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Lots of beautiful 30lbs+ to 39lbs out this week and Wayne finally breaks his French duck and gets 4 new PBs!

Tony with Perla at 39lbs

This week we had the great pleasure of welcoming back Wayne, Tony, Dean and Alex who visited us for the first time last autumn. Since then, the guys have been counting down the days and during the last weeks before the trip, the excitement levels were off the scale. It’s fabulous to run a venue that can generate such strong emotions in fully grown men that have travelled the world and seen it all!

This time, the priority was to get Wayne to catch a fish. This was his fourth trip to France and so far his score remained at zero. It was clear that he was missing something and with a little encouragement from Alex, Wayne decided to bite the bullet and book me for a half day tutorial.

Wayne’s fishing tutorial

Wayne absolutely loves his fishing. He’s got all the right gear but with little in the way of basic fishing skills, catching in France was proving to be an impossible task. It takes real courage to accept that you need help. At the start of the session his first words were, ”You’ll have to forgive me Matt but I’m going to be asking lots of stupid questions, I don’t even know how to tie the hair rig.” My response, “It’s OK mate, there is no such thing as a stupid question and secondly loads of people get the hair rig wrong!”.

As always we started with the mainline. After investing in some shiny new Nash scopes, Wayne had bought some 0.40 mainline rated at 33lbs for a bargain price. Three fails on the 20lbs bucket lift test and this was coming straight off! I’d come prepared with spare 0.50mm mainline so we started with how to re-spool properly. Something that anglers can struggle with is threading tubing and Wayne had literally spent an hour trying to get some tubing on. There are a few simples steps required to make this job simple so that proved very popular. Next up it was mainline connection knots, how to tie them properly and test them. We then did the whole Beausoleil rig from start to finish in intimate detail. We also focused on mastering the 5 turn grinner for his hook links. I still see the knotless knot tied incorrectly with the hook link coming out the wrong side of the eye, so we went through why this is so very important and what the pitfalls are.

“The place where dreams come true”

Wayne with Starburst at 27lbs 14oz

During the session, we regularly saw feeding bubbles rise from various spots. Shortly after seeing some heavy fizzing, a good carp boshed on the spot and we got one rod ready to drop the rig in place. Four whole 24mm Nutty Banoffee baits and four crushed went in the boat with a single 24mm bottom bait. That’s all that’s required to get a pickup. Out it went and Wayne couldn’t believe it when 20 minutes later the Delkim let out a flurry a bleeps, the line tightened and he was in!

Wayne didn’t have a lot of experience handling a rod and playing a carp and as I frantically coached him through the process, he let the line go slack and it was off! Noooo!!! Fair play he took it well as that’s the closest he’d ever come to catching a carp in France! I then worked flat out to tie him up enough rigs and get the other rods sorted. We covered simple bait boat trap tactics and how to pre-bait and rest spots and by 5pm it was time to let him fly solo.

Wayne with his first French carp, The Big Apple at 33lbs 14oz

The next morning, we received the photo we were hoping for: Wayne, literally cuddling a 33lb mirror as if it were his first born! The smile on his face really does say it all. Wayne told me just how much it meant to him and how he had my voice in his head while playing the carp…. brilliant! And that wasn’t the end of it, early Wednesday morning Wayne met a monster in the shape of a 92lb catfish! And in just 7 hours, Wayne had gone from camper to carper! Wayne also caught a stunning upper twenty and the sturgeon.

Four fish, four PB’s and the man’s walking around 20 ft tall! Love it!

Click here to see all the fish caught during the week.

Tony is top rod for the week with 11 fish including 7 x 30lbs+

Tony with Monkfaire at 33lbs and 14oz mirror carp
Tony with Monkfaire at 33lbs and 14oz

Tony had really put the effort into his prep for this trip and had lots of perfectly tied rigs ready for the off. He was off the mark on the first evening with a fantastic mirror of 35lbs taken on one of his stiff hinge rigs with one of our Nutty Banoffee corkball popups…. Sweet! Later that night he had an epic 2hr battle with one of our cats which came in at just under 90lbs. When I met him at breakfast on Sunday morning, the man was in bits what with the journey and all!

It’s fair to say that Tony was streets ahead. His hand sharpened hooks and rigs were spot on and so were his observational skills and baiting strategy. Night after night he continued to trick carp after carp, and many were upper 30’s. It was text book stuff and Tony was loving it!

Dean with Horizon at 34lbs mirror carp
Dean with Horizon at 34lbs

Dean and Alex started slow but by Tuesday they’d both caught a carp each. Based on Tony’s results, conditions were obviously favourable for multiple captures so it was strange that they’d not done better. A quick check of their rigs and hooks explained exactly what the problem was. We discussed what was wrong and I tied them up a couple of rigs and walked away confident in the knowledge that they’d catch a few more. It took 24hrs for the magic to happen but soon both were cradling some proper Beausoleil Beauties! Alex broke his PB twice and Dean banked his first ever cat at 71lbs and the sturgeon on the very last night!

Alex with Nugget at 30lbs mirror carp
Alex with Nugget at 30lbs

All in all, a very memorable week for all and great times on the bank. We wish you all the best in your fishing adventures for next year and look forward to some more magic at Beausoleil in a couple of years!

Catch report & Feedback from:

Tony, Alex, Dean and Wayne
Dates at Beausoleil: 13th to 20th May 2017
Number of anglers: 4

Brief details of your catches:

22 fish in total
14 x Mirror Carp: 37lbs 9oz, 36lbs 12oz, 35lbs 11oz, 34lbs 14oz, 34lbs, 33lbs 15oz, 33lbs 14oz, 33lbs 13oz, 30lbs, 29lbs 8oz, 27lbs 15oz, 27lbs 12oz, 27lbs 7oz, 25lbs 12oz
2 x Common Carp: 33lbs 4oz, 31lbs 11oz
1 x Grass Carp: 39lbs
3 x Catfish: 92lbs, 89lbs 12oz, 70lbs
2 x Sturgeon: 22lbs, 19lbs 5oz

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

Nutty Banoffee popups on stiff hinge rigs, bottom Nutty baits on Beausoleil rig.

How was the weather?

Mixed bag, dry, sunny and some heavy rain.

How did you find the accommodation?

Very good.

What could we do to improve your holiday?

Nothing. Alex requested more pans and a wok.

Would you recommend our venue to a friend?

Most definitely.

General comments

Fishing was good. Wayne had a ½ day fishing tutorial with Matt which has completely changed his fishing. Wayne now has the tools and confidence to build on, to make him a better angler. Big thank you to Matt and Irène for making us very welcome as usual. See you again soon !!!

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