It’s three weeks that I left the (actually not so) sunny South and returned to Middle Europe. It feels like ages though. And I really miss freedom and solitude of the Extremadura. Once more the 5000 ha had swallowed me completely. I really love this area and although it is the most famous lake in Spain attracting hundreds of carpanglers every weekend, in winter it is quiet and peaceful and you have enough space to discover.
Fishing was good, much better than I had anticipated. Generally, it is really slow from end of December on. But this time I profited from the perfect mixture of my previous experiences and a healthy gut feeling. And of course, I was lucky. As nothing works in fishing without luck. The original idea was to spend January there, when good friends Elena and Michele were also on the lake. Fishing, however, got better and better, the costs of travelling were already spent and I got into a fishing flow close to perfect – close to – well, sometimes it was kind of crap as well but some good friends kept me going by sending their love through the mobile phone. Anyway, I stayed until middle March :). Once more I became that kid obsessed with the idea of catching a wild monster carp, thinking about it every day and patiently waiting for my gut feeling to guide me to where this majestic fish may swim.
The three-day trip southwards was terribly long. But the three of us (actually four with my dog Chico) took it also kind of easy and even made some extra miles having a look at another lake. In total, I drove around 2300 km. We arrived just in time to celebrate New Year’s Eve and Elena’s birthday on the bankside. A glass of Champagne, some pétards and the evening got quite psychedelic after the tiring journey. The company was great. And we were completely blown away by the wild and lonesome country. The water level, however, was at its minimum and something like 6 metres were missing. The ground was still super-dry from the hot summer months. I guess that there had been almost no rain in autumn and so the typical fresh shades of green in wintertime were missing.
After three nights without any action I decided to move in the direction of the damn wall while Michele and Elena wanted to stay a bit longer. Michele had have seen a massive common at the end of the bay, during a morning stroll, in one and a half metres of crystal clear water, which of course he wanted to catch. My 6 hp Mercury, however, was restless and moved my two boats some kilometres away into an area of which I knew that it had been productive in the previous year.
The spot for the bivvy was protected from the wind and while I carried the gear up the steep bankside to a more or less flat area, I started sweating like a pig – in January. Yes, it was amazingly warm with water temperatures still measuring around 13 degrees Celsius. It looked quite promising. Yet my three rods – each garnished with a boilie and a single tigernut – remained calm during the first night. Well, every beginning is difficult and with maximum depths of more than 30 metres right in front of me, there were many choices where to put the rods.
So after the first unsuccessful night with the rods mostly in very shallow water (remember Michele’s sighting?), I needed to change something for the following night. It was almost dark until I “felt” where to put the third rod. And it was so obvious. Why didn’t I put a rod there already the night before? Cause I thought I knew that carp would forage only in shallow water? Or because it seemed a bit too far away? Well, it was a typically carpy point fully exposed to the westerly with lovely rocks (and crayfishes in-between) just until 10 metres water depth. And so I put the rod at eight metres, which was – in this deep lake section – only around 15 metres from the bank, in almost half a kilometre distance…
Next part, next week.