November getaway by the queen of Spanish rivers was in planning for a few months then, yet it was our guide who had a last word on the final destination - Jarin Valchar. We decided to go to the Riba Roja reservoir. Based in the Rio Ebro Ranch - home of an incredible vibe and amazing staff, we were conveniently located in a way that allowed us to quickly reach the best spots. If you think about that all, Rio Ebro Ranch is a great spot for a fishing camp.
First afternoon passed on unpacking and technical briefing, while the night was dedicated to a celebration of our teammate, Mariusz Walczyk’s birthday (happy birthday once again Mariusz!). True cherry on top was an official welcoming of our guide – Jarin to Mikado testing team. It all looked great! Yet as any experienced angler knows, even the most fish infested waters can sometimes play tricks. That precisely was a case of our beginnings there, as we went straight into the weather breakdown. First two days were rather hard. Perches and zanders weren’t too keen to react to our baits and catfish seemed to be hidden somewhere in general. We got there to angle after all! Not giving up, we decided that persistence is the key to success and that the first strikes are just a matter of time. It came out that the key to the fishery were the legendary Fishunters. Their aggressive action made the sleepy fish react and more and more reports of strikes started coming in. Except for a dozen of decent perches caught, one crew managed to score two zanders of over 80cm! That gave us hope, that terrible yet slowly more stable weather will awake some fish.
Consecutive days brought more strikes, yet some of them were so delicate that if it wasn’t for Kendo Shine rods, they would be hardly possible to react to. Hardly hooked perches, thanks to the smooth action of the brake in Black Crystal reels and marvelous work of the blanks weren’t escaping at all. Old but gold Kamisori Zander & Perch rods passed their exams with flying colors as well! We decided to give a chance to a new Furrore reel too, that only assured us about its great potential with its work. Once the fish became more active the time has come for the Fish Fry and Saira lures. At the end of the day we had quite a few impressive zanders with the biggest one exceeding 85cm! The lucky angler was Łukasz Krupiewski. Perches were also rather active and we caught lots of them – especially within the 30-40cm range. There were bigger ones as well though – Łukasz striked again with a 46cm beast… incredible result! I am more than certain that the spinning hunger within our team got appeased.
Let’s get back to our sleepy catfish though. There’s no way to hide it… it was hard. First two days were spent on “testing” the water. Only the next days started bringing some effects. The closer to the end of our adventure the bigger the fish we caught. Armed in Drift Clonk rods and Amok reels, we were going through kilometers of waters each day. First big fish were hauled in rather careful manner in order not to lose it. Once our hunger passed, we decided that every other hauling will be as hard as possible.
And hard it was! Oh boy, I’ve got to admit that all the equipment went through a true catfish warefare. Rods were bending to a very bottom; reels with the brakes set to the maximum were steadily opposing the fish while the Cat Territory Octa Braid 0.70 allowed hauling of the heaviest fish. When it comes to the strikes themselves – well… BKK! Raptor Treble hooks keep surprising us all the time. A few times they pierced through a hard as a bone skin of the catfish while staying insanely sharp. Speaking of the baits and methods used – we mostly relied on Bogeys armed with BKK hooks and our own Fireballs, being still in concept stage. We were angling vertically with clonks and without them. Some of the fish, unwilling to go for a lure, were attracted by the very aggressive action of Bogey. It is not a secret though, that during this season, there is no better lure than the live bite of a decent size or a dead fish. In this case, dead perches of at least 35cm were definitely killing it. Catfish were catching them very aggressively. Our brand new Fireball, armed with Beastly Cat hooks and Raptor-Z treble hooks passed the tests perfectly well, yet we will reveal more details about it next year. After all we caught quite a lot of catfish within 180-210cm range with two fish of 226cm and 230cm on top of that! The biggest catfish was caught by Michał Chełkowski.
Last night we were treated with a baked pig that filled us with warmth after a whole day out on the water. Ranch staff proved themselves once again. I am more than certain that everyone came back happy and accomplished. More importantly we came back with new experiences impossible to gather anywhere else and hopefully we will use them well next year!
Personally I would like to express my respect for a crew.
Thank to you all with whom I had a chance to spend some time by the Ebro. Making your dreams come true with such an amazing people truly is a double pleasure. You proved how professional group of people you are and the time spent with you is a true joy.
With a catfish regards,
Mikado Fishing Team