Following his family’s successful Fishing Holiday in Portugal at the Quinta, Christophe sent me this lovely film he made while here fishing with Paulo Jorge Ramos, the World Wide-mouthed Bass Champion. I think they enjoyed themselves! So, notwithstanding the Quinta’s reputation as a birding and nature hotspot, it’s not all about those past-times, not by a long cast!!
The Wide-mouthed Bass World Champion, Paulo Jorge Ramos, lives in Santa Clara and is regularly taking the Quinta’s guests fishing for this marvelous sports species this year.
This picture shows him picking up Christophe and Alexandre Normand from France at the Quinta’s dock for a day’s outing.
Christophe later said that the day had been “Splendide! Excellent! Mieux que je ne le pensais!” And of Paulo Jorge? “Il connait très bien le lac et ses poissons, n’est-ce pas? Magnifique!”
Most of the Quinta’s visitors see the lake during the summer when it’s warm and clean – and when we’re all swimming and boating on it it’s sometimes easy to forget that a huge swathe of countryside nearby draws its Life-force from the water stored here; it’s mostly used for irrigating the sandy soils along the west coast during the six hotter months of the year and the level drops on average an inch a day during that period. It needs a fair amount of rainfall to replenish it, so, unlike most Europeans, we pray for a wet winter every year! The last seven or eight years haven’t been that spectacular and slowly the lake’s dropped down to 12 meters or so below it’s level when full – but it looks as if we’re going to see it a lot higher by next Spring as we’re having a lovely wet winter this year thank goodness, and there’s more on the way if the forecasters have got it right ….
It started to rain here just before Christmas and hasn’t really stopped during the last ten days, so the little stream we cross every day, that’s dry for the majority of the year, has turned during the last week or so into the raging torrent in the video clip here; it’s hard to believe that the stream that you can see here flowing OVER the bridge was only a week ago bone dry …
The result? Well, this is just one stream out of hundreds pouring its offerings into the lake – and there’s a fair sized river as well – so the end result is that the lake’s risen four meters during the last four days … with an an average width of half a mile and a length of more than 25 miles that’s an awful lot of water. It seems we’re spending every other second pulling the pontoon further up the bank – but boy are we happy … a tad damp it’s true, but very, very happy!
Many people have urged me to tell the Quinta’s story on this blog, and seeing as I haven’t written anything for, (heavens above!), two months, it seems only fair that I should do something a little special, so here’s a small video Daniela and I put together over the last week; we hope you enjoy it!
…. and this morning this chap caught these Wide mouthed Bass off the pontoon. They’re very good eating and a prized game fish in the States, though little known this side of the Atlantic. In Portugal they’re known as Achigan; the origin of the word apparently is “Michigan” as the first imported fish to Portugal came from the lake of that name.
(Unfortunately for me the poor chap has the sailing boat’s mast coming out of the top of his head – which I should really have got rid of in Photoshop before posting this entry, but there you go.)
In the meantime, Pesca, the Quinta’s German Long haired Pointer, looks on in hope that he’ll drop a fish before he can get them back in the keep net ….
We get many enquiries regarding fishing at the Quinta, so the above piccie is just to show you what’s available. This local lad popped in half an hour ago just for a quick cast or two before the weekend and pulled this one out within half an hour – he caught others as well, mainly Wide-mouthed Bass. He said the trick was not to waste time casting all over the place but wait until one sees them …. which says something about the water clarity hereabouts!