31.07.14

Couple Quit Their Jobs, To Fish Full Time - Part Nine

Extremadura

I don’t know where to start or to end. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for me to capture an entire week on one single page. A jungle of impressions and experiences is growing in my head. The adventure is unleashed and we are drifting with the stream like two fry during a flood; seeing wonderful things. In such a short blog I can write only about snapshots.

The region is really Extrema-dura, which translates as ‘extremely hard’. This is especially true for the climate. The weather can change completely in a moment. It dictates us. We constantly have to adapt and change our clothing. Over the year, it can be very extreme in this region of Spain. Summer is unmercifully hot often over 40 degrees Celsius and winter is bitter-cold with strong frosts in the night. Heaven can be azure blue with a strong sun or sadly grey with deep and dense clouds. Everyone who has been here for a longer time period has felt it. Nature is wild and untamed, the same as the carp.

The first carp we caught was on a margin rod, at lunchtime, under the blistering sun while we packing our boat for a move to another spot. He didn’t run out, instead he shot through all the lines, parallel to the shore. Despite this, a wild and beautiful common carp was soon landed in the net. There were no signs of a previous capture in his mouth and we photographed him in the water. Shortly afterwards one of Caroline’s rods roared off. We were loading the boat and we didn’t hear anything, especially as I had turned off the Delkim receiver. When Caroline went to reel her rod in she didn’t really understand what had happened; she could see a knot on the empty spool! Luckily the fish was still on and she landed her first Spanish common that had been faithfully waiting in a weedbed. This was a dilemma, we’d waited for two days without any action and while packing up a rod goes off, in fact, two rods! Should we still move? The place was by far the most beautiful place I had ever fished. We already had become used to our clapping neighbours, the storks, had made peace with the green iguana that had his hole only metres from our tent and had enjoyed the untouched nature with the wheeling eagle and the thousands of juvenile black bass shoaling under our boat. This place was peaceful, wild and calm, very much like our dream of an unkempt garden. However, my thoughts were spinning around the opposite side of the lake that received the southwest wind far stronger than on our peaceful lagoon. All the kit was already lying in the boat, ready to leave. My fishing instinct screamed go and we exchanged our small paradise for the wind-exposed spot two kilometres away. With good reason: after only one night of fishing we had the first action. The second run turned out to be a 39lb common, our first Spanish thirty! It was a spawned-out female with a huge mouth and enormous power, particularly during the first run when she swam for around 50 metres non-stop!

It felt like we’d finally arrived and could enjoy the lake entirely. It was fabulous. We had our boat license, which we got quite fast due to the help of Lee. Furthermore, the boat trip with Lee and his insights were very helpful to get a good overview over the potentially successful spots. He helped where he could. The lifejackets he gave us were also much appreciated when the lake showed its unpredictable side. Strong winds can cause undercurrents, a danger that should not be underestimated. Many tragic accidents had already happened here. We already got an impression of how brutal the wind can become on the 12,000-acre lake. After some days without wind and a lot of sun, the surface temperature had decreased from 25° degrees Celsius to 17° in just some days. With such extreme changes one has to calculate with phases of less activity of fishes. Of one thing, however, we are sure of now: the carp are hungry after the energy-demanding spawning period. Hopefully, they find our baiting areas soon!

Alex and Carolina

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