Twelve months spent persuading 'er indoors and then ten months since booking the trip were all forgotten when finally we made it to Mequinenza, the Catfishing capital of Spain(if not the world).Dave from the tackle shop and I had booked this trip with Catmaster tours and our guide John Deakin and we would thoroughly recommend them both. We arrived on the Sunday and after a few beers with the rest of our group we had an early night in anticipation of the 7.30am start the following morning.
It is quite a different method of fishing than any I have been previously used to. 150lb braid, stringers of pellets, rowing the baits out three times daily all takes some getting used to. Also the rod rotation system, known as knockout takes some adjustment too.
The first day was a roaring success as five of our six anglers had fish, mine being a biggest ever fish for me weighing 88lb, good start.
The problem with rod rotation is that I now sat it out until Dave had had a fish. This took 48 hours due to a quiet period for bites and two missed takes. Sitting on the bank from 7.30am until 12.00 midnight is hard enough but for two days and not actually fishing is really frustrating for an angler. The boredom set in and we took the piss out of each other, took the piss out of the guide, got pissed, unscrewed each others chairs so they collapsed and even took photos of the ants eating bits of pellets amongst other things.
Finally on day three Dave had his fish, all 185lb of it! I have a photo but this is my blog so stuff him!
The rules then meant the rods were back in my hands until I had a 'ton' fish.
This was Thursday and with only two days left I needed some divine help so there was only one tactic, praying!
It worked! The fish came thick and fast that day. Three in total. The first weighed 70lb.
The guide said that this one liked me and it was a sign of affection when they crap down your leg. I just hoped it was good luck like bird shit!
The next one weighed 67lb, they were getting smaller and my 'ton' was looking frustratingly less likely.
Then finally it happened. I hit into a fish that really tried to pull me in and took line off a super tight clutch. The power of these creatures is unbelievable and must be experienced by all anglers. She went 120lb on the scales and there was one very tired but relieved angler in Spain that night.
I was so relieved that I showed her my affectionate side. Well I have kissed worse looking things! (In my youth in case the wife reads this-not likely though as it's about fish!)
After that I felt anything would be a bonus and I could not believe it when my rod set off for the sea again. It proved to be an even bigger specimen at 126lb and my Spanish trip was complete. I will return though as I now have a new itch-for a 200lber!