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Lake Orellana, Spain
It has been three years since my last fishing session at any of the world’s big open lakes. It was about time to visit one again. New country, new lake, new crazy adventure and of course a new high goal. I decided to do a session in Spain. My girlfriend Marina and I travelled to 5000 ha big lake Orellana with a goal of catching a 50 lb+ carp (22,7 kg+).
Discovering new countries and lakes is a special kind of challenge for me when it comes to fishing. Each lake is so different and requires a different approach – tactics, gear, bait etc. Big open lakes (1000+ hectares) are even more special as the size of the lake and weather play a special part in determining how successful the fishing session will be. Wind is the most important weather aspect and it can make or break our session. It can bring us lots of fish as well as lots of troubles with navigating the boat. I set myself on a trip to a new country, new lake, with a high goal, in order to experience a crazy new adventure.
On the way to the lake
I first started paying attention to Orellana carp around five years ago. I saw a few photos online and started hearing rumours about this Spanish lake among my fishing friends. Last autumn my friend Pepe from Spain invited me to come fishing to Orellana. I was super happy to receive the invitation and after a few exchanges messages it was done – I confirmed to come in the middle of March. The carp at Orellana usually spawn in April and I wanted to come fishing before that happens.
On 14th of March my girlfriend Marina and I drove off to Marco Polo airport in Venice from where we flew to Madrid. Until then I have never travelled to a fishing session with a plane so it was a special kind of challenge to pack certain fishing gear. I kept mentally going over my gear countless times in order not to forget something important. I probably don’t have to tell you that all of our bags were packed to last grams allowed, haha.
Pepe picked us up in Madrid and we drove to the city of Merida which is located about on hour drive from the lake Orellana. We stopped at the shop to get all the food we needed for a week of life in the wilderness. Our plan was to enjoy a nice dinner with typical Spanish food and head to the lake early next morning. My thoughts kept running to the lake and my head was spinning around the advice and information I received from my friends regarding fishing at the lake. I always pay attention to what people tell me and then add my knowledge and feelings to that. Processing this information is very important as it helps us create a better picture of how we want to be fishing from day one on. If we start our session on the right note we are going to make better use of our time and immensely increase our chances of success.
It was six AM as we were headed to the lake. Beautiful colours of the sunrise were lighting up olive trees and blooming fruit trees along the way. Landscape there is really interesting as people have fully adjusted it to growing fruits and crops. First we stopped at the lakes’ dam so I could take a good look at it and get a bit of a feel about the surrounding. I have already fished bigger lakes than Orellana but due to its length and countless bays the lake seems even bigger than it actually is. About 95% of the lakes’ shore is impossible to reach with a normal car. Some parts are reachable with a 4×4 car but most of it is only accessible with a boat. Last few kilometres of our drive to our fishing position was very exciting. Bushes and rocks were no match for Pepe and his jeep. I held my breath a few times during his driving on the rough terrain but it all went well and suddenly our view opened on to a big beautiful bay. Untouched nature everywhere around us and countless herds of sheep was everything I could see.
Eqipment and bait
You have to be ready for fishing at long distances when fishing at big lakes so this time I used Fox FX 13 reels with 550 meters of sinking brainded line Submerge 0,30 mm and 15-20 meters of Illusion Flurocarbon 0,50 mm line at the end. I was using inline system with 170 g lead, form y rig I used Coretex Tungsten 35 lb hooklink and Wide Gape Beaked size 2 and 4 hooks. My bait was presented as »flying hookbait« which means that the hook is lifted off the floor but still slightly touching the floor and balancing the bait by its weight. I used this presentation mostly because of rocks, stones and numerous crayfish in the lake. I wanted to keep my hooks’ point sharp (avoid the rocks and stones) and keep crayfish away from my bait as they would go for the bait on the very bottom first.
This time I decided to use Monster Tiger Nut 20 mm boilies and a mix of particlss which consisted of tigernuts, mini tigernuts, chopped tigernuts, chilli hemp and two Dynamite particles mixtures.
On my the second afternoon I got my first take. I was super relieved as up until that point I was constantly wondering if the carp were in my bay at all. Until the first take I only saw three fish jump out of the water but I wasn’t sure if it was bass or carp. The take happened 250 meters from my fishing position and was even more fierce due to the braided line. I quickly jumped into the boat and went off after the carp. I think it was the windiest time of all week and I was bouncing on the waves like crazy. The carp immediately took off seeking shelter behind the corner of the bay, into the open part of the lake. To avoid snagging the line I didn’t put any pressure on the line until I was right above the fish with my boat. When the carp swam around the corner of the bay it pretty much changed its direction for 90 degrees. Due to how the rod was set, the line immediately got stuck into rocks and stones in three spots. If we don’t put pressure on the line we are going to avoid snagging it and we will have no problem saving the stuck line.
After only a few moments of fight I was well aware that I don’t have a small carp on the hook. I couldn’t lift it up from the depth for at least 15 minutes. Considering the length of the flurocarbon line at the end I knew the carp has to be around 8 to 12 meters deep. Waves were causing me a ton of trouble so I had to keep my motor in 2nd gear all the time in order to stay in one place. I finally laid eyes on the carp beneath my boat and my heartbeat sped up. I estimated it to be over 20 kilograms. It took a while before I landed it into my landing net on a second try. This was one of my most challenging and exciting drills due to the strong wind and waves. I was over the moon about catching my first Spanish carp at such a big lake and in my opinion it had to weigh over 20 kilos. I couldn’t wait to weigh it as I kept thinking it could also be over 50 lb (22,7 kg). The scale showed 23,2 kg which meant that I managed to add my 12th country in which I caught a carp over 50 lb.
Rest of the session
It is an amazing feeling to reach your goal after only a day of fishing and to know that no matter what happens in the following days the session is a success already. However I did manage to catch 8 more carp by the end of the session, weighing between 11 and 18,2 kg. I also lost one fish. I had at least one take per day which is considering the season and part of the lake I was fishing in, according to local anglers, a very good result.
This has been one of those sessions when everything plays out in the best way possible. Along with amazing fishing session this trip was also special due to visiting a new country which I never fished before. People in Spain are super friendly and welcoming, it was really nice to meet new people and make new friendships. I will definitely return to lake Orellana in the future… maybe even next year already. The lake is really special . the atmosphere, peace, wilderness and a mystic vibe give more than enough reasons for you to go and experience this amazing fishing adventure. I would like to thank my friend Pepe Lolo Nunez Ortega for inviting me to the lake and organizing everything. Biggest thanks to my sponsors of course, Dynamite Baits and Fox. This year’s fishing season has started great for me. Stay tuned for more articles to hear what the rest of the season has in store for me. Tight lines!
Krištof Cuderman, Dynamite Baits and Fox team
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