Wednesday 7 September 2011

Countdown to the Ebro... Catfish & Zander Fishing in Spain

It's now just two days until I head off with Shane and Dave for a week-long fishing trip to Spain's River Ebro.  We're going to be fishing with Carl & Angie of Rio Ebro Angling.  I know, lucky barstools the lot of us!  We booked the trip way back in February so there's been plenty of time for the excitement to build on this way overdue installment of my specimen hunting roadshow!

Between us we'll be fishing for Wels Catfish, Zander, Carp and Roach but my personal goals are mainly the catfish and zeds.  I'd like to join the Ebro "Ton Club" or better, preferably caught on a lure, although if it gets to the last day and I'm struggling I may have to resort to plan B, or as I like to refer to it, the "Charlie Boorman Plan", (to catch one "by any means"!).  Hopefully that won't mean going quite this far, but if my neck gets sunburnt and red and I pick up a bit of a Southern drawl, who knows!...

Having never fished the Ebro before, I'd be happy to catch any zander from there.  So far, this is my UK PB fish and if I could manage a double from Spain on a lure, I'll be over the moon.

I think if I can land any catfish from the Ebro I would have to be really unlucky for it not to beat my UK-best which is this kitten:

So, fingers crossed the fish gods are smiling down on us next week.  I'll be filling you in on here and on FishingMagic once we return.  'Til then, wish me luck!

Friday 2 September 2011

Carp Surface Fishing Rig - Make your Korda Kruiser Controllers "Quick-Change" Using KOP Swivels

I know the weather's about to turn chillier for a few months, so surface fishing for carp won't be high on many anglers' agendas, but I'm going to share a rig with you which enables great flexibility when using Korda Kruiser surface controller floats.  The great thing about blogs is that they're on here indefinitely, so come next spring anglers will be searching for surface rigs and ideas and this may just help them out.

The Kruiser, which is a very robust, solid plastic controller, creates a semi-fixed "bolt-effect" due to having a rubber insert which the hooklength swivel lodges into.  I do have a few issues with this controller design - it's off-centre shape can be tangle prone on casting (despite what the packaging states) and it also makes much more of a splash than I'd like upon landing - however, it offers brilliant presentation, casts easily when coupled with a light, through-action rod and is very unobtrusive once the float has settled.

The Kruiser is available in 3 sizes and if you're travelling light around a venue, trying to locate different pockets of feeding carp, you can never say 100% which size you'll need, as you may find fish further out than you anticipated or be faced with a head-wind, etc.  So, it makes sense to carry at least one of each size Kruzer with you, but do you really want to waste time re-tying swivels if you happen upon some feeding fish?  I've come up with a solution, which involves the awesome little size 12 King of the Pond Micro Quick-Link Swivels which I mentioned a few months ago.  I've really been won over by the benefits of quick-change swivels and I'm finding ways of sneaking them into more and more of my rigs.

My little idea which puts these two products together is as follows:

  1. Thread on your Kruiser, in through the top, out through the silicone sleeve.
  2. Tie a small overhand loop on the end of your mainline.
  3. Tie your hook onto hooklength as usual (I tend to use minimum 3 feet of low-diameter floating line, to a short-shank barbless hook between size 12 and 6), and tie the tag end to the "standard" loop of the KOP mini quick-link swivel.
  4. Thread the mainline loop onto the "quick-change" hook on the swivel.
  5. Pull controller float downwards until the swivel safely lodges into the silicone sleeve.
  6. Attach a bait and get catching some carp!

Now each time you need to change the size of your controller, simply pop the swivel out of the silicone sleeve, unclip the loop, slide off your float then thread on your new one (a baiting needle can help here) and reverse the process.

Surface fishing is by far my favourite way of fishing for carp, so I hope this inspires a few people to either give it a try or tweak their rigs for improved flexibility.

I wrote an article about surface fishing for carp a couple of years back, on my website  In the article I describe another, alternative, very vesatile rig for surface fishing.  It allows you to quickly change between controller, floating putty and freeline (well, almost freeline).  You might enjoy reading it here: Surface Fishing for Carp at Sutton Lawn Dam on

May 2012 Update

I landed a few decent carp on this rig a couple of days ago, including this mid-double common: