Delta del Rio Ebro


Scarcely two flying hours, then still two hours with the car and you are in one of the best coastal fishing-districts of Europe, in the Ebrodelta. 206km in the south of Barcelona, the delta extends 23km broad and 26km deep in the Costa Dorada. In the north is the bathing resort Riomar, in the south Eucalyptus. Ideally for a combination vacation: "fishing and family".

How to organize and what is possible?

Usually, the holiday-makers rent from home themselves a boat and a bungalow or go camping. The ideal boats for fishing in the delta are 5 to 6 m long, with outboarders 20 to 40 HP equipped and with a steering console. A boat of this size and motorizing starts from 250,- EUR per week. Additionally the katalonial coastal fishing license is necessary 30 EUR (2 years valid). Captain, Wireman and angler in one person - only old and experienced angler can that. Therefore fishing in the team, best two anglers is recommended. You need your own equipment! Who wants to fish offshore, can charter itself with Julio Bellaubi in Riomar an offshore boat (9 m) inclusive lures, equipment and crew (8 hours for 300 EUR) and try his luck on Bluefin Tuna, Broadbill and other offshore fish.

Normally, you have very good chances for mackerel, bluefish and Bonito. With a little bit luck you can catch Palometas (English: Leerfish or Garrick) and with much luck Pez Lemons (Amberjack) in addition, the first mentioned with an average weight over: 15 kg, maximum weight: 35kg. The Amberjacks can have between 20 and 50kg. In great moments even larger numbers of fish are possible; in addition, in Spain self-restraint applies too. C&R greets.

Fish types and the season

Last year tried we our luck, unfortunately the weather was horrible. Big rainfalls and storm terminated our test fishing. Nevertheless, owing to the instructions of our friend Reinhold Schwarzwälder we found a good area directly on the first day and caught two Palometas by 10 kg. We let Reinhold report therefore, he is very experienced at the Ebro delta and has a lot to tell!

A successful fishing-day at the Ebro Delta

Against 9.00 o'clock rise, have comfortably a breakfast at 10.00 o'clock load my boat and then I have to catch some bait-fish (unfortunately). Fresh bait-fish is the best bait. But, unfortunately it is not easy to catch some. Today I need two hours and then I have nine bait-fish in the best size (1 to 2 pounds). Behind the sand bank I rig a bait-fish and drag with 2 to 3 knots 20-30 m "briefly" and 80-100 m "long", with soft brake-adjustment directly over the rod point. Echolot and GPS are switched on, course deep water and on go for it. After 500 m I have my first run on the short line; I drive on and observe the water surface. Again the line starts several times briefly – oh no...; now also the second line runs, hopefully no Bluefish. Fast I take line - oh no, three bluefish behind my bait-fish: Who wins the race is clear; one of the fish bites 15 meters behind the boat my bait-fish smoothly through. The water is here highly transparent and I must helplessly watch like my bait get´s eaten by the “Ebro-piranhias”. Two laboriously caught bait-fish lost and already after 10 minutes – not a good beginning. I drive in the deep water. 10 minutes later I reach the first "GPS-Point", baits out and continue fishing. Now I can finally enjoy the bright blue sky, the low-blue water and the wonderful sunshine- so sea fishing has to be, simply wonderful! Well, now a fish would also not be fantastic. "point of way 2" also brings no success – the reels are silent.

I already arrived nearly at the "point of way 3", there suddenly a short noise on my reel, what was that? Hoppla, three Palometas pursue the "short" bait. I immediately push the reel-break onto "FREE-position" and hope that finally something happens. In the clear water I see two larger and a smaller Palometa hunting behind the bait-fish. It tried to flee, has however no chance – The big palometa takes the fish fully. I count one, two, three and then I take the rod and feel the fish. He hangs. Now I put the rod again in the holder and take the second rod and line out of the water.


What now, the second bait-fish suddenly jumps several times hectically out of the water, the two other Palometas attacks it. That may not be nevertheless truely, only for hours no bite, then equivalent two directly one behind the other. Alone I have only a small chance with two large Palometas at the same time. No five minutes later the lines over-cross and finish, two fish lost. Oh no, now are already 4 seals away and still no fish. I continue fishing, new seal new luck. Two minutes later the next bite, fantastic like the Palometa throws the bait-fish in the air and takes it again. Now the fish hangs correct. I can take out the second rod without any problems too. After about 15 minutes I can land a nice palometa with 15 kilo on my 30lb-tackle. I can see that the hook is on a good place, so I can release the fish without problems. It seems, that this is the place where the palometas are today. Fast a new bait and continuing fishing …

Now it works

No 5 minutes later the next bite, this time on the long line. I see only the gush, when the Palometa attacks the bait. I have to let him take the bait, and then drive on. The fish seems to hang well. What a flee, maybe a real big one. Twice I must ride along with the boat, to be able to catch up line. The fish remains deep, I still saw nothing from him. The fight takes already nearly a half hour, it is time for the fish to show up. Always slowly, nothing to force - it will already become good. Meanwhile I am weldingbathed, the fish stand close at the boat, but still above the ground. Now he also still begins to buck. With the 20 lb line I can´t pump it highly. Still another escape, but finally he comes up; in a distance of about 30 meters he still strikes around with his head; now it can become critical, therefore I lift first the engine up. And really, the fish shoots under the boat to his next flee. A large Palometa, it is surely heavy, over 25 kg. Probably, on this line a new IGFA-Worldrecord. Should I gaff the fish? Let´s see where the hook hangs, maybe I can release him. When he becomes calmer, I take the leader with the hand and put the rod into the rod-holder. Now he brings me almost out of the equilibrium; It seems, that the fish has eaten the bait fully. I can´t see the 10/0 hook. I can´t release the fish. It is very difficult, to get the fish in the boat with the hands. Next time, I take the gaff. A great palometa. Let´s see what the weight is.

The first Pez Lemon in this year

I am content and lucky! The wind refurbished in the meantime and the 8 kilometers up to the delta against the current is difficult to drive. Slowly, I´m trolling toward the homeland. I remember something. Pez Lemon love turned up sea…maybe… But as much luck is not entitled to me today. No matter how it becomes, the weather is still fantastically beautifully – comfortably I drive in home-direction and thoughts curve around. For an angler and a sunlover like me, there is simply nothing more beautiful than in wonderful weather to boating on the sea and to know, that every second a fish can bite. The water becomes now flatter, I approaches the delta. But, what´s that, the 30lb reel sins his best song …

A Crash Strike, brake lever highly and give gas. The fish hangs, a further Palometa!? What now, the fish pulls more than 150 m line, against the tightened real-break, from the role; not badly - again a large one? There it takes already again, then still another long escape.
So it can´t continue, here in the muzzle range is too many tons and obstacles. I drive afterwards the fish, to hold the line short. This fish is however really malicious, it flees again. Meanwhile I am again there where I come, in the deep water. Is it a nevertheless perhaps a Pez Lemon?

Already over a half hour the fish holds me in breath

Meanwhile the aligning are only short, but "position warfare" is announced above ground now. He don´t wants to the surface. By the leeway the water becomes ever deeper and the fish continues to go always down. God is thanks is I´m out of the range of the buoys. After 50 minutes I can raise the fish the first meters and am meanwhile rather sure that it must be a Pez Lemon; that would be my first in this season! I make the gaff clear. Finally, after nearly one hour I see the fish in the clear water. A Pez Lemon as assumed, but apparently not so large; they are tough and hard fighters - one hour at 30 lb equipment and then not even 30 kg! I haven´t any problems at the landing, the fish is tired. During the fight I am nearly four kilometers driven off. Against wind and current I drive overjoyed and contently back to the cradle place and then end of workday.

What should I say, the Palometa weighed 29.5 kg, would be not only be IGFA line-class record but IGFA All Tackle world too. Perhaps I must announce nevertheless once a fish. The Pez Lemon weighed only 22 kg and then such a fight - unbelievable! Oh, this evening we will eat Pez Lemon - in butter roasted - a benefit at the fishing rod and on the plate!

Still one, in the Ebro and in the artificial lakes one can fish also with large chances on catfish, zander, carps and a lot more …

Roberto, Pallometta 22 kg, 5th October
Pallomettas (Leerfische) Ausfahrten Strikes Fänge
Reinhold + Robert 4 3 1 (22 kg)
Reinhold + Jürgen 2 1 1 (21 kg)
Reinhold alleine 4 10 4 (27, 20, 10, 8,kg)
zusammen: 10 14 6 (118 Kg)

Reinhold Schwarzwälder and Robert Rein, October 2007