Sunday, 21 November 2010

Roving on the Ter

Mid August Came and found Robert and I fishing the river Ter in Spain,which was a bit of an unknown quantity to us,but would prove to be interesting,we would end up having to fish more mobile and a lot lighter than usual.

The water and course it runs,is an interesting one,with a very wild look to it and a plethora of different features from sunken trees,areas where rafts of dead wood have created slacks and islands covered in dense bamboo jungles,the setting was quite simply beautiful,but with a serious lack of any real depth,averaging 1 metre and in some places not even that,Robert and I opted to switch to the Shimano STC rods fishing one rod each and adopting a roving approach.What we did realise was that due to how shallow this particular river was and given the weather conditions,we would have to drop down to some very light tackle to entice these rather wary,torpedo shaped wild Carp,which whilst not the largest,to all intents fought like demons and went off like exocets when hooked.

Power reflon exceed was the order of the day in a 5lb breaking strain,with a very light weighted link ledger setup and size 12 kamasan B982.

Having fed some likely looking runs and snaggy areas with some maize and luncheon meat,we decided to then rotate swims whilst letting the swims that were first baited,have time to switch on to the baits.

I can tell you now this river was quite a jungle,and it was not uncommon to hear wild boar thrashing about nearby,which made for some interesting moments of trepidation

I think you will agree that it looks rather tranquil and wild,this was also proving to have it own rather large problem,being underground nests of wasps,akin to treading an insect minefield,something Robert and I fell foul to many times despite keeping our eyes pinned down looking for these blighters.and resulting in myself and Robert getting stung pretty badly on three occassions.these were the most vicious bunch of sorely wasps I have had the displeasure to meet and something neither of us care to repeat.

Myself and Robert set about fishing some likely looking fish holding areas and as the river has many sunken trees dotted along it that would be one of our main features,running the light link ledger along these areas.

The first days outing Robert and I got out around 8am,the river laced with a light mist and looking every bit inviting,however despite fishing it all day and only managing two very light plucks,it was a solid blank,this despite us knowing there was fish in the vicinity,we both felt this was partly due to the massive amount of natural food that was being deposited into the river. But I also felt that the 5lb hooklink being used was too much and suggested the next time out we stepped down to 3lb breaking strain.

The following day was an absolute belter with teperatures of 40c not the most reliable for a good feeding spell,so our hope rested on the fish switching on a bit later in the day,at 7pm robert's rod with a single grain of maize wrapped round and he was into a very bullish fish that burst into life and carried on downstream,it was at this point that on one hand I was happy the lighter line had worked but on the other,I was pondering if it would be enough given some of the snags about,but sure enough after some steady playing and letting the rod take all the lunges,I slipped the net under a dark and frisky common of 10lb.The lighter line had paid off.

Despite this,the rest of the evening was quiet with nothing showing and me finishing with a resounding blank.

The following morning the weather had changed somewhat,despite still being very humid there had been a dusting of rain,which we both felt would help our chances,we decided to move further downstream and try another likely area with heavy sunken trees nearby,which was a struggle to get to due to the dense forestry.

I Was hoping this would be a productive spot and opted to cast out luncheon meat over a bed of hemp and corn,Robert decided to stick to the tactic that had worked for him on the previous day.within half an hour my rod sprung to life and I was playing a small but lively common of 7lb.

I was happy,my first Ter Carp and hopefully a few more would be on their way.Robert meanwhile had moved further downstream where the river widened and was into a a very solid fish and one that seemed to be a better stamp,every bit of line gained was met with an equal amount stripped back off the spool as the fish headed downstream trying to make a large raft of weed and branches.This fish was adamant about being hooked and simply refused to be told where it was going to go.Finally a lovely looking brass coloured Common of 11lb was sat in the net.

There was no doubt that Robert was getting into some better fish,so I decided to switch on to the animal maize dipped in betalin.a few hours later and my rod swung round and the Exage reel purred into life,I was into another frisky Ter Common of 9lb which went off like a turbo charged rocket.

Well things were going steadily and we were building up a mental picture of the river and the patrol routes that the fish took,it was not long before I was into another torpedo shaped Common of 9lb,which tried to dart for every bit of cover it could find,making for excellent sport on light tackle.

This was our final day on the Ter so we decided to fish on till late evening and see if we could capture a few more of these Carp,I had suggested to Robert to try a few Tutti barrel shaped pellets and he had been introducing them into his swim at regular intervals before switching to them as his hookbait,Robert and I were chatting about what head of larger Carp inhabited this stretch of river when Robert's rod lurched down and the reel screamed off,he lifted in and was met by a very agressive,bullying resistance that powered off and carried on running,"this feels a reasonable fish" said Robert,the rod did not disagree as it hooped over as the fish took yet another surging run.The landing net was eventually slid under what looked like a nice mid double Common and sure enough it weighed 14lb.

Evening time was coming and I was hoping for one more take,so I decided on a move slightly further downstream where the margins were very heavily overgrown but with a slightly deeper looking pool which looked like it might hold a fish or two.

Lowering the rod down quietly and putting the bait in place no more than a rod length out,I played out some slack line and brought the tip back in so as not to spook any passing fish. Opting to fish a tiny mesh bag of maize alongside the hookbait,so as not to disturb the swim with loose fed free offerings.

The humid,cloudy evening eneveloped us and the sky was interspersed with tinges of red and dark grey,two hours later and my isotope lit rod tip that had been still and motionless had the faintest of plucks.The slack line perked up and drifted out,I slowly lifted the rod up and waited for the right moment to set the hook,as the final bit of slack line straightened out,I set the hook and then all hell broke out with a very stream lined common powering off into the main river and then trying to bolt for the cover of some snags in the margins.

The fish was an immaculate and beautifully defined wild looking common of 9lb8oz.

This was the last fish for myself and Robert,as we packed up we chatted about the river and what other sizes of Carp it might throw up,we both came to the agreement that more time would be needed to ascertain that,either way it had been a very enjoyable and interesting spot of roving on light tackle.


  1. Sounds great fishing!! Im off there in September, and going to try for some carp...what stretch of the Ter where you on? as im going to the stretch near Estartit, and other reports of this area dont sound too promising, cheers

  2. Hello there Paul,

    I am guessing you're the same chap that messaged me over on youtube?

    I was actually on the stretch along Estartit but about 10 mile upstream.
    More forestry,more wild.

    Yes there has been lower water levels over the last two or three years which hasn't helped but it is more down to people poaching and taking fish for the pot that is a problem.

    You would be better to head upstream and follow the river using a local Michelin regional map and fish further upstream,as in my opinon there are better areas that way and definitely a chance of a 20.

  3. I used to fish this in the late 80s on the canal stretch from the sea to the town immediately north.

    Simple bread flake would yeald wildies well over 15lbs and bags of over 300lbs were the borm on crap gear and crap line.

    Years later I returned and the average dish was between 2-4lbs but hundreds caught float fishing sweetcorn.

    My last forey was a sad one, 2007 I think, one tiny wildie and a crucian. Apparently below the bridge the flow is slack and salt water ingress resulted in a massive fish kill. 30 years ago it was legendary , but unknown.

    1. Hello Des, thanks for taking time to stop by and have a read. I think you make a valid point, the bridge you mention when we were there had a few carp shoaled up. However we decided to fish further upstream and there were from time to time good fish making their presence apparent, however there has been a lot of poaching on some reaches around Estartit and sadly the fish don't get put back, interesting that you mention the saltwater ingress resulting in a fish kill, as someone did suggest the same on the river Fluvia that my father and I fished many years ago, the fishing on balanced tackle was incredibly good, fishing free lined bread paste or corn, two days of fishing afternoon till evening resulted in 97 fish between us, up to just under 20lb. However a few years later and there was only the odd carp to be found, sadly the real cause was a lot of raw sewage being discharged which wiped some of the most beautiful chestnut commons out.