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Ebro catfishing

Gavin Hoe-Richardson

Senior Member
I've recently returned from four days fishing for catfish on the Ebro in north-east Spain. I can highly recommend my host and guide Al Henderson, his expertise ensured that I got off the mark at the first time of asking and my incompetence in dealing with very big river catfish meant that I didn't add to the tally despite hook ups!

For those of us who enjoy watching the birdlife there's the added bonus that Al is an expert in identification, we reckoned on around forty different species over the four days including marsh harriers, ospreys and booted eagles. A very enjoyable trip in good company.

www.ebro-catfishing.com
 

Paul Richardson

Senior Member
Nice one Gavin - I'm going to check this out and was looking for a recommendation.
Presumably this guide puts you on the fish but you do the rest?
I'd heard stories of some Ebro guides who have a loads of rods set up and you take turns when one of them goes off ?
Bod bothering is a definite bonus. I can't believe last week I actually saw a male peregrine going hammer & tongs with a male blackbird on the pavement adjacent to the main road of my village, but I did. They have started to nest on the cliffs close to us and this one had obviously come inland, but still took some comprehending!
 

Gavin Hoe-Richardson

Senior Member
Hi Paul, they take a maximum of three anglers per boat but usually just one or two and you get your own rod! There were two of us fishing and in some swims you could get three rods out so we decided between us who would get the other rod. You're very much left to handle the rods, the guide will manoeuvre the boat away from snags if required.
 

Bryce Henderson

Senior Member
Hi Paul you will enjoy it, although I'm biased as Al is my youngest son. I've been going out for going on 20 years and he has been guiding since 2001.
If you want any general information on a trip feel free to call me 07939 522220.
Gavin and I had thin pickings on our visit which is no consolation to Gav but most unusual, our trip being bracketed by fish over 100lbs both the day before and the day after our sessions.
I'm going out there on a birding trip shortly which is another of Als enterprises. Lots of "BotD's"
www.ebrodeltabirding.com
 

Paul Richardson

Senior Member
Hi Both - booked today for August -absolutely buzzing - Al is very helpful and cannot wait.
We see this as a recce, the plan to emulate what you're doing Bryce and it being a regular annual trip.
I wouldn't class myself as a 'Bod botherer'( as they say in 'Ull) but do love to see them, especially the raptors, so a definite bonus.
I will most definitely take you up on your offer Bryce- very kind of you.
Really pleased to get this in the diary as I have been utterly despondent over the debacle that is the seal in the Topcliffe/Asenby stretch of the Swale - which was my happy place. Time for pastures new.
 

Gavin Hoe-Richardson

Senior Member
Glad you've booked Paul, you won't regret it. I've got a real dilemma, I love my barbel fishing but am itching to get back out there to catch a 100lb+ fish in the autumn. Al has just updated his blog, the 218lb fish that they had recently looks huge! There was one fish that I was (briefly) connected to, with a 5lb t.c. rod and 200lb leader I couldn't do anything with it and it got in a submerged tree. Makes you wonder! At least with the bluefin tuna hooked close to the surface in 3000m of water I can let them run a bit if they want!
 

Bryce Henderson

Senior Member
Just hope the seal didn't decimate the lower Bradford City bit Paul, I have fond memories of some swims down there towards Cod Beck.
Has it gone back to sea yet or been humanely discouraged?
 

Paul Richardson

Senior Member
To the best of my knowledge it's still there Bryce
Glad you've booked Paul, you won't regret it. I've got a real dilemma, I love my barbel fishing but am itching to get back out there to catch a 100lb+ fish in the autumn. Al has just updated his blog, the 218lb fish that they had recently looks huge! There was one fish that I was (briefly) connected to, with a 5lb t.c. rod and 200lb leader I couldn't do anything with it and it got in a submerged tree. Makes you wonder! At least with the bluefin tuna hooked close to the surface in 3000m of water I can let them run a bit if they want!
As the young uns say Gavin - YOLO - you know the answer :)
I was having a sneaky peek at some Ebro vids last night and that's my kind of fishing, especially off a boat. As much as I enjoyed Thailand and the fish pulled real hard, it was muddy hole fishing on steroids - if they got into water hyacinth beds, the ghillies could go in and persuade them out.
These catfish are wild and doubtless know all the tricks, just like our big chub and barbel.Love it.
 

Paul Richardson

Senior Member
To the best of my knowledge it's still there Bryce. It appears to be on the hunt and moving downstream and has been spotted at Asenby Island. That was last week so if it systematically grazing the river then unfortunately no stretch of the lower Swale is safe until it goes.
My pal was fish-spotting at Topcliffe road bridge for the chub( as seen in Charly Farly videos) -normally black with big chub and a healthy population of barbel - 3 small chub and 2 barbel this week. We hope and pray that some have taken refuge in the willow roots etc, but we don't know how seals hunt in rivers and common sense dictates that evolution has made them pretty damn efficient.
There is chatter that it will be netted but it's been in this stretch at least 5 weeks now and it's been the same waffle from the authorities all this time. Very,very sad.
 

Paul Richardson

Senior Member
Well all thanks to you Gavin
Just landed back and what an adventure
We were just starting to acclimatise as well.It was hot, damn hot 32-33degC) but made bearable by a nice sea breeze most days
Fishing was challenging which I do like and I did struggle hitting a couple of runs on the first day but did manage a 54 which I was over the moon with
Day 2 and I was in the zone. Not long in the first swim and the middle rod tore off and I whacked it as instructed by Al
A long powerful fight ensued and after a bit of a drama with a snag Al finally hoisted her in the boat
What a magnificent creature. Nige hit and lost one later in the day but that was our lot but we had a fantastic meal in the town washed down by some brilliant rioja
Day 3 of 3 was another scorcher and by now we knew that we were fishing for one or two bites but with the potential for a fish of a lifetime
Right in the middle of the day when we were all chatting about nothing in particular, Nige's rod tore off with clearly another big fish stripping line off the clutch and heading like a train to a dead tree in the margin
Al soon has us after it and after a shorter but more violent fight we had another behemoth in the boat
Truly more than either of us could have wished for
Al was both an outstanding guide and excellent company and obviously he put us on the fish and his skill as a skipper ensured we kept attached to them. We were chuffed to bits when he accepted our invitation for a meal at the harbour last night as he is a great lad and made the trip for us
His accommodation is first class and he and Wendy go above and beyond to make the trip as enjoyable and as productive as possible
I've done quite a few guided trips and this was the best by a long way
100% booking again for next year and if anyone out there fancies some serious river fishing in amazing surroundings then contact Al
BOTD - Monday - booted eagle for Nigel , Hoopoe for me
BOTD - Tuesday - 5 or 6 Golden Oriols
BOTD - Wednesday - A huge flock of storks migrating back to Africa
Thanks again Gavin and Bryce
 

Bryce Henderson

Senior Member
That's a great post Paul, I'm glad you enjoyed yourselves with the bonus of some extra special fish. Despite the number I have caught during going on 20 years my biggest is 162 ( I think).
I have forwarded your post on to Al and both he and Wendy are very appreciative, they do their best to look after visitors on the basis that they hope people will return. Gavin and I have just booked another trip for next April with the diary filling
BotD : I would had picked the booted eagle, agree on the golden orioles and the storks
 
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