The Subsurface vibe is spreading and getting stories from across the globe is really exciting for us, especially when they involve virgin carp, the Ramones and a few ‘extra curricular’ activities after dark… This is a story from one of our friends over in Spain, Jorge Fernandez, re-telling a short tale of a very special carp, and one that was anything but easy to catch
I have been waiting for many years for various reasons to fish this lake, but finally the spring came and I embarked on the challenge of fishing this impregnable fortress with one simple objective: to get onto this lake and catch some of its coveted carp…
Before describing some of my experiences at this beautiful lake, it is first important for you to know a few things about the environment surrounding my quarry. First of all, night fishing is prohibited in Spain and also baiting of the lake was prohibited too, for reasons I’ll explain shortly To ensure people comply with these restrictive rules the lake has three different types of surveillance; at night a private security company monitors the entire lake, with two cars assigned to the lake to continually check during every night. Also the ‘Guardia Civil’ (one of the classes of police) monitors the lake and the people who access it. During the daytime, three people monitor the lake, they work for the local trout fishing syndicate and they watch me with their binoculars, keeping tabs on my every move.
The above are just some of the initial problems encountered if you wish to fish there, but there are more… This lake is particularly special; trout, huge pike (up to 44lb), tench and carp live there, but here in Spain most of the anglers are only interested in the trout, people pay a lot of money to catch them (roughly £15 for 4 trout) and it is forbidden to return them to the water, so the anglers catch four trout, kill them and then go home. To my mind, I cannot understand this mentality, unless you are only interested in your dinner of course… The stock of pristine carp the lake holds is not of interest to anyone, so other anglers are not the problem, the problem is that in trout waters in Spain there are many rules: you are allowed to fish with only one rod, not use PVA and not use any form of natural baits, essentially meaning we can only fish with single plastic baits…if that was not enough of a challenge already, the fishing hours are strictly limited from 8:00am to 8:00pm. Quite a challenge, I’m sure you’ll agree!
Despite all that, I was not put off, and my objective was to angle for some of the large females living in these waters, in the spring they reach their maximum weights of up to 50lb…and are a worthwhile quarry and focus for your efforts despite all the hardships put in your way. The fishing is not easy with so many rules to adhere to, and added to that I get very little time so I fish just four days a month, one day a week, and only 12 hours a day. I knew that priming some areas would give me my only chance on such a short time frame, so I chose to fish on Sundays, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays I baited the area religiously with roughly four kilos of 20mm boilies. Given that pre-baiting is banned and the level of surveillance, this was a big risk for me, but a necessary one I felt I had to take if I was to stand any chance at all of catching one of the jewels that reside in the pit. If the authorities caught me baiting at the night, I ran the risk of paying the heavy fines of thousands of pounds…so all my baiting up was done with as much discretion as humanly possible, the clothing had to be completely dark, no lights could be used, the phone off, and no noise…I bait the area and leave running!
The area I had chosen to fish was a great spot, a ‘beach’ of sorts, a sandy area which ran down to depths of 5-7 meters. Hookbaits were 18mm plastic boilies, soaked in the same attractors as my pre-bait, and tipped off with a tiny bit of yellow corn.
Spring is always unpredictable, the weather was ever-changing, and I wished that it was stable. I do not like the constant changes in the spring, the wind on the lake constantly changing direction, making my job of locating the small stock of carp and their feeding areas very difficult. Despite the ever-changing weather, I still had great faith in the priming that I had done and that the carp would have found a good source of food and hopefully be visiting the area on a regular basis. I knew from observation that the fish in this lake were active every day, visiting lots of areas, so I knew they would have to come across my regularly primed area sooner or later, and I just hoped the bait would hold them there, or at least keep them visiting the are looking for more. I also knew that the hours of greatest activity in the area were was fishing was morning and so it was to be… In the four days I fished after all my baiting, I only managed to get one in the sack, on the only day that the unpredictable weather coalesced with my planned trip and it was stable and good for my area, it was a ‘carpy’ morning, raining, there was some fog to begin with and the sky was overcast and grey. It was a beautiful old mirror carp that I received for my efforts, it was not one of the big females, but it was beautiful and fantastically proportioned nonetheless, 35lb 7oz, and with barbs like Dracula…
Comparing the photos at a later date with my friends who have fished the pit for a few years, it seems nobody had captured this particular carp before either. As it was seemingly the first time out of the water, I decided to give it the name of ‘Dee Dee’. I’d heard a song by Dee Dee Ramone on the way to my lake that day on the radio and decided it must’ve been a good luck omen and was fitting as I’m a big Ramones fan, so Dee Dee it became. The four weeks of angling were very intense, for many reasons, and much to my relief and that of my bank balance I managed to evade the attentions of the authorities. Many hours at night after work were spent baiting, many nights of looking over my shoulder and holding my breath, and a few days of hoping and dreaming, but finally I managed to get a photo with one of the elusive and coveted mirrors of this beautiful lake.
Thanks for reading, and be lucky on your adventures
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