Catfishing River Ebro

Catfishing River Ebro

Catfishing on the Spanish River Ebro


Catch a monster sized catfish with Sarah´s partner Martin Fawcett, Catfishing river Ebro guide and partner with

We are a professionally run partnership offering Fishing Holidays in Spain, providing Guided Catfishing Tours on the river Ebro, Europe’s Premier location for catching Wels Catfish.

If you are serious about Catfishing and are ready for an action packed fishing holiday in a sun basked and beautiful location then you should consider booking your trip with ebro-cat Here are a few reasons why:
Experienced, Professional Catfishing River Ebro Guides

Pioneering specimen anglers Al Henderson and Martin Fawcett have been catfishing on the river Ebro since 1998 and have just completed their 10th full season working as professional guides. During this time the catches have been truly phenomenal:

  • Over 5,000 Catfish have been captured to date
  • More than 980 of these have topped the 100 lb mark
  • An average daily catch rate of 3 fish per boat
  • A World Record 215 lb fish caught by Martin, November 2005

Wels Catfish – Europe’s largest freshwater fish!

The Catfish is Europe’s largest freshwater fish, growing to sizes in excess of 250 lb. These supreme predators have rapidly populated the Ebro since their introduction just over 35 years ago. The warm water and abundant source of bait fish allow the fish a nine month growing season, and fish can pile on up to 10lb of weight in a single season. The catfish fight like nothing you have ever hooked in fresh water before. Initial runs can be up to 100 yards, and the cats have stamina too, with battles lasting up to 45 minutes.

The Lower Ebro – A Prolific and Unspoilt Venue

The lower reaches of this mighty river provide the perfect location to fish for catfish. Unlike some of the heavily pressurised upstream locations which are lined with anglers, we are regularly able to drift for a full day in catfish infested water without seeing another boat. This is proper predator fishing, working free roving live baits using a mobile approach. The excitement when the float disappears cannot be matched. Some examples of what this devastating venue can produce include:

  • Catches of over 10 fish per boat per day have been recorded
  • 5 100lb + fish on one boat in a day!
  • A record total weight on the boat of 693 lb in a single day.

If you have decided this is for you or your partner, then look no further than Martin and Al as your expert guides, you will not be disappointed. Come and book your catfishing holiday in Spain!

Catfishing on the Spanish River Ebro

Catfishing on the Spanish River Ebro

A typical day on the river will start late morning and we will fish on into the evening , the total duration on the river being around 8 hours. During this time we will be working controlled drifts with free roving live baits fished close to the river bed. Occasionally due to extreme wind conditions we may have to fish static on known hotspots, although we generally favour a mobile approach, constantly covering water. Our service is all inclusive and we are with you all day offering advice and guidance. All you need to remember to bring is sun cream, sun hats, sun glasses, insect repellent and plenty of water.

When To Visit?

Probably the most frequently asked question from our customers is ‘what is the best time of year to come?’ The following guide will provide you with an indication of what to expect at the different times of the season.

Early Season – March / April

Weather; March is still quite cool, with some strong northerly winds on certain days. Moving into April things tend to warm up and the days are often a pleasant temperature, comparable to an English summer’s day. Rain is quite likely at this time of the year, and can occasionally be heavy and prolonged.

The River; Typically the Ebro will be running quite high and coloured at this time of the year, which can make the catfish relatively easy to locate, as they tend to be tight into the margins avoiding the main current, or in the various eddy’s and slacks. Water temperature will be cool in March (10 – 11ºC) rising gradually throughout April (14 – 15ºC) as the weather improves. A major plus point is the lack of weed in the Ebro at this time, which makes drift fishing easier.

The Catfishing; Early season fishing is truly unpredictable, and depends on the condition of the river. A high, cold river will lead to difficult fishing (2004 for example) whereas a low river following a mild winter can produce unbelievably good fishing (April 2003 was one of our best ever month). One thing that is guaranteed is the chance of a really big fish, due to females carrying masses of spawn at this time.

Peak Season – May / June
Weather; May is one of the most comfortable months for fishing weather wise with lovely, sunny days which are warm but not scorching. Rain is unusual at this time of year. Moving into June things begin to warm up considerably and some days can be extremely hot, although not unbearable. Expect temperatures into the high 20’s ºC.

The River; During May the river Ebro is often still running high as it is fed by snow melts which swell it’s tributaries to the north. Water temperature will be increasing steadily into the high teens ºC. Moving into June the river tends to drop to it’s summer level and really settles down, but retains it’s typical green colouration. Typically the water temperature will rise to 20ºC and above.

The Catfishing; May and June are the two most popular months of the season because traditionally they have produced the biggest catches, as an example May 2003 alone yielded over 200 catfish. The fish generally spawn  early to mid May during which time fishing can be patchy. Once the spawning activity has ceased something of a feeding frenzy will occur and catches of 5 / 6 cats per boat per day are not uncommon.

Hot Season – July / August

Weather; This is the height of summer and as you would expect some of the days are real scorchers, with temperatures regularly exceeding 30ºC. Fortunately the convection currents created by this heat result in a cooling breeze which makes conditions bearable. Rain is unusual, with the exception of some dramatic thunderstorms which are occasionally experienced in the evenings.

The River; The Ebro is now settled at it’s low summer level and begins to fine off, losing it’s colouration to an extent. Water temperature rises to mid 20’s ºC and with this and the increased sunlight comes weed blooms.

The Catfishing; July and August provide consistent sport, even in the heat of the day. As the water temperature rises the cat’s metabolism increases and they subsequently need to feed more. Early mornings and late evenings can be electric in the summer and we will often adjust our fishing times to ensure we don’t miss out on these times of the day. Weed beds can now be clearly seen and these often harbour good populations of cats.

Late Season – September / October

Weather; September is the last month of summer and is still hot, with temperatures reaching up towards 30ºC during the daytime. Moving into October things are beginning to cool down, particularly in the morning and evening. There is usually some rainfall during October, which can be heavy at times.

The River; Understandably low after a long hot summer, the river can be clear and weedy. Even heavy rain will not immediately raise the level as water is generally held back in the reservoir’s further upstream. Water temperature remains high (over 20ºC) right up to the end of October before it begins to fall.

The Catfishing; At this time of the year we can expect to have consistent action as the fish remain active in the warm water temperatures. The fishing can be awesome when conditions are favourable, particularly when low pressure weather systems are prevalent, with cool, cloudy  and rainy weather. Fish will typically remain spread across the channel in the low water levels which makes our style of drift fishing particularly effective.

Cold Season – November / December / January

Weather; Winters in Northern Spain can be chilly, with plenty of fresh northerly winds. However, when the wind is not blowing there are some beautifully pleasant sunny days with temperatures getting up to around 20ºC. Rain is obviously more likely in this season, and can be very heavy at times.

The River; Contrary to what you might think tends to remain low throughout winter, not swelling until early spring time. Weed beds begin to die back although the water remains typically quite clear. Water temperature starts to fall away during November, reaching 13 -14ºC by December and then down to  10 – 11ºC in January.

The Catfishing; Although our experience of fishing the river in winter is not as great as the other times of the season, we have had extremely positive results with average daily catch rates of 2 fish per boat per day and a very high proportion of 100+ fish showing. When the weather is extremely cold action can be slow, but mild spells will encourage feeding and excellent results can be had.

Please note this is only a guideline of what you can expect based on our experience of 10 full seasons guiding on the river. Things are constantly changing and no two seasons ever serve up identical conditions!

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