No country for small cats

Wels Catfish

September/October 2011 .  Span  .  Rio Ebro

Martin Sack

Right from the planning stage of this year´s autumn tour everything was very exciting. A lack of information previously and lowest water levels brought us to arrange the outdoor-trip as flexible as possible. For that we stowaged next to the dinghy with motor also the very practicable air canoe in the off-road vehicle. So we had the optimal equipment even for the option to move to the nature protection areas or as last alternative to the Petit Rhone in France.

We used the first day for a systematic exploration tour. The Embalse de Mequinenza had already a water level of thirteen meters below maximum level.

In Caspe there was a situation like on a bathing beach. Campers everywhere, bathing-dinghy’s on the water, a lot of rubbish and the Ebro was coloured into muddy green colour, caused by the long continuous drought. At this low water you could made good pictures of snags normally being under the surface. But we didn’t want to fish or camp here. So we needed another part of the river. Experimental we decided to go to an alternative stretch. I thought we could give this place only a short try – on the third day I already started to mount the roof luggage rack for the dinghy. And ignored Mincas gut feeling to spend here more time. Just after the pronounced female foreboding one top of a rod went down violently and the first really big cat lay on our unhooking mat. I gave this part of the river some days more. But the tide of events moved forward and developed itself to a memorable session. The highlights were with no doubt the last two full days on which every one of us experienced very own magic moments catching in each case three cats more than 2,20m.

Cat-newcomer Minca evolved quickly the required respect for the river and had to fight with cats up to 2,28m. Sadly we had to free this fish from a rotten rope through the gills, tied by people with no respect in earlier times – happily the cat could escape.

Now I had fished lot’s of weeks at the banks of the Ebro, but this was even for me my best angling trip ever with the two biggest fishes of my life, being 2,38 and 2,40m long. Thereby one fight and landing alone in the dinghy – adrenaline pure! At the end I finished the tour with my hundredth cat more than 2m. Just the absolutely mania!


Angler: Minca , Martin

Cats more than 1m: 55

Cats more than 2m: 28

1.Day:                                                                                                                                                                  2.00

2.Day:                                                                                                                                                              2.00 - 1.80

3.Day:                                                                                                                                                                2.24 – 1.68

4.Day:                                                                                                                                                      – 1.84 – 1.79

5.Day:                                                                                                                                                       - 1.97 – 1.91 – 1.69 – 1.71

6.Day:                                                                                                                                                                1.98 – 1.65

7.Tag:                                                                                                                                                                       2.382.272.16 - 1.88 – 1.81 – 1.81 – 1.80 – 1.67

8.Day:                                                                                                                                                      – 1.96 – 1.58 – 1.29

9.Day:                                                                                                                                                       – 1.79 – 1.75

10.Day:                                                                                                                                                             2.22 - 1.92 – 1.76 – 1.60 – 1.60 – 1.50

11.Day:                                                                                                                                                                 2.402.352.232.17

12.Day:                                                                                                                                                    - 1.94 – 1.71

13.Day:                                                                                                                                                                  2.17

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