Monday, February 6

The Ebro takes out its beast


Sergio Rodríguez shows the gigantic catfish he caught in the Ebro. / yes rodriguez

A man from Valladolid catches the largest catfish in Spain captured with artificial bait, a specimen of 2.67 meters and 120 kilos after “a huge fight”

“I tried with all my strength to get him out of the water, it was a real fight of more than half an hour between the two and when I managed to take him to shore it was a feeling of total satisfaction,” says Sergio Rodríguez, a fan of sport fishing from Valladolid. for more than 24 years he has managed to get the largest catfish captured to date in Spain from the depths of the Ebro -he did it last week near the town of Escratón in Zaragoza- using the casting technique (throwing the rod and continuously) with an artificial bait. The imposing specimen measured 2.67 meters and weighed more than 120 kilos.

«I would like to register it to demonstrate this record because I know there is another specimen of 2.72 meters, but it was not caught during the day and it was not done using an artificial lure, but with another type of bait, therefore they are two different things» .

It was the fourth year that this worker from the DS Smith factory, located in Dueñas (Valladolid), had tried it, and as he relates, it was “an incredible feeling”. Although before achieving such a catch he caught the hook of another catfish. “I noticed that it was also very large because of the resistance it showed, but it managed to escape.” Of course, taking out the entire reel of the ‘Black cat’ rod that he uses in this type of fishing.

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This first encounter only fueled his desire to keep trying. «I started the day with my partner and guide fisherman from the area, Alberto Millán, we had been preparing everything since eight in the morning and it was around one in the afternoon when I again noticed a strong pull in one of the many casts I made that day”, recalls the 40-year-old man from Valladolid.

And there began “a huge fight” between the two of more than half an hour in which the catfish showed incredible resistance and strength. “So much so that he dragged us 200 meters down the river and was able to raise and lower the boat considerably. What was going to be a normal day of fishing turned into something that I will not forget because I know that many have tried it in that area and have not succeeded. It is not an easy task », he explains.

“Although they can be fished all year round, the ideal time to find the best specimens is during the months of March and April, which is the time they take advantage of to feed before the reproductive season begins,” says Rodríguez. This type of freshwater ‘giant’ can be found, «as well as in the Ebro, in the Júcar river and in the Tagus riverbed. They originate from the Danube but were introduced to Spain in the 1970s in the Mequinenza reservoir and over time they have spread to many areas.

Catfish can live for 60 years and reach monstrous sizes. The pucelano Rodríguez jokes about the commotion caused by the alleged ‘Pisuerga crocodile’ in June 2020. “I’m sure it was a catfish of considerable size.”

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