Alqueva lake

Characteristics of Alqueva lake

Typical creek
Alqueva in spring

With a capacity of 4150 hm3 and a flooded surface area of 25000 hectares, Alqueva lake is the largest in Western Europe. 3300 hectares are located in the province of Badajoz and the rest in neighbouring Portugal. It is a reservoir for hydroelectric power production, but also has important agricultural uses.

The waters of the Alqueva reservoir are relatively clear in winter but the rest of the year they are usually quite turbid due to the proliferation of algae in suspension. In addition, the surrounding clayey soil also has an influence on this turbidity, as during heavy rainfall the runoff washes this clay away and the water turns quite brown.

Bottom composition and structures

Alqueva lake fishing
Slate point with trees

The Spanish part of the reservoir is quite shallow in general, with shallow depths and slight to moderate slopes. The bedrock is mainly slate and the soils, as we have already mentioned, are quite clayey.

As we advance towards the area of the dam, the large beaches alternate with rockier areas: slate points, transition areas with rip rap… The creeks of this reservoir are really long and irregular with many inlets and overhangs, ideal areas for predators.

Alqueva lake
Dock in Alqueva, Luís Nepomuceno

The main problem in locating them is that at first sight there are hundreds of attractive areas, so we must go a little further and analyse the changes in depth, water inlets, areas more or less buffeted by the prevailing winds, areas with algae… This is the only way to focus the shot, as we can spend the whole day “pitching” trees without getting a single bite.

On the Portuguese side there are also several docks, bridges, buildings, walls… and other submerged anthropic structures. On the Spanish side there are also docks in Cheles and Villarreal, and some submerged stone buildings.

Vegetation and cover in Alqueva lake

Holm oaks
Trees in Alqueva

There are a large number of submerged trees (mainly holm oaks and cork oaks) at different depths. Practically whatever the level of the reservoir, we can find this cover in different areas of the reservoir. The lower the level, the greater the number of trees, as in many areas they were not felled prior to the construction of the reservoir.

Level changes are frequent, although due to the large size of the reservoir these changes are not as noticeable as in other more confined reservoirs (such as Alcántara, for example). In this link we can see the level, although it is only updated once a day.

Main fish species

Fishing in Alqueva lake is very varied, and most of the predator species present in the community can be found there.

Black bass Alqueva
Black bass medium sized
  • Black Bass. The population is abundant, and although this is not a reservoir where “PB” specimens abound, we can enjoy days with multiple catches of medium size. Of course a +2kg is possible, and very exceptionally you can catch specimens over 3 kg…
  • Zander. It is probably the most abundant predator in the reservoir. It is currently considered unfishable in Extremadura.
  • Channel catfish. This invasive species has been in the reservoir for many years and acts both as baitfish in its small sizes and as a predator when it exceeds 2 / 3 kg. It is currently considered unfishable in Extremadura.
    Channel catfish Alqueva
    Sometimes these fish are really agressive
  • Pike. Alqueva is not noted for its abundance of pike, although in certain areas we can find some concentrations.
  • Iberian barbel. Due to the interesting populations of shark and crab, it reaches very large sizes and can be fished both with lures and other techniques (carpfishing, feeder, matchfishing, on the fly…).
  • Carp. Carp are also very abundant in this reservoir, with an abundance of medium-sized specimens.

Baitfish in Alqueva lake

Nice Black bass
Nice postspawner that was hunting for bleak

The bleak is the main baitfish species in Alqueva, which hosts very important densities. It is not uncommon to find large balls of bleak, both in shallow areas and at depth.

Crawfish are also very abundant in the reservoir, and it is very common to find their skeletons and claws along the banks. In addition to fish, otters, herons and a good number of waterfowl feed on them.

There are also sunfish, crucian carp and catfish.

Access and navigation

Sunset in Extremadura
Alqueva lake

Most of the shores are passable, although it is not an excessively comfortable place to walk. There are large beaches with flat shores but also steep shores with slate and some slope. An important limitation is the accesses, as there are not too many of them and they are spaced several kilometres apart.

Both motorised and non-motorised navigation is allowed, after applying for a navigation permit at the CHG (CHG). On the Spanish side there are 2 small wharfs from which to launch boats: in Cheles and in Villarreal de Olivenza.

Extremadura fishing in 2022

Do you want to come to Extremadura to fish for predators and you don’t know which reservoir to choose? If you also want to live an unforgettable fishing experience, this link will give you all the information. Below I will show you the best reservoirs for fishing in Extremadura in 2022.

Black bass

Big bass
Black bass +3kg

If you are in love with black bass fishing, you have a lot to choose from, but first of all you should ask yourself one question: Quality or quantity? If you’re looking for your PB,  Orellana or Sierra Brava are probably the best options, although you should keep in mind the difficulty of these scenarios.

It is not new that there are fish of +3 kg in these reservoirs, but in recent years the chances of passing this barrier have grown exponentially

We can’t forget Cijara and Garcia Sola either, who despite not being at their best, still give big fishes every year. Do you want quantity?, Alcantara is probably your reservoir, even though being such a big reservoir, it is not easy to fish either. If you like to fish from float tube, the Guadiana still has some very entertaining ponds on which you can enjoy multiple catches.

Iberian barbel

Iberian barbel Alange
Iberian barbel +4kg in Alange

Even though it is not one of the most famous predators, it is a really fun fish to fish, which I personally love. If you want big barbels, Alange or Zújar lakes can offer you catches of 3, 4, 5 kg and even more… Alcantara is another interesting option, especially in spring, and Cíjara is once again becoming an interesting destination. If you prefer to pay  tribute to yourself and be able to catch dozens of barbels with artificial lures, then you should try La Serena.

Pike, Extremadura fishing in 2022

Extremadura fishing in 2020
Pike +100 in Orellana

Speaking about pike fishing in Extremadura is inevitably speaking about Orellana again. However, the high pressure of recent years means that it is not at all easy to have days with a lot of catches… La Serena still harbors real monsters, although if you want to try there, you’ll have to be very well prepared mentally. You’ll have very few bites and probably some “0 fish days”, but if you want to try a +100 or even a +110, it’s probably your place.

Zander

Zander Alcántara
Nice zander in Alcántara

If your target is the zander, you should always consider the Alcantara and Valdecañas reservoirs. Zanders have been present in both reservoirs for more than 20 years and apart from having a very good population, we can find record specimens. Other reservoirs such as  Cíjara or García de Sola have had zanders for less time, but we can already catch specimens over 90 cm in them. And finally if you want quantity, Orellana is again on the table, probably the lake with with the highest density of these fish.

Catfish, Extremadura fishing in 2022

Extremadura fishing in 2020
Average catfish in Alcántara

Unfortunately, there have been catfish in the Tajo River basin for more than 10 years now. However, if you want to try a catfish over 2 metres, you can do so in  Alcántara lake. The Valdecañas reservoir also has a good population of them, although they have not yet reached sizes as large as Alcántara.

By the way, if you don’t have a fishing license for Extremadura, here is the link.

Good fishing!

What are the most popular species for sport in Extremadura?

Black bass, pike, barbel (becero, comizo and gitano), catfish, channel catfish and zander. If you practice carpfishing, carp, barbel and catfish.

What are the 3 best lakes in Extremadura?

It depends on the modality you practice but for me they are : Orellana, Sierra Brava and Alcántara.

What is the best time of the year to fish in Extremadura?

Spring and autumn, although large specimens can also be caught in winter.

Alange lake

Characteristics of Alange lake

Alange
Mapa Alange

With a capacity of 825hm3 and an area of 5144 hectares, Alange lake is perhaps not one of the best known reservoirs, but it is home to quality fish. Its main peculiarity is that it has barely passed 600 hm3 since its construction and its average level is usually around 500 hm3, in the last few years not even that. Do you want to know the level in real time? Click here.

Its waters are not usually very clear as it has hardly any water input, and its main uses are supply, irrigation and electricity. As an interesting fact we could highlight the presence of the iberian lynx in adjacent areas.

Bottom composition and structures

Alange lake
Sunset in Alange

The bottom of the reservoir is composed of various rocks: slate, quartzite, sandstone, schist… generally quite degraded so the bottom is very sandy and with areas full of small stones. It is a reservoir in general very shallow, with kilometric beaches and we only find important rocky structures in the surroundings of the dam. These rocky points are the only ones where we can find a certain depth near the shore.

These structures are mainly formed by large rocks, although we also find some stretches of shore with loose rocks and pebbles (riprap).

Vegetation and cover

There are not too many dry trees and they are mostly found at the highest levels of the reservoir, so we usually do not find much wood in the water, except for some isolated specimens of holm oak. In some sections we can also find eucalyptus.

Thanks to the stability in the levels (low levels) of the last years, it has begun to grow enough underwater vegetation, forming today an excellent cover for black bass and pike. Likewise, at the mouth of the Matachel River and some creeks we can also find some underwater plants.

Main fish species

Alange is a reservoir famous for its large pike, although several years ago there were major pollution episodes in which many specimens died.

Black bass in a squarebill
Black bass Alange
  • Pike. Only a few years ago (between 2010 and 2016), the 80 to 100 cm specimens were frequent, and the reservoir had a very interesting population. Nowadays the density has dropped a lot, but even so from time to time some good specimens still come out.
  • Black bass. It has always been present in the reservoir, although it is complicated to locate them in this reservoir of beaches and kilometric creeks. More and more frequently we find them associated with the growing algae, with a healthy and growing population. Occasionally we can catch fish over 2 kg, are frequent specimens between 1 and 1.5 kg and there are many small specimens so we can spend fun days.
    Iberian barbel
    Iberian barbel Alange
  • Iberian barbel. The barbel population is very good, with a really interesting average size, between 2 and 4 kg, and increasingly predatory habits. Some specimens reach very good sizes, being not rare the fish over 5 kg.
  • Carp. The population of small and medium sized carp is very good, with occasional catches of carp over 20 kg. The most used techniques are carpfishing, feeder and match, with which we can also catch quite a lot of barbels.

Baitfish in Alange lake

shoal of bleak
Shoals of baitfish

There is a very good population of bleak, especially in recent years, which is favouring the development of black bass and barbel populations. Despite the abundance of bleak, as mentioned above, the pike has not yet recovered as it hardly has any suitable spawning areas.

Crayfish and perch are also abundant in the reservoir, as well as cyprinids: mainly carp, barbel and carp.

Access and navigation

Alange lake
La Culebra Hill

Navigation, both motorized and non-motorized, is allowed in practically the entire Alange reservoir, with some limitations (check the link).

The banks are very easy to walk on, 100% of them can be walked on comfortably, but there are certain limitations in terms of the number of accesses and their quality (large stretches of bank without roads nearby).

For fishing from a float tube or pontoon it is not necessary to apply for any navigation permit, because if they are less than 2.50m long they are considered as complements to bathing according to the current legislation (2022).

Alcántara lake

Characteristics of Alcantara lake

Alcántara
Map of Alcántara

With a capacity of 3160 hm3 and a flooded area of 10400 hectares, Alcántara lake is the largest in the province of Cáceres and also the third largest lake in Spain. As it is a reservoir intended for the production of hydroelectric energy, level changes are frequent and very pronounced. Its average level ranges from 1800 to 2600 hm3, although it frequently reaches levels above or below these. Do you want to know the level in real time? Click here.

Floripe's Tower
Alcántara lake, Manuel Martin

The waters of the Alcántara reservoir are clear in winter but from spring onwards the turbidity begins to grow due to the proliferation of suspending algae.

During the summer months the turbidity is very high due to the high concentration of these algae.

Finally, it should be noted that it is a reservoir in which we can see a good number of endangered species such as the black stork or the Bonelli’s eagle.

Bottom composition and structures

Alcántara lake
Granites in Alcántara, Manuel Martín

We have 2 clearly differentiated areas with granite and slate bottoms. The granitic zones are characterized by the alternation of large rocks with rounded contours and sandy beaches, while the slate zones present different levels of degradation. We can find both “rip rap” zones with small stones and zones where the rock remains “whole” forming textbook points with different slopes. Also we can find very interesting areas near the riverbed, with a 45 degree angle, sometimes with hundreds of meters long.

Alcántara lake
Slates in Alcántara, Manuel Martín

The reservoir is quite boxed in, we find really deep areas and the average slopes are high, with generally quite steep banks. The majority of the creeks are very small, although we also find long creeks of several kilometres with more stretched out areas. We have here almost every kind of structure so we can choose one or the other as we see fit.

Vegetation and cover

We found a good density of submerged trees (mainly holm oaks and wild olive trees) at different depths. Practically whatever the level of the reservoir we can find this type of cover in different areas of the reservoir. However, it is when the reservoir is low that we can see the greatest density of trees on the surface.

Due to the great changes in level, underwater vegetation is not frequent except at the mouths of small rivers and seasonal creeks.

Main fish species

Alcántara lake
Black bass Alcántara

It is probably the reservoir with the greatest variety of sport species in the community, housing in its waters very interesting populations of most of them.

  • Black Bass. The population is very abundant, although it is not a reservoir in which the “record” specimens abound, we can enjoy days with multiple catches of medium size. Of course a +2kg is possible, even +2’5kg if we are very lucky.
  • Zander. We also have very interesting populations of this predator, both in quality and quantity.
  • Catfish. Present in these waters since approximately 2010, the size of the specimens has grown ostensibly reaching more than 2 meters the largest specimens.
    Alcántara lake
    Catfish Alcántara
  • Pike. It has been present in the reservoir for dozens of years, although it has never reached significant densities, we can find good-sized specimens.
  • Iberian barbel. Due to the interesting populations of bleak and crawfish, it reaches really big sizes, being able to be fished both with lures and with other techniques (carpfishing, feeder, match fishing, fly fishing…)
  • Carp. They are also very abundant in this reservoir, although the largest specimens do not usually exceed 10kg.

Baitfish in Alcantara lake

Big iberian barbel
Iberian barbel Alcántara

The bleak has been present in Alcantara for quite some time and its populations are growing a lot in recent years, forming an important part of the diet of many predators.

The density of crawfish is also high, although they are usually deep and are not often seen on the shore or in surface layers. There are also sunfish and crucian carp in good densities.

Access and navigation

View near the dam
Alcántara lake, Juanma Francho

A significant percentage of the reservoir is inaccessible to fishing from the shore, either because of its steepness or because we find very large private properties in it, from which we cannot access the water.

Both motorised and non-motorised sailing is permitted, subject to application for a sailing permit from the CHT. Before sailing, check the many limitations that exist, especially in the first half of the year as most of the Alcantara reservoir is part of an SPA (Special Protection Area for Birds).

Almaraz-Arrocampo Lake

Characteristic of Almaraz lake

Arrocampo
Mapa Almaraz

With a flooded area of 776 hectares, Almaraz lake is very peculiar, because its main function is to cool the turbines of the Almaraz nuclear power plant. It is located in the east of the province of Cáceres and its level is stable throughout the year. The reservoir collects water from the River Tajo, this water is propelled to the nuclear power plant itself (channelled through walls located in the centre of the reservoir) and is returned to the River Tajo after a long journey in which it loses temperature.

Due to its peculiar characteristics it has become, in addition to sport fishing, a reference for the observation of waterfowl, housing very important populations of some endangered species.

Black bass Almaraz
Black bass Almaraz

The area in which the water has not yet reached the plant is called the “cold” area and the rest of the reservoir is considered the “hot” area. The water has a temperature several degrees higher than that of the surrounding reservoirs, due to this cooling function. This fact added to the high level of eutrophication means that they are always turbid, to a greater or lesser extent.

Bottom composition and structures

Long wall
Vista del muro central de Almaraz

The bottom of the reservoir is practically flat, as it has been built by excavating in a similar way to a gravel pit and only in some areas do we find the bottom full of small rounded stones and pebbles. Most of the reservoir’s bottom is covered with silt and mud, from the decomposition produced by the abundant reeds and cattails that surround it.

The only anthropic structures we find are the slopes of some surrounding roads and the aforementioned wall in the “center” of the reservoir, which is practically impossible to reach from the shore with our lures.

Vegetation and cover

Cattails forest
Embalse de Almaraz

The reservoir is almost entirely surrounded by cattails, reeds and other plants linked to wetland ecosystems. This vegetation is very dense, especially in the warmer months, making the reservoir practically inaccessible from most of its banks, except for the accesses “built” by fishermen.

In this tangle of vegetation, most of the fish find shelter and food, so we must prepare ourselves to fish in what we call “heavy cover”, although the currents present in the most central areas of the reservoir will also allow us to fish in “open water” with other types of lures.

Main fish species

Black bass Almaraz
Nice double with Matthias Lothy

It is a reference reservoir for black bass fishing in winter, since the higher temperature of its waters contributes to the fish maintaining high levels of activity, even in the coldest months.

  • Black Bass. The density is very high, finding fish of all sizes in practically all areas of the reservoir. They do not usually reach very high weights, as their high level of activity throughout the year prevents them from accumulating the necessary reserves. That’s why we will find fish with a very elongated morphology.
  • Zander. It has entered the Almaraz reservoir from the Tajo River and it seems that its densities are not very high.
    Black bass Almaraz
    Black bass +50 cm en la zona fría
  • Catfish. Just like the zander has entered through the Tajo but its populations are growing in recent years. Specimens over 150 cm long have already been caught.
  • Carp. The carp is very abundant in this reservoir but its average size is rather small (between 1 and 2 kg). The most used techniques by the fishermen are feeder and match fishing.

Baitfish in Almaraz lake

The crawfish has always been the main prey, although in recent years bleak have also come in from the Tajo. There is also presence of mosquitofish, sunfish and some frogs.

Access and navigation

Navigation is forbidden in the Almaraz reservoir, so fishing is only possible from the shore. We must bear in mind that a large part of the reservoir is closed from March 1 to August 1 because it is an SPA area. The sections highlighted in orange are those where no fishing is allowed during this period.

limitaciones almaraz
mapa 1
limitaciones almaraz 2
mapa 2

 

 

 

 

Due to the enormous density of vegetation and the fairly uniform depths of the shores, the use of the wader is practically indispensable. It is important to locate the accesses to the reservoir beforehand, since sometimes there are stretches of bank several hundred meters long that are impassable due to the thickness of the cattails.

Cíjara lake

Characteristics of Cíjara lake

Cíjara
Map Cíjara

With a capacity of 1505hm3 and an area of 6565 hectares, Cíjara lake is another of the best known reservoirs for sport fishing. It is a clear water reservoir, although usually not as much as its neighbours García Sola and Orellana, and can find areas with more turbid waters than others in different parts of the reservoir.

Its main uses are electricity production, supply and irrigation, and level changes are relatively frequent, ranging from 700 to 1200 hm3 in a “normal” year. Do you want to know the level in real time? Click here.

Bottom composition and structures

Shallow creek
Cíjara, Bastien Nicolay

The bottom of the reservoir is made up of very varied rocks that alternate in different areas: slate, schist, quartzite, greywacke, sandstone… with different levels of degradation.

It is a really extensive reservoir and we can find all kinds of structures. There are miles of creeks, huge beaches, but there are also multiple cuts and small boxed creeks, as it is in a fairly rugged area. We have quite interesting moderate slopes, so we can fish at a certain depth in a good number of areas.

Cut and “textbook” points, rip rap areas, large stone areas, submerged islands… we can find practically all kinds of structures, as long as we know the reservoir, that is.

Vegetation and cover

Old big one
Black bass Cíjara

The submerged vegetation, in the form of old trees, bushes, etc., is not notable for its abundance, although in rainy years, when the water level reaches the highest levels, a good number of bushes and some trees will be submerged, providing then a good amount of wood cover.

The underwater vegetation is quite abundant, we find extensive areas with interesting weeds, although sometimes the marked changes in level leave this vegetation too deep or even out of the water, and a significant percentage of it dries out.

Main fish species

Cíjara is one of the reference reservoirs in the world of sport fishing. Although it is not at its best either, the black bass and pike populations are starting to recover after several bad years.

It is no coincidence that the Euro Nitro Cup (one of the most important competitions at European level in the world of black bass) is held in this reservoir, having already celebrated 10 editions of the same.

Lunker
Black bass Cííara
  • Black Bass. If there’s one thing Cijara is famous for, it’s its black bass populations. After some difficult years in which excessive fishing pressure, the reduction of the bleak populations and other factors were determining in the reduction of their populations, it seems that it is recovering again. Specimens weighing 1,5 to 2 kg are relatively abundant, with specimens weighing more than 2,5 kg or even 3 kg being not too rare.
  • Pike. This reservoir has also stood out for its large pike, which like black bass has suffered a difficult time. Pike measuring over 110 cm have been caught in this reservoir, and it is not uncommon to find specimens measuring 80 to 90 cm.
    Cíjara lake
    Nice pike from Cíjara
  • Zander. Present in the reservoir for a few years already, its populations suffered an explosion several years ago, and today we find more stable populations, with important densities. They reach good sizes, with the largest specimens exceeding 80 cm.
  • Iberian barbel. In this reservoir the barbels reach really important sizes, having caught specimens of more than 9kg of weight. In certain periods they bite very well with artificial lures.
  • Carp. It is not particularly famous for its carps, but it has a good population of them, especially in intermediate sizes. It is ideal for feeder or match fishing of good specimens.

Baitfish in Cíjara lake

Creek of Cíjara
In some moments… creeks are filled with bleak

The bleak is the main species of bait fish and its densities are growing today. After the initial explosion during which we could see endless shoals of bleak, came a time of drastic reduction, due in part to the entry of the zander. Today their populations are growing, and some interesting large “balls” can be found again.

The crawfish is very abundant too, providing an interesting food source, especially in areas where there are not too many bleaks.

Finally, we should also mention the sunfish and carp and barbel fry as a possible source of food for predatory species.

Access and navigation

Picture from Óscar Tabernero
Typical banks of Cíjara

Navigation is allowed in a large part of the Cíjara reservoir, except for some sections in spring, to preserve the reproduction of protected birds.

Most of the banks are easily passable, although we must be careful with the cut-off areas, where fishing from the shore is not recommended due to their dangerous nature. There are quite a few areas that are difficult to reach from the shore, because there are not too many roads leading to the water.

For fishing with float tube or pontoon, no permit is required, because if they are less than 2.50m long, they are considered to be a complement to bathing according to the current legislation (2021).

Gabriel y Galán lake

Characteristics of Gabriel y Galán lake

Gabriel y Galán
Gabriel y Galán Map

With a capacity of 924 hm3 and a flooded area of 4683 hectares, Gabriel y Galán lake is of considerable size, and is located in the north of the province of Cáceres. Its main use is the production of hydroelectric energy, but it is also used for irrigation and drinking water supply. Level changes are frequent and marked. Its average level is between 300 and 700 hm3 although it is relatively frequent that its level goes out of these ranges, especially in very dry or very rainy years. Do you want to know the level in real time? Click here. The waters are very clear most of the year.

In addition to sport fishing, we can do other activities such as hiking, cycling, photography and birdwatching, as it is included in an SPA (Special Protection Area for Birds).

Bottom composition and structures

Gabriel y Galán lake
View from Granadilla castle

The main rocks that make up the bottom of the reservoir are slate and to a lesser extent granite in areas near the dam. The slopes are moderate, and we can find both large beaches and deeper areas, although these are usually far from the shore, which makes fishing from the shore difficult at certain times.

It is not a reservoir that is characterized by the presence of very marked structures, although we find several stone ones in certain areas: mainly walls and remains of old submerged buildings.

Vegetation and cover

We occasionally find submerged vegetation: small trees and bushes but the vegetation cover is rather scarce.

Main fish species

We have an interesting variety of sport species, which although they do not usually reach record sizes, their densities are significant.

  • Black Bass. There is a good population of medium sized black bass, occasionally finding some large specimens above 2 kg.
  • Zander. Abundant populations of this predator and growing.
    Gabriel y Galán lake
    Common barbel, Gabriel y Galán
  • Pike. It has been present in the reservoir for some time, although it is not particularly abundant. In recent years it has been seen more frequently.
  • Common barbel. It does not reach big sizes but we can fish it with artificial lures, mainly in spring, summer and early autumn. Logically it can also be fished with other techniques (carpfishing, feeder, match, fly…)
  • Carp. Carp are also very abundant in this reservoir, although they do not usually reach large sizes.

Baitfish in Gabriel y Galán lake

The bleak and the crawfish are the most abundant species in the Gabriel y Galán reservoir, but we also have the presence of sunfish, nase and crucian carp.

Access and navigation

Another view
Gabriel y Galán lake

It is a moderately accessible reservoir on the shore since we can access it through a good number of roads, mainly in the area closest to the dam. The main creek area is more inaccessible from the shore and except in specific areas, it is more advisable to fish them from a boat.

Both motorised and non-motorised navigation is permitted on application to the CHT.

 

García de Sola lake

Characteristics of García de Sola lake

García Sola
García de Sola map

With a capacity of 554 hm3 and an area of 3550 hectares, García Sola lake is a reservoir on the Guadiana River well known to sport fishermen. Despite the fact that it is not in its best moment, its waters still shelter specimens of great quality. Like its neighbor Orellana, is characterized by the clarity of its waters (except for occasional episodes of flooding) and by the difficulty of its fish. This is largely due to the high fishing pressure to which it has been subjected in recent years.

It has a hydroelectric plant, although it also has other uses such as irrigation and supply. Its level is quite stable and usually varies between 250 and 400 hm3, rarely rising above these 400. Do you want to know the level in real time? Click here.

Dam area, García Sola
García Sola lake, Bastien Nicolay

Bottom composition and structures

Rocky estructure
Near the dam of García de Sola

We can find very diverse structures, in a bottom covered mostly with schist and quartzite. We discover cut areas, mainly as we approach the dam, but also in the main riverbed. On the other hand, we also find extensive creeks and long stretches of laid shore.

We can also highlight extensive areas of rip rap, dotted with large quartzite rocks. There are several small islands and as far as anthropic structures are concerned we can highlight stone walls in some creeks, submerged roads, some old cass and the bridge of the N-502 road that goes from Castilblanco to Herrera del Duque.

Vegetation and cover

Typical bank
García Sola lake

There are not many areas where we can find submerged trees or wood, although near the Guadiana riverbed we can locate some. However, the coverage originated by the underwater vegetation is very important, and is expanding in recent years.

There are really extensive and dense “algueros” (like forests of weeds), which extend from the shore itself to areas where we are 8 meters deep or even more.

We must bear them in mind when fishing, as these algueros provide shelter and food for the different species of predatory fish, and are already spread over many areas of the lake.

Main fish species

Although it is not at its best, the García de Sola reservoir has always stood out for the enormous quality of its catches, mainly black bass, but also for pike or carp.

Good sized pike
Pike García Sola
  • Pike. There has always been an interesting population of pike, and today they find in the “algueros” a suitable habitat for their expansion. Pike between 80 and 90 cm are common, and captures above the meter are not rare.
  • Black Bass. There is a very good population of black bass, although it is under great pressure, which complicates its fishing. The medium size is quite big: specimens over 2 kg are relatively common, and occasionally specimens over 3 kg are caught.
Average fish for the lake
Zander García Sola
  • Zander. Present in the reservoir for several years, the population has shot up exponentially in a short time, with negative repercussions on the population of bleak. Today they reach very good sizes, with some specimens being able to exceed 80 cm in length. Together with the excessive fishing pressure, this is one of the reasons why this reservoir is not experiencing its best moments with regard to other predators.
  • Carp. There is a good population of carp size. In general there are not as many really big carp as there can be in 0rellana but there are quite a few medium sized carp.

Baitfish in García de Sola lake

+4 pounder in competition
Black bass García Sola

The bleak is the main source of food for predators, but its populations suffered a significant decline several years ago, coinciding with the arrival of the zander. This decline has influenced the morphology of the black bass, much more stylized than in the neighboring reservoir of Orellana.

The crawfish is quite abundant, as well as the sunfish. Large school of zander fries are also a good source of food in spring.

Access and navigation

Sailing is permitted at the García de Sola reservoir, where several ramps have also been built to facilitate access for motor boats.

Black bass in a jig
Iconic picture with the mountain in the background

There are accessible stretches of shore, but there are not many roads leading to the water so we must be prepared to walk a lot if we want to reach some areas. Some shores are also quite steep, or are full of loose stones, which makes them uncomfortable to walk on.

For fishing from a float tube or a pontoon, it is not necessary to apply for any navigation permit, because if they are less than 2.50m long they are considered as complements to bathing according to the current legislation (2021).

Horno Tejero and Boquerón lakes

Characteristics of Horno Tejero and Boquerón lakes

Horno Tejero and Boquerón
Horno Tejero and Boquerón map

The Horno Tejero reservoir has a capacity of 24 hm3 and a flooded area of 283 hectares. Boquerón is smaller, with a capacity of 6 hm3 and 124 hectares. Despite being small, Horno Tejero and Boquerón lakes are famous for the size of their catches. They are reservoirs for the supply of the population, so they do not usually have sudden changes of level. Generally we will find them near their maximum capacity, between 20 and 22 hm3 Horno Tejero and between 4 and 5 Boquerón. Its waters are very clear except for occasional moments of heavy rain and large floods in the streams. Do you want to know the level in real time? Click here and here.

Currently both are fishing preserves, managed by a local society of fishermen, but we can get permits in the bar “El Cazador” in the municipality of Cordobilla de Lácara itself.

Bottom composition and structures

Nice, golden bass
Black bass Horno Tejero

They are characterized by very gentle slopes and hardly any rocky structures. Except for a couple of areas where there is a little more unevenness, it is very difficult to access great depths fishing from the shore, an important factor to take into account when we face our fishing days.

The structures are practically reduced to the walls and their surroundings. In Horno Tejero there is also an old road, its slope and some very long points, but hardly steep, with a rocky bottom formed by schists and quartzite.

Vegetation and cover

Wood cover
Eucalyptus Horno Tejero

In Horno Tejero we have large areas of dry eucalyptus trees surrounding some banks of the reservoir, most of them remain standing although there are some lying down. These areas are only interesting when the reservoir is practically at 100% of its capacity, since as soon as the level drops to 21 or 22 hm3, most of them stay out of the water or in very shallow areas.

There are also remains of bush, mainly rockrose, which in rainy years can provide some cover for fish, although there are fewer and fewer of them and they deteriorate over the years.

The Boquerón reservoir, on the other hand, is almost entirely surrounded by reeds and cattails. This vegetation offers a very interesting cover, especially in years when it is at a high level. There are also some submerged holm oaks.

In the mouths of the creeks we have presence of underwater vegetation and some weeds, although they are not very significant.

Main fishing species

Nice postspawner
Black bass Horno Tejero

In spite of being two rather small reservoirs, both are famous for the enormous sizes that their black bass and carp reach. Their crystalline waters and low slopes make it a real challenge, however.

  • Black Bass. The population of Horno Tejero is very interesting, although it is a very complicated reservoir to fish due to the scarce cover near the banks and the shallow depth. In Boquerón the depth that we can reach by fishing from the shore is also scarce, although when it is high there is indeed plant cover. There is a good population of medium sized fish and some specimens even reach 3 kg in weight.
    long, fat pike
    Pike Horno Tejero
  • Pike. It is also an abundant predator in both reservoirs, although it does not stand out for reaching large sizes. We can spend entertaining days with multiple captures of small and medium size.
  • Carp. Probably if this reservoir is famous for something it is for its big and elusive carps. Several specimens have been caught weighing more than 30 kilos and there is a good density of quality fish, with frequent catches above 15 kg.

Baitfish in Horno Tejero and Boquerón

They are one of the few reservoirs in which the bleak has not yet made an appearance. This does not prevent the predators from having a practically “unlimited” source of food with the crawfish, whose densities are very high.

The sunfish is also abundant in both reservoirs and we can find some tench.

Access and navigation

Nowadays, navigation is allowed in both, so float tubes, pontoons and small boats can be used. A good part of the banks are easily accessible, due to the “flatness” of the banks. However, in order to access certain areas we will have to walk several kilometres as there are not many roads leading to the water.

We must consult the limitations of navigation, because in spring the final section of one of the creeks is not navigable because it is a reproduction area of Bonellí’s eagle.