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gary sheridan

Hard winters

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The basics of winter fishing differs from lake to lake, and river to river. The ebro with its majestic twists and winds, meandering down from the northern region of Pamplona and all of the tributary fromaround the regions of Navvaro huesca and surrounding areas .
All 572 miles, of this huge system.
With good flood defenses in a large system so many weirs,and dams from the Pantano, or Ebro resovoir in the upper regions, just below the natural park of saja besaya. To the huge expanse of water here in caspe known to most as the upper lake or Embalse de mequinenza.
Also the major dams around mequineza flix riba roja.
It has been a huge challenge this winter. Not the norm in winter as for the past 6 years the river has been lower in r and great fishing conditions.

Floods, records levels of snow in the Pyrenees, and north of Spain. Raining so heavy on top of snow and causing so much damage the combination of the two can only lead to major disruption. And that has lead to disastrous fishing.
Days upon days of blanks, for myself and friends alike.
Frustrating is not the word.

I say blanks we have landed the odd 50+ commons and some 40s so not to bad but winter is my time to fish, and with some serious baits from northern baits, The Gary specials, secret, frank, and off season, and not to forget the ordinal krill boile as northern baits in my estimate have the original and best around all of these baits fully tested with people like bjarne frederikson from Norway matt chivers from UK matt dent and mike Weston both very good and well respected fishery officers and anglers.

Starting back in 2012 first
Late November 2012 seen the arrival of the Gary,s special ready for some serious sessions. and with great excitement, with a full winter ahead of me a list as long as my arm of buddies that wanted to come and fish
with the good news of Simon crow wishing to return with Steve Briggs checking dates
led to both Simon and Steve unable to make a combination due to work and such a huge schedule . was a shame as i was looking forward to fishing with both of them , Simons last trip was full of good fishy story,s

A few phone calls and organized dates for the anglers who were arriving soon, we were set. The first in early jan good friends from italy . riccardo battisti sandro cesaro and daniellle calpochini i cll him capuchino cant say his last name. That was for the first week of jan and man was it dam cold. The lads had over 40 fish from two rods mainly as danielle had 4 of them only. Riccardo had five sandro had the rest. But saying that.

Ice on rods brrrrrrr man it was cold

Now back in November the river was in such great form, that i had been sitting watching the carp over and over on one my many favorite swims, that is when the river is low down.
Having pre baited some of them seen some bigger fish rolling over the pre baited areas. I just knew the repeats of great catches were on the cards.

The bait from Hendricks and sturla and Kenneth Northern baits was in fact a a better start knowing what they have produced good carp on early short session tests .
One session with fellow federation anglers here in caspe seen me roil up casually cast out one hour later land carp with nobody having had a sniff for 24 hours.
Then a further carp in the night led to faces appearing in the bivvy with eyes peering all over the place to see what i was using.
I simply showed them and allowed one guy to use the same bolies . dont like to be annal about hiding facts just swims .
Yes you guessed it, he went on to land four fish after i left.

Anyways as the title above says early January the basis of this article is to go forward to what has been a hard winter once the floods arrived, i will be writing an article about some of the catches later in mid march from December catches so whilst this is still fresh in my head i can get it done.

Early January seen a few good fish still being landed which is the norm for winter if the water levels stay down.
But they didn't and as you can guess they rose up like they have not down for many years, the catches slowed down.
Not stopping getting and catches getting slower by the week and then rapidly on a daily basis as the temperatures dropped like a stone down to 5dgs in the water.
now in cases like this you call on your old swims ones that you can or should be bail to pull a few fish from no matter what the size.
Instead of chasing the bigger 40s 50s 60s. But the river came up so fast, it completely covered the upper lake section

Unable to get to swims we know so well. Your are now in a situation where you have to be able to find fish, as will any good angler.

Knowing the whole area like i do and driven over most of it i chose a swim not to far from my house. Unable to go up river with such horrendous flow
the swim consist of a small rocky point which is sheltered .
Needed when them westerly come through.

Some of the storms that hit you will ruin your fishing holiday.
And having to row baits out over 300mts its not even funny in a big boat never mind old catch up the 2.6mts row boat.
Easy to handle and carry around she is a flat bottom boat.
Bit like being on a bottle top on a windy day.

With fishing partner for this duration being two great anglers from holland, remco akermans and ron van den bergh. Both guys are sponserd by other bait compnays so chose to or had to use there baits. Also testing fish finders out for a well known company. And then later we were joined by bjarne frederikson from denmark,
we wrote an earlier article covereing the whole fishing trip and this was to be the last of the good trips we could have, as the floods continued. We landed a good few fish from this location biggest being 44lbs with a brace of 40s and a good few 30s.

Like i said record snow levels continued to now become worse with avalanches in the Pyrenees all French borders closed ..
Rain from Galicia continued and it was just horrible. So what to do,
well we now found ourselves in a somewhat predicament even the back eddys were flowing through.
But still you have to keep going.
No fish for days on end and one more move to a nice area set right back and just managing to get out of the rivers ridiculous flow.

Still the first two days nothing and then suddenly a fantastic looking common for nick Waller who is from the pike and predator forum.
Good all round angler and guy think even he was shocked to see it as we were all beginning to think it was game over.
Falling to Northern baits krilicous topped off with secret pop up. Yet again these baits proving to be a small miracle when needed

Now for two more days the river continued to rise and fast in the back of my head it was time to move or do some drastic action scale everything down for smaller fish.

We had seen some fish crashing all be it smaller but really close to the edge as well.
It wasn't over yet with another fish coming to pellets with popped up off season.
This fantastic 50.05lber common came as a shock not for the size but for this fish to turn up now with such a lack of feeding fish . It wasnt untill the last two days of that sesion spo the lads did suffer, and my head hurt with all the thoughts going through where are they .
Well what more can you say them lads went back happy.