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A years fishing and now coming to the end of my guiding for the year. This is when the mighty Ebro slows down. After what can only be described as a fantastic month through October having landing so many big carp; 45 Commons over 40lb up to 49lb 5oz and yes three 50lb + fish to 54lb 5oz, what more could I want. Well I wanted to go fishing for me to see what I can do on my own. Relaxation was needed after all the hard work all year. Believe it or not this was only my second personal trip this year. My first venture out ,back in March was with another guide Gareth where we had a crazy night with 15 30's, 6 40's to 47.04lbs and I had a new PB of 52lb 5oz seen below with another of the 40s I had sacked that same hour. During this the rods were still going off. As a guide you see you just don't get to put a rod out for yourself that often, it's not possible. People just take it thinking it's for them that's ok but does get a little tiresome sometimes. So now I don't bother at all. To the right is the Photo of Andrew swain with his October 54lb common. Andrew Swain with a 54lb Common Carp Ebro

So the trip was on! I contacted a couple of friends of mine; Carlos Sassot a very good well know Spanish angler who fishes a lot of major regional and national competitions, plus fellow angler and friend Trunko, or as we like to call him 'José'. The plan was to fish all through from Saturday morning to Sunday Evening. I contacted Shaun Harrison from Quest Baits for who I had been chatting with for some time now and asked for the magic Chili Chocolate. Shaun told me there was some in Spain and I managed to get hold of three kilos plus a tub of juicy Chili Chocolate Pop Ups kindly sent to me by Gordon who runs Blackfish.es. It was Friday night looking after the kids waiting for my wife to come home. I had a thought instead of just sleeping for the next 6 hours before I pack the car why not go tonight after the wife gets here. That did not go down too well with the wife but anyway off I went 1.00am me and my friend Simba (that's my dog for those that don't know by now). She's the one that keeps nicking my bed. We arrived at the same location I had caught all the 40's and 50s'. Now I did not take my boat this time, don't ask me why I just don't know. The river was calm and looked so inviting, I was just starting to unpack the car and crash, a huge carp has showed on the far bank. Superb, I thought rubbing my hands with glee. It makes you rush when you hear those lumps crashing out. All the time I was unpacking I could hear carp all over. From one side of the river to the other. Bivvy set up rods on pod first rod in.

Rigs for this session were simple, pictures attached here with the line aligner rig and a well balanced Pop Up from Quest Baits what a superb feeling you get from the texture and smell plus the ingredients; simply magical. Rigs were acurately positioned some 150m out right on the spot. I decided to only put two rods out as that is the legal limit here on the Ebro. Sliding into the snug Trakker sleeping bag, man that is so warm in there. First of all I had to get rid of Simba, a couple of growl's and got her tucked up into a lovely fleece cover with waterproof outer cover, like the throw over's you have for bivvy's. Once in she was snoring as usual. Not 15 minutes had passed and there was a slow pull on the Fox alarms, three slow bleeps then slowly faster. I slid (well, fell) out of the sleeping bag, Simba running past me thinking a fox was there (as she likes to chase them off) tripping over the dam edge of the cooker... numpty. Who the hell put that there only me for miles around whilst Simba was running round as if to say what where is it. Bouncing like a mad rabbit on fire. She suddenly realised there was nothing during that time I had struck into something solid. And it wasn't a fish, first thoughts oh no catfish but second later I knew it was not carp, nor catfish but dam weed. Not good I told myself. Whilst winding the rod in the second rod began sliding off the pod, bending like mad I thought the worst had happened. Not me not now I did not deserve this. Carp Fishing Rigs Chod Pop Up Leadcore Rig

So a long hard haul in weed cleaned off both rods, Simba by now had nicked my bed yet again and was snoring. Cast back out. Yet again the weed got the better of me but until an hour later now it was getting on for 4.00am. Weary eyed and sick of weed I decide to wind them in and get up a few hours later. A few hours sleep and feeling hungry I risen to a superb sunrise, you always get them over the eastern facing lengths of the Ebro. Little cold and hungry, first order of the day coffee followed by newly baited rods. And oh yes breakfast for Simba as well. Sausages. I was now wishing I had bought my boat for some odd reason, I always do but still able to cast over to the far bank I just thought why? Anyways, rods pre baited I cast them to a nice shingle bank, one of two that run along in front of me for some 300m. It's an odd feature here as it's the only place along this stretch where they are like that. Up-river deep water and in front of me and down river the shingle banks and shallower water still with the option if I walked some 50m up river I can fish or at least cast into deeper water without having to move the camp.

River Ebro Carp Rigs Both rods back out. And it soon became very aware to me that the river was on the rise. You don't really feel that when your half asleep and its mid morning. But I was also aware that the weed was along the bottom and had come a long way down river. Maybe they were cutting it, or opening the dams from the upper regions of Huesca as there had been no rain in the last few days. Anyways in situations like this you just have to make the best of them. No way was I going home or giving up not for anything. It was my time and I had to beat my PB for that year a new 50+ common. I had already lost what was estimated to be a near 60 twice from this spot. So I knew they were there. The morning passed and I received a call from Carlos, he will be a little later then planned, no worries mate you're not losing out not had a fish yet I told him. A murmur came from his end as if to say but normally you've caught by now which we both knew was true. Ok mate, bye for now.

The day continued to be the same, weed for which did slow down at times but I did have a couple of what could have been runs, very slow which most of them are. But still different from the slow pulling of line when you have weed dragging it down river. 14.00hrs Carlos and Trunko arrived smiles on there face. So come on then what have you caught. I smiled back and replied nothing mate not a fish yet. He looked twice at me and thought I was joking, no serious Carlos nothing at all, ok well he thought nothing mate honestly weed only . Not good you could see Carlos; his face was not saying I am happy at all. If you know Carlos he says nothing when he's not happy or when he's thinking of rigs to use. Setting up all the time fish were crashing out again. I had not seen much until Carlos and José got there. But this did put smiles on all our faces. Plus the fact Carlos had his boat, which i then pumped up, ready to get the baits out as tight as possible to the far bank. First two rods out on the far side, not good by the time I had got back, the river had tricked us it was pulling through a lot faster than I could ever imagined ripping the rods right round even with 8oz of lead on. Spanish Common Carp Fishing On The River Ebro

Looking at each other the decision was made for me to shoot off to have at look at the beach swims or playa in Spanish. On my arrival there was nobody in sight, but the river was pulling through the same here as it was up river. All afternoon it became hard work rowing the baits out persistently trying to pull fish from the far bank. The rod pods now as high as possible and looking like some beach fishing competition. Now 17.00hrs I had a slow pull not like weed similar to the other couple of bites I had. I left it and watched the rod slowly bounce round I said that has to be fish surely. Winding down and a strike into what I thought was yet again weed. It wasn't until I got the hook some 10m from the shore I realised that weed doesn't swim up river and now with a big smile against all these odds I had caught, how big was another factor, the supreme Chili Chocolate has done it for me. Coming to the surface with a fair set of shoulders on her a lovely common. Carlos grabbed the net and first take she was in. Smiles all round and I have to admit we all thought we were not going to land anything due to the weedy and fast river conditions. Onto the weigh station Scales went round and Carlos called it 31lb no hang on 32lb dead. Pat on the back from Carlos and José smiles from me done job done superb.

I have to say that night we al decided to give up after it became so apparent that the weed was winning and it was getting colder and damper - mental river conditions and the combination of all three. The decision was made, beers out and a good old chat of what we had caught. Me telling story's of the 200+ catfish and all the 50lb commons we have landed plus some of the 40lb fully scaled mirrors for which are rarer than rocking horse ****. I could tell you much more but there are too many stories to tell, here is a link to even more photos from the Ebro and my professional guided tours - Carp Dream Fishing



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