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A slow start ends in a frenzy of fish catching action with 7 cats over 80lbs and the first tonner of 2017. Plenty of carp too with 5 x 30’s to 37lbs!

The week was superb fun and the lake was better than wished for. Having Matt on hand to help and guide, made the difference between head in hands despair and delight!

This week we had the pleasure of welcoming a new group from London. The trip was organised by Andy and was to be their first week long French carp fishing adventure together. Andy, by his own admission, is the least experienced of the group but he’s not what I would term a novice. At the other end of the scale, Richard at 75 had travelled the world fishing for all manner of finned creatures and is a far more experienced angler than I’ll ever be. Edward fell somewhere between the two, a highly competent barbel angler with a PB of 16lbs! He’d also had carp to 27lbs but, like the others, was interested in catching many different species so hadn’t concentrated solely on carp.

Mainline choices: Big Game in 25 to 30lbs (no premature failures), P-Line in 30lbs (one premature failure). Rigs/bait: Beausoleil bottom baits rigs, stiff rigs and hair rigged worms all worked well.

Matt’s Carp and Cat Fishing Tutorial

One of the reasons the guys had chosen our venue is because they really wanted to learn more about carp and cat fishing and had booked a 24 hr tutorial in order to get the most from their week. What was really refreshing was the thirst for knowledge that they had, especially Richard who was wise enough to know, even at 75 years of age, that there’s always more to learn! During the tutorial we covered feature finding from the bank and afloat. Casting and feeling for the donk. Knot tying and testing or as I call it “the Bucket Test”. Then it was onto rig tying and hook sharpening…. that really blew their minds! Then it was onto bait application strategies and to finish I worked with them one on one to get the rigs in play for the night. It was a lot of information to process in one hit but it really got them thinking! Edward was first to strike gold, quite literally, when at 1am he banked a new PB in the shape of a fin perfect 30lbs common. The same rod was away again just before breakfast with a stunning mid twenty. No joys for the other lads that night but not long after I’d left, Andy banked a 50lbs and 60lbs catfish.

A Catfish Festival in March!

After the tutorial, I left the guys to it for a few days to apply their newfound skills. In the early hours of Tuesday morning, Edward had his senses violently assaulted by one of our massive catfish at 93lbs! Not an experience that he’ll be forgetting in a hurry! Edward’s run continued with cats of 88lbs, 82lbs and 76lbs. Richard had a few missed chances but finally connected with a proper monster late on Tuesday night. Richard’s catfish PB (like all his PB’s) was already pretty massive at 130lbs (although he said it didn’t count as he just wound it in during a trip to the Ebro!). He’d also caught other catfish of 100lbs plus but he told me that nothing he’d previously experienced came close to the battle he had that night with one of our beasts. Weighing in at 101lbs he was very glad of the man mountain that is Andy to lift it out the water for him!

During the tutorial I explained to the guys how many times we get done each night and many of what we write off as liners are the sonic evidence of this. Despite paying extra attention to his hooks, Edward knew that they were still turning his traps over and getting away with it! On Wednesday night he decided to ring the changes and just hair rig half a boilie and no freebies… later that night he banked a proper lump of 37lbs!

Andy had cracked how to catch the catfish (hair rigged worms) but really wanted to bank a carp so made a move to the often overlooked Home swim. A delicate flick to the aerator landed right on the money and resulted in a new PB for Andy at 37lbs!

We called in to see them on Friday and just as we were wishing them a safe journey Andy was into yet another cat. He’d already smashed his PB with every fish he’d caught and the theme continued when the scales flew round to 85lbs! While we were weighing this one Richard was away and he banked Janus at just under 30lbs. A big cat on the mat and a carp in the net on a sunny day at Beausoleil, does it get better? Well yes actually it does. With a change in wind to a SW direction things then got a bit silly as after we left, within the next few hours, Edward had a fin perfect common of 32lbs, Richard banked 3 more including another perfect common of 32lbs and Andy narrowly missed the 3 figure mark with a 99lbs cat.

Please don’t let these results fool you into thinking that Beausoleil is a runs water because it’s not. But sometimes, just sometimes, magical things happen and our guests can have a field day!

Catch report & Feedback from:

Andy, Edward and Richard
Dates at Beausoleil: 25th March to 1st April 2017
Number of anglers: 3

Brief details of your catches:

21 fish in total
5 x Mirror Carp: 37lbs 8oz, 37lbs, 29lbs 12oz, 28lbs 12oz, 25lbs
5 x Common Carp: 32lbs, 32lbs, 30lbs, 28lbs, 22lbs
11 x Catfish: 101lbs, 99lbs, 93lbs, 88lbs, 85lbs, 82lbs, 80lbs, 78lbs, 62lbs, 60lbs, 51lbs

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

Single bottom baits or popups. Daytime worms for cats. Set traps along snake bank. Do not put in loads of bait! Hemp and halibut pellets in a small PVA worked well.

How was the weather?

Clear and high pressure

How did you find the accommodation?


What could we do to improve your holiday?

Possibly to have a tapered slide to facilitate landing and retrieving the cats

Would you recommend our venue to a friend?


General comments

The week was superb fun, really thoroughly enjoyed the week and fishing was a challenge but enjoyable. Having Matt on hand to help and guide, made the difference between head in hands despair and delight! The gite was as expected but the lake was better than wished for. It was clean, well presented but best of all contained the fish of the quality you sell. Just simply knowing all the fish is truly fantastic and something I simply have not come across before in my limited time fishing. I really have no recommendations other than maybe another set of scales to save the running around with the Rubens or maybe if you provide rigs, something to keep them in (if like me you forgot your rig wallet) - card and foam would suffice, nothing of cost. Truly impressed all around and it really was a delight to fish and meet you both.

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