With us the flash flood

Wels Catfish

March 2013 .  Spain  .  Rio Ebro

Martin Sack

The last four years we had made awesome catches on our trips to the Rio Ebro at the beginning of spring time. Three times we managed to catch eight catfish more than 2m at one day, once we caught even nine cats more than 2m by only eight hours fishing! We had seen sessions with up to 43 catfish in one day and were very excited and prepared for the all the things coming this trip.

But this year everything was different. Already in January Zaragoza faced an unusual high flood of the Ebro. The winter had been warm with a lot of rain at some places. In comparison to the lowest levels at the previous summer the volume of water per second had raised up of the factor hundred to the highest levels this year! Therefore we had a look at the river stages long time before. Just by starting our journey the situation seemed to get a little bit more normal allowing an effective fishing. However, in comparison with our last trip in autumn we had at the moment ten times more water at the same stretch.

We had fished in the past with success also by high water levels and chose for this trip an approved place for these circumstances. At the beginning we had temperatures up to 22°C and the water temperatures had reached 11°C. Perfect, we were here nearly alone at the water and could locate some active catfish. At the first fishing day followed rising water levels again and complete trees came down the river. Sometimes it was not possible to fish and at night it was too dangerous to drive with the boat on the water. With the rising water levels started also a heavy storm up to 80km/h, lasting for three days. The highest temperatures of the days declined down to 5-10°C and at the night we had freezing. In short time the water temperature cooled down to 6-7°C.

We hoped every day that the water temperatures will reach the magically 8°C and not more water will coming down the Ebro. At 7°C we could expect 1-3 bites per day, at 6°C the catfish activities were nearly zero.

After one week started a continuous rain and at the upper Rio Ebro started the next high water wave. Because we didn´t expected a rising of the water temperatures at the following days we decided to finish this tour and to continue at better conditions.

As anglers we live in and with the nature and our passion is not a bookable all-inclusive holiday. So we gathered some new important findings, stayed alive and kicking and tried the best in this situation as a team also in hard times. And tried at the end to make nevertheless some nice pictures!

Many thanks also to Theo and Mario for your many messages of water level and weather forecasts!



Angler: Minca , Martin

Cats more than 1m: 8

Cats more than 2m: 4


2.Day:1                                                                  1.14

3.Day:1                                                                                 2.05

4.Day:2                                                                   2.09 - 1.65

5.Day:2                                                                                1.86 – 1.85


7.Day:2                                                                  2.12 - 2.06


Travel Quote