Over the last year I have tried to visit as many venues throughout Spain as possible to find those special waters for anglers to go on my trips. The waters in the Extremadura region are possibly the best I have found. The River Guadiana feeds these exciting waters. This untapped river incorporating its lakes includes the Legendary Orellana, the Serena and Cijara, these lakes have been created by dams dating from the early 1960's and boast some of the finest Carp, Barbel and Pike fishing in Spain. The very special wild Comizo Barbel, native to Spain, thrives in the Guadiana river system and grow in excess of 40lb. Pursuing the Comizo Barbel is an awesome experience for even the most accomplished angler. The scene is then set, some of the largest, wildest fish in Europe just waiting to be caught……..just a wonderful experience.
Craig Reid, expert guide, moved down south from the Ebro to explore the area some time ago and immediately realised the potential of the angling to be gained there. I met up with Craig at the La Codorniz Hotel in Puebla De Alcocer, a sleepy hillside oasis which was to be my base for a few days. Even the proprietors son is a Black Bass champion and to find two in a tank in the bar was really no surprise. Jaime is obsessed with lure fishing for these fish along with giant Pike and has a collection of lures second to none. The bar has a small display selling some of the best examples he has come across. After discussing the pro’s and con’s of the fishing in the area over a delicious meal in the restaurant Craig and I arranged to meet up in the morning and go to Garcia, a water at the far end of Orellana. Some time ago my good friend and angling associate Peter Hampshire once remarked to me on arrival at a lake that he could smell the fish. These waters gave me the same feeling, it did not just look good it looked fantastic.
It is of the greatest importance, as with the Ebro, to have the correct equipment to fish for large wild species. Thirty pound braid coupled to one hundred pound braid leaders on large fixed spool reels and three pound test curve rods was what I had come armed with thankfully as Craig related some horror stories of rods and even anglers being dragged off the banks. This also displayed the importance of having a guide who knows the waters and the fish you are likely to catch. It makes no sense to try and catch fish such as these with tackle you would use locally here in our region. The end result is not only going to be expensive for you but could leave a fish damaged unnecessarily. The weather was scorching hot and although fish were topping all over I was happy to take advice and go for distance. Craig produced his Bait Boat and he also has an inflatable for pre-baiting. It was decided to send one line out on the boat with a full load of beans which would match the hook bait and drop it around two hundred metres away. The other line I would cast out and then use a spod rocket to provide the ground bait, reloading regularly. The boat set off with Craig at the controls and it disappeared into the distance, meanwhile I loaded the spod and sent out a mixture of nuts and beans. I lined my sights with a large tree on the other side to get some accuracy involved. After surfcasting so much I enjoyed the action of the spod rod which I have not used much down in our region. After several rocket loads were deposited on the lake bed I left the spod rocket as a marker and cast out the hook bait. It landed very near so I was happy. Craig had deposited the other hook bait a lot further out with the Bait Boat and as the heat of the day was nearing it’s worst we decided to just leave that one for the duration. The other I would reload and re spod every half hour or so. The rod pod alarms were set and we sat back to talk about the area more. I kept as close as possible to the rods as a two pound Carp or Barbel down in the waters of Murcia can have a vicious take so what these monsters would be capable of was something I would have to wait to experience.
Copyright © Gary Smith