Vantastic Lukas: Christmas session at the Megasee

Vantastic Lukas: Weihnachtssession am Megasee | Hammer Tackle


In mid-December, Bianca and I spent our time on the coast of the Algarve. We looked for places that seemed “safe” to us and where we didn’t have to expect police contact. Of course it was never really safe, because none of our places were designated motorhome parking spaces. Since the beginning of December, a new law has been in force in Portugal, which prohibits overnight stays on all sites that are not specifically designated for motorhomes. The feeling of doing something illegal was often present. After we spent a few days in Portugal for the first time with many other campers on a site right by the sea, it was time for a little more peace and solitude.

Bad start at the mega reservoir

So it's exactly the right moment to head inland again. The goal had been clear to me for a long time, it just wasn't clear when we would get there. It should happen faster than planned. My fishing license had been extended and the fishing waters on the way to the actual destination were less interesting than previously expected.

So we should spend the Christmas days fishing at the largest reservoir in Europe. With a size of 25,000 hectares and a barely manageable amount of tributaries, this lake was an absolute challenge and a completely new dimension for me. Of course, I had fished in many large bodies of water, but this lake eclipsed everything I had done before. The search for a suitable position was a completely different matter. When we arrived at the lake on December 20th, 2020, a day marked by constant rain, the first thing I did was get stuck on one of the access roads. Unfortunately, we couldn't find a suitable place that day, so in the evening we only went to an easily accessible slip area to spend the night. The next morning, armed with Google Maps, I went looking for a job. I wanted to spare Bianca from this, after all I knew how much time and nerves could be lost.

A few bumpy and muddy roads later, I found a suitable spot in the afternoon. A small headland in one of the lake's many branches. I didn't have an exact procedure. The only important thing was that we could reach the spot with the vans and be away from the crowds. Of course, I also relied on my fishing instincts as to whether the spot could potentially be suitable for carp fishing

Those damn pests!

I guided Bianca to the spot in question and in the meantime started looking for a spot with the fold. The structure corresponded to a typical reservoir, there were steep edges, islands, hard and soft bottom and a little weed. I set my rods at different depths and primarily fed particles. Thanks to a Portuguese contact, I knew that this lake was teeming with “black catfishes”, a small species of catfish that I had never heard of before. In fact, early in the evening two of my rods responded and I caught my first fish of this species. At first I was happy about the quick action and the species of fish that was previously unknown to me. However, as the following five days (or rather nights) went on, my initial euphoria was gone. Not to mention Bianca's mood, because she found the nightly interruptions anything but funny. No matter what I tried, the beasts were everywhere and they bit everything. It was like a damn invasion, a real plague! After who knows how many catfish later, I was at a loss as to what else I could try. The only option for me was a job change.

Job hunting on Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve I went job hunting again. The places previously targeted on Google Maps turned out to be impassable right from the start, so my location round was delayed again by a few hours. Unsatisfied, I drove back to our place in the afternoon, where Bianca was already waiting for me. None of the places I looked at met my fishing expectations. In any case, it was already too late to move that day. So I decided to spend Christmas Eve relaxing at the “catfish spot”. We tried to get at least a little into the Christmas spirit with our illuminated eucalyptus tree. I'm no longer sure whether I just thought it or actually said it that a Christmas carp like that would be really nice.

The U-turn

As if this wish had been granted by Santa Claus, that evening I was presented with the first carp on this gigantic lake. Not the biggest, but the beginning had been made and the joy was great. Two more carp followed that night, one of which was my Portuguese PB. I did not understand the world anymore. Suddenly there were carp in the spot that a few hours ago was teeming with catfish! Only the onshore wind that had picked up during the day could have been responsible. After the nightly activities, I naturally put the planned job change on hold. Winds should continue to blow toward our shores for the next two days and temperatures should fall into the low single digits at night. The conditions seemed to have driven the catfish away and the carp onto our shore. I adapted my tactics to the wind and threw all the rods into the bank area. I only took the boat into the waves to feed particles. For the next three days I was able to catch carp on all rods using this tactic. All rubbish, nothing huge, but I had a lot of fun. The only thing that counted for me was the fact that I was able to catch carp on this lake after all the by-catches. That was adventure and freedom for me!

When it's at its best you should go!

As the wind died down on the third night, the bites also decreased. Since our food and water supplies were beginning to run out and the weather inland was expected to become uncomfortably cold in the coming days, we decided to celebrate New Year's Eve somewhere by the sea. After what was probably the last but very successful session, we said goodbye to Portugal and drove to the coast of Spain, which was not far away.

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