in between the toll booths section) From the A7 take the N340 to Orihuela then Bigastro and the CV95 towards Torrevieja. The main road runs around the lake but access down to the lake is really 4x4 territory. I have seen many two wheel drive vehicles down there but I think it is risky to say the least so be very careful! The exploration of these vast waters is something that really needs local knowledge and as I have said before paying a guide or travelling with someone who has been before for the first trip may be sensible.
The water inlet is the favourite place for locals where a torrent of water enters the reservoir and attracts many feeding fish. Peter Hampshire my fly fishing guru was with me on this visit and although Peter is a fly man he was, many years ago, a top match angler so knows his stuff in waters such as these. We chose a spot which looked as though it had a fairly steep drop off near to the waters edge. A lot of water had been fed in since Peter’s last visit and the water level had risen dramatically. This is when it is a good idea to select chosen spots to fish and take photos of the specific location when the water levels are low so you can build up a picture of the peg and know where obstacles are. This would have been of great use on this particular day but this is all knowledge building and takes time. We set all our gear up and I decided I would target Barbel, Peter would go for the Carp patrolling nearer the edge. It was warm and sunny with a very light breeze blowing towards our shore…….perfect. Peter was using his homebrew bait mix which left his hands stained as though he had butchered somebody! I chose Dynamite Baits Birdfood Boilies. Five in a PVA bag, one of which was on a hair rig, the hook point poked through the bag to keep everything in place on the cast. A six and a half kilogram mainline with a heavy shock leader running the length of the rod and to the ground, around four metres in total, then a Korda running lead set up and Grauvell hair rig at the business end.
Several groups where fishing around the water and the temperature was rising together with the wind which was changing and blowing now from our right. No one seemed to be catching and neither were we. We had started our session at eleven o’clock and things were very quiet, a few line knocks but no bites. We sat back and enjoyed the scenery. The sheer beauty of the surroundings in our region is something that is so enjoyable, watching birds and water fowl, and pass away the hours so quickly. A few bait reloads and a few coffees later and things started to happen, Peter caught a small Carp, then as we relaxed back in our chairs all hell broke loose. My two rods were set on a rod pod with bite alarms and indicators for an early warning of a take. I never heard a beep. The rod pod was pulled over and a long solid scream of the alarm sounded as I fumbled to grab the rod. The baitrunner reel was letting line strip off the spool at an alarming rate and luckily I had remembered to back the main front drag off so when the baitrunner locked the spool the fish could still take line although at a slower rate and not just come to a stop and break the line. This fish had taken the bait at fifty metres but was now well over seventy as I collected my thoughts and Peter came over to pick the landing net up. This fish was fighting and no doubt was a large Barbel. I tried to keep the line tight even as it thrashed and pulled in the other direction. I had not been snagged all day and confidently brought the fish to the shore, but at ten metres everything stopped dead, I let the fish have some slack line. It moved and I hoped it would come to the surface. It didn’t and as much as I tried, the line would not budge, the fish had gone. This was something I had been warned of at Pedrera - do not let the Barbel have any slack line or they will be off. A very big lesson learned once again! The session carried on and Peter caught one after the other, small Carp but none the less good sport. I cast back to where I had been and after twenty minutes another violent take, not as fierce as before but a hard take, this time I brought the fish in with the rod high and giving no slack. A three kilogram Barbel for my efforts which made up a little for the much bigger one that got away. A good day in very pleasant surroundings but the wind does blow most days here in the afternoon so pick your spot accordingly.
Copyright © Gary Smith