Catfishing in Spain: Ultimate River Ebro Fishing Guide

Catfishing in Spain: River Ebro Fishing

When it comes to catfishing, river Ebro is the best location in Spain, and one of the best in Europe. Keep on reading to find out all you need to know.

Located on the Iberian Peninsula, Ebro river is the longest river flowing entirely within the Spanish borders.

From the source until it reaches the sea, this river flows through multiple towns, and attracts tourists from all over the world.

More importantly, Ebro river is a famous fishing location. It is home to carp, various predatory fish, even some endemic fish species, but most of all to enormous wels catfish and channel catfish.

When it comes to catfishing, river Ebro is the best location for catfishing in Spain, and one of the best in Europe.

It is ideal for both experienced anglers and beginners.

There are numerous tourist agencies located nearby, offering unforgettable fishing experiences.

If you are in a search for excellent catfishing location, keep on reading to find out everything you need to know about catfishing in Ebro river.

Where and when to catfishing on Ebro river

If you are not sure where to go and you don’t want to be bothered with searching for a perfect spot, you can always contact a local agency to book a fishing trip.

Location

For the ones more adventurous, there is no limit.

Catfish can be found in usual places such as deep holes, covered and protected area, shelves and ponds. Crowded locations should be avoided if possible.

Some anglers even use online maps and satellite images of the area to choose a location.

Wels catfish can be found along the whole river length but the lower river is home to some really huge specimens.

Catfish that weigh more than 100 pounds are quite frequent. Some specimens were more than 250 centimetres long, weighing more than 200 pounds.

It is hard to single out the best locations, but according to some experienced anglers, you should try fishing near Mequineza village, where fish live in smaller number, but they are greater in size.

Another good location is near Caspe village.

Large fish move around, and some anglers choose location where river is not so wide so that they can intercept them, as they are able to cover the whole area.

Season

When talking about seasons, some are better than other for catfishing in Spain.

Autumn, from September to November, is good because of the river level, which is stable. Also, fish are trying to feed as much as they can to gain weight for winter.

With lowering temperatures, just before winter, fish activity is getting low.

In winter, from December to February, catfishing is possible but the fish are less active. Still, some large catfish specimens were caught in winter. River level slightly rises, and outside temperatures are pleasant.

During spring, from March to May, weather can be unpredictable but it gets warmer. Spring floods can occur. Fish are becoming more active and during this time you can catch a lot of catfish, including trophy size. Catfish spawning season is in May. There is no closed fishing season during spawn, but it can be challenging to catch them at that time.

Summer, from June to August is the best time to fish for catfish. After spawn season they start to feed aggressively and their activity is at the highest point.

River Ebro fishing is spectacular no matter the location and anywhere you go, you will have a very exciting fishing holiday.

This river is wild, water levels vary and stormy weather can occur because of its geographical position.

And huge wild catfish are a true challenge.

READ MORE: 6 Best Locations for Carp Fishing in Slovenia

Catfishing in Spain: River Ebro Fishing - Monster Catfish

Best Gear and Technique for Catfishing in Spain

Before heading to the water, make sure you are well-equipped.

Some anglers have heavy-duty fishing gear, necessary for trophy size catfish, but others should consider booking a guide and renting the equipment.

Bait and lures

One of the most effective ways of catching a huge catfish is with halibut pellets.

This frequently used method is similar to fishing with boilies. Anglers hair-rig the bait, or multiple baits, on a ledger rig. The only difference is the gear. Bigger rods and reels are required.

Catfish have excellent sense of smell so try using very smelly pellets.

Excessive baiting is not allowed but keep in mind that this river is very big and wild. You will need a serious amount of bait if you want to be successful. Few kilograms per rod during one day is a quantity you will need for large catfish.

If you want an extra challenge, try fishing with spinning rod and reel and lures, especially ones that are very loud and make a lot of vibrations. Catfish are very sensitive to vibration and correctly presented lure will seem like a prey. They should be casted in strong currents.

Rod and reel

When it comes to rods and reels, rule is the bigger the better.

Strong and powerful rods should be combined with big pit reels with free spools. Main lines should be 500 meters long and 0,4 millimetres in diameter.

As the river currents are strong, leads should weigh at least 250 grams.

Shock leaders are mandatory because the river bottom is full of mussels that cut the lines. It should be about 5 metres long and 0,6 millimetres in diameter.

Use strong and suitable hooks.

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Catfishing in Spain: River Ebro Fishing - Rod, reel and lures

Catch and Release fishing on river Ebro

There are two main reasons why catfish are growing huge in Ebro river.

One of them is geographical; average water temperatures are higher than in rivers where we usually find catfish. That means they can feed trough the year, without long winter break. Catfish are not native to Ebro river. They were introduced more than 30 years ago.

Other reason is Catch and Release fishing. Anglers catch huge specimens, take a picture and release them back into the water. Those specimens can spawn and produce new fish who are likely to inherent the size.

Also, releasing huge fish is good for tourist business.

Tips and Tricks for Ebro river fishing

No one knows every tiny detail about river Ebro fishing, but here are some tips for first-timers visiting this extraordinary location.

Catfish behaviour

Catfish are keeping close to each other, and they can travel long distance searching for food.

Some anglers wrongly think they are lazy and spend time in the same hole all the time. Mullet fish is their favourite food and mullets live in the lower 30 miles of Ebro river. Some places can be completely vast, and in another abundance of catfish appear. They are attracted to stream inlets, slacks and sewer outfalls. Catfish will feed aggressively in those locations, especially in the afternoon.

Catfish location regarding to river flow

Avoid middle part of the river. Water is cooler due to strong currents and greater depths. Try to find a line where fast river flow meets margin slack.

Night Fishing

Try to find a location where night fishing is legal.

Most of the river Ebro fishing takes place during the day. One reason is that in some parts night fishing is forbidden. Other reason is that tourists who are paying day trips fish during the day.

Catfish are very active during night and because less anglers present their baits at that time, your chances become higher.

Fishing companion

This may seem a bit silly, but if it is your first time trying to catch a trophy size catfish, you should think about handling that enormous catch. That is not the same as a few kilograms fish on a local pond.

If there is a chance you will catch something too large to handle by yourself, make sure you have a helper. It would be a shame to lose a catch of a lifetime!

Rules and regulations for catfishing on river Ebro

Rules and regulations for river Ebro fishing, depending on location, are under two regulatory bodies.

One is Catalonia, and other one is Aragon.

Both are able to issue a fishing permit, which is mandatory for every angler.

Having a valid licence is mandatory, same as having a fishing ticket. Licences can be obtained online and day tickets are sold in various places near the river.

If fishing from a boat near to Catalonia-Aragon border, it can be hard to determine which licence and day ticket anglers need.

In Aragon, fishing is permitted from sunrise until 10 PM, while in Catalonia anglers can fish 24 hours a day.

Catalonian and Aragon licences have some differences, and you should familiarise yourself with both.

Some of the most important rules are the following:

• Using live bat is not allowed.
Sardines are the only allowed dead fish baits.
• Fishing nets are not allowed, same as keeping live fish in them.
• Excessive prebaiting is forbidden.
• Every angler can have up to two fishing rods.

While catfishing in Spain, make sure you obey all the rules and regulations.

Conclusion

Catfishing in Spain, on Ebro river, is one of the most exciting fishing experience anglers can have.

Wide choice of fishing locations provides endless possibilities for everyone’s taste. Enormous wels catfish, especially in the lower river parts are real fighters on the hook.

Dozens of nearby towns and villages offer accommodation options for multiple day fishing. Life around the river is organised in a way that fishing is always within a reach.

River Ebro fishing requires skill, experience and strong equipment. For less experienced anglers, numerous agencies offer single or multiple day fishing trips, together with equipment or boat rental.

Make sure you obey the rules and regulations and enjoy fishing trip od a lifetime!

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