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A steep learning curve for these novice carpers but they still banked a 36lb mirror and a 90lb catfish

This week we had the absolute pleasure of welcoming husband and wife team, Ian and Caroline, for their first trip to France. They discovered carp fishing just three years ago and were instantly hooked. As is normal in the early years, they’ve only fished a few different runs waters and wanted to take a leap into the unknown and try for some big carp and cats in France. On arrival they were very open about their skill level and experience and it helped us decide how to best guide them. They are both very open minded and were here to learn. Beausoleil is an excellent venue for this and it can teach you so much in a very short period. Tired from the journey, they didn’t start the session until late on Sunday.

When I first saw them again on Monday morning, the news was that the alarms had been chirping most of the night but with no pickups. This is common enough and is always down to rigs or hooks. Unfortunately the rigs they’d had made were not capable of catching much so we started again. As they had never tied rigs and didn’t have any suitable rig making materials, I got them going with some of my rigs. We also discovered that the line they’d bought especially for the venue broke very easily at the swivel, no matter how carefully I tied the knot, so we had to change the line. Knot testing is fundamental to success here and something we pay very close attention to.

I was in the area the next day and decided to stop by to see how things were going. I saw heads were starting to drop as they wrestled with the intractable problem of catching a fish. First step was to take a step back from the rods and go see what we could find. A tour of the lake revealed an amazing collection of big carp sitting in the shade of the overhanging trees. One tree in particular sheltered several big carp and was begging to be fished. All rods were wound in and total focus was given to get a good rig with a hand sharpened hook in the right place with the right baiting strategy (a light scattering of whole and broken baits). Caroline was excellent in the rowing boat and drifted precisely to the mark we had selected. Rig lowered and baits spread, there was only one thing to do and that was to wait. And later in the day, Caroline banked herself a new PB of 36lbs, not bad considering her previous best was 15lbs!

Now that they’d seen exactly how to get a bite, it was over to them to apply the knowledge. Ian used the same method during the evening and banked a massive 90lb catfish the very next morning which he battled for 1.5hrs. Ian is fit and strong and it took all his strength to haul this beast up onto the mat. Brilliant work mate! They did manage two other pickups but were unable to stop the unseen torpedo reaching the tip of the island and cutting them off (despite the fact that they were using my very own 30lbs mainline!). What happened was that the clutch was not cranked down hard enough to slow these fish. You really have to lean into them sometimes if you are to stand a chance of banking them which is why confidence in knots and every item of tackle is of utmost importance. They guys had an incredible experience, caught two cracking fish, learnt loads and can’t wait to return for another go next spring. It was fantastic to meet them and share these moments in their carp fishing journey.

Catch report & Feedback from:

Ian & Caroline
Dates at Beausoleil: 4th to the 11th June 2016
Number of anglers: 2

Brief details of your catches:

1 x Mirror Carp: 36lbs
1 x Catfish: 90lbs

What did you find were the best swims/tactics/baits?

Snake bank under over hanging trees
Island point and the channel swims
Stalking, light scatterings of boilie across 6 or 7 swims
Beausoleil Boilies

How was the weather?

Saturday to Thursday, boiling hot
Friday, heavy rain then light rain.

How did you find the accommodation?

Turn left at the entrance and there it was 

What could we do to improve your holiday?

1. Not much
2. Charging points for iPad/iPhone
3. Not much
4. Fishery manager learns new jokes

Would you recommend our venue to a friend?

Already have

General comments

From the minute we arrived we were made to feel at home. Greeted with a glass of wine, a full tour and a detailed explanation of the facility, tactics and baiting. The knowledge that both Matt & Ren bring to this facility is extensive and worth engaging with from minute one. As relative novices Caroline and I benefitted from serious carp and cat expertise of Matt who spent more time with us than probably most to help ensure we were ready for some big fish. This is a serious fishery that can not only cater for experienced anglers but also novices like ourselves. This is due to the time and patience both Matt and Ren are willing to invest in their guests. Amazing place, thoroughly recommended. A +++++++ :)

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