Anglers from all over the world know that the River Ebro in Spain is a catfish goldmine. The fishes that reside in this river are as big as the river itself. The Wels catfish that is a primary resident in the river can grow up to 200 lbs or 90 kgs. This is the reason why catfish fishing in Spain should be on the bucket list for every serious fishing lover.
Catfish Fishing in Spain
But the River Ebro is not the only treasure in this beautiful country. There are great fishing spots in almost every part of Spain. At almost any time of the year, you will find parties of anglers with their rods in different parts of the country.
The diverse waters and the excellent fish population gives fishing opportunities to amateurs as well as veterans. It even has some of the most underrated carp fishing spots in Europe.
Today’s post is a lowdown on what you need to know about catfish fishing in Spain.
Let’s get started.
License and regulations for catfish fishing in Spain
Quite unlike other countries, to practice catfish fishing in Spain, you need licenses.
- One, general license for fishing in the country
- Two, daily permits for fishing in specific zones
If you do not have a foreign fishing license, you will need to undergo a fishing test in Spanish to procure the license. After the exams are completed, you will have to wait for a month or so to get the result as well as the license.
To apply for the permit and the exam, you need to contact Ministerio del Medio Ambiente.
The printable version of the exam form is available online in this link. After you get it printed, you can take it to the concerned office for completing the required procedure. You can choose to fill it up on your own, but I suggest that you take it to the office to avoid any errors.
However, if you have a foreign fishing license, you do not have to clear this exam. Having a foreign fishing license is a much less headache, in my opinion. It is not just the inability to write the test in the local language.
But if you frequently travel to foreign countries for fishing trips like I do, it erases a lot of paper works. It also reduces the wait time for securing the local fishing license.
You can learn more about foreign fishing permits here.
If you already have a foreign fishing permit, you can apply for a fishing license in Spain directly from here.
Regulations for catfish fishing in Spain
- Fishing without a license in Spain is punishable by paying large fines. In some cases, your fishing gear will be confiscated.
- In some areas, fishing insurance, or Seguros de pesce, may be required for a license to be issued. However, this is not a requirement in all areas.
- If you plan to fish in the rivers, estuaries, or privately owned water bodies, you will need an angling license.
- Most of the fishing licenses in Spain have a validity of one to five years. However, this is not including the temporary permits that are issued by private water body owners.
- Amateur anglers above the age of 16 can apply for a fishing permit in Spain. If a child below this age wants to apply for a license, a parent can apply on his or her behalf.
For in-depth information about the fishing regulations in Spain, visit the Spanish Fishing and Casting website.
Best seasons for catfish fishing in Spain
The Spanish weather is stable enough to allow fishing for most parts of the year. But for us hoping to get lucky with decent sized catfish, the best season is summer. During the time, the weather is quite warm, and the fishes are at the heaviest. The fall season also is a good time for landing a good-sized fish as they are on a feeding frenzy in anticipation of the winter months.
If you do not care about the weight or the size of the size, you can start fishing from April all the way through September.
Best locations for catfish fishing in Spain
As I briefly mentioned in the beginning, Spain has some fantastic spots for catfish fishing. Among them, these places are definitely worth visiting:
Featuring high on the list of every angler, young and old, you cannot make a fishing trip to Spain without fishing in this river. There are two reasons that make this river the perfect spot for catfish fishing.
- The Wels catfish in this river are among the largest in the world
- The number of catfish is excellent
In fact, the number of catfish in this river became so numerous that they drove out some species from its rivers. At the risk of sounding heartless, this is all the more reason to throw your rod in this river.
The Ebro is located in the midst of a Natural Park so you will get plenty of sightseeing. You can also get some professional quality shots if you feel inclined.
As a side note, you will see that the fishing spots I have included on my list are in some way related to this majestic river. It is because it is the largest river in the country, and a lot of water bodies stem from it.
Visit the river through this link.
Reservoir of Ribarroja
This reservoir is formed by the impounds of the Ebro River. This is the reason why the sizes of the catfish, as well as the number of fishes in this water body, are on par with the river.
You will find fishermen from over the world congregate on the waters, especially during the summer and the fall. This does not deter the fact that it makes the experience special and wholesome.
Close to the reservoir, you will also come across a number of fishing bungalows where you can rent. Because these houses are located on the slopes, they offer a panoramic view of the reservoir and the surrounding mountains.
Find out more about this reservoir here.
Reservoir of Mequinenza
The catfishes in this reservoir are known for their elusive behavior. This has been a magnet for many fishermen from all over the globe. You will come across numerous anglers trying their luck to land a prized catch.
The reservoir is a massive one, and it also has plenty of fishes which make it an excellent spot for catfish fishing. Another feature of the reservoir, which makes it ideal for fishing, is the varied landscape. There are flat plains to rugged rocks and mountains covered with wildflowers and herbs.
You will also see a lot of birds while fishing in this reservoir. It is home to many exotic birds, including golden oriols, griffin vultures, hoopoe, and black kites, among others. They are mainly active during the warmer months, which add to the overall experience.
Pro tip: If you do not enjoy the massive crowd of anglers during the peak season, try your luck further downstream. The fishes are no different, and you will avoid the crowd as well.
Learn more about the reservoir here.
It is one of the branches of Spain’s most prominent water body, the River Ebro. The size of the fish, as well as the quantity of fishes, is as excellent in the river. In fact, it is assumed that fishes make their way to this river from the mother river.
Some of the seasoned anglers do not even bother going to the big river or the other reservoirs because of the crowd. This fishing spot offers the best catch along with a peaceful environment, which is more than you can ask for.
A number of camping options close to the fishing area where you can rest for the night also adds to the charm. The landscape here offers a respite from the stress and busy city life for sure.
Check out the river through this link.
The area of Caspe is not independent of the river Ebro or its numerous tributaries. In fact, the entire area is one of the emerging fishing spots and relatively new.
But the area has an excellent population of fishes including catfish, carps, and Zander. The catfish in this area are primarily Siluro and Wels, which can grow up to a decent size.
The urban community in this area has a lot of accommodation as well as guided tours, so you will have no problem securing your place among the anglers.
You will find some information about the area of Caspe here.
Catfish fishing in Spain is guaranteed to throw up some surprises in the form of gigantic fishes. The waters here are among the best you can ever expect for cat fishing anywhere in the world.
The weather conditions and the water level that allow you to fish any time of the year only add to the overall experience. If you have the opportunity to practice catfish fishing in Spain, do not pass it up. It can add some serious weight to your resume.
Niels Thomas is a wildlife expert and fishing fanatic that works with major fishing brands like Deeper Sonar, Abu Garcia, Berkley, PENN, BassPro and Pure Fishing. Through sharing the best fishing tips, tricks, gear reviews, locations and much more he hopes to inspire fishing fanatics to start their own journey towards becoming the King of the Catch!