Lake record common at 43lbs 5oz, multiple mid/upper 30’s and catfish to 98lbs in tricky conditions.
This week we welcomed back the wonderful WOFTAM angling club that first visited us back in 2014 and then again last year. We were all relieved that the weather was kinder than last year when we had a downpour of biblical proportions!
It’s all in the draw
At the end of the tour the excitement was building up as it was time for the all important draw. Mark is simply nuts for his catfish, the bigger the better of course. So he was overjoyed to draw the short straw, or in this case an Ace, so that he could pick the Big Double first. The rest of the group decided in the end to all fish from the Point swims.
A good start for Mark
Mark got off to a great start and by Sunday morning he’d racked up a mid 30 mirror (Ren’s favourite Audrey) and the sturgeon twice.
All quiet on the western front
Over in the point swims all was quiet. Not that anyone was particularly surprised or bothered. The guys are all time served quality anglers and are always as keen as mustard for the latest tips and inside knowledge. We spent a few hours on Monday chatting about rigs and spots and I brought them up to speed about how various marks had evolved since their last visit. We made a few tweaks here and there and I was confident that this would have an effect.
Mark had yet to meet one of our monster cats this trip so I outlined my “cat trap” method that we’ve been refining over the years. Happy with the new plan I left the guys to it.
Lake record common
When I returned on Thursday, Mark was beaming from ear to ear as he’d just had the one everyone wants to catch… Pepe the big common and at a new lake record weight of 43lbs 8oz… Get in boy! He’d also had cats of 80lbs then 98lbs. One fell to a cat trap, the other to a re-cast PVA bag as he was too exhausted to row it back out after the first one!
Over in the point swims it was a different story. It’s unusual for three anglers to fish the point swims. Although it can be a triple swim, it’s more usual to split it between two anglers.
Paul and his son Josh need to fish together as they share terminal tackle and Barry, chief organiser and head chef, needs to be close to the kitchen and loves the social side of the sport. Whether this configuration was a contributing factor or not is difficult to say but the end result was the same. No one had caught anything. We discussed a few more tactics and I left the guys to continue to work the problem.
Knit one purl one
After a long wait, on Thursday, Josh’s buzzer sparked into life and he lifted the offending rod. At first he thought all was well and he was definitely in but after a short time it was clear all was not well.
The neighbouring rod then let out a flurry of beeps and Josh realised he’d picked up the wrong rod. This was not an error on his part. The fish had clearly rigged itself up, then gone walkies with the lead to try and rid itself of the hook, crossing the other line in the process. Hoping it was still on, Josh continued to pump and wind but all went solid.
The boat was the only hope now but as he got over the spot the line came free…. of everything. Josh was doing the right thing and using 25lbs Big Game (0.48mm diameter) but it was sliced clean through by the rocks and there was nothing he could have done differently.
This place can be very cruel sometimes. Josh was gutted but not too disheartened. He’d caught some cracking specimens last time he was here. This year it just wasn’t to be.
It’s not over till it’s over
Paul’s a top angler and when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
When we saw them on Friday morning, it was Paul’s turn to turn on the smile. He’d managed to winkle out two cracking mirrors or 34lbs (Bump) and 37lbs (Earl Grey). In the end it was just a question of continuing to do the right thing, time after time, catch or blank. Small, carefully laid traps on spots near active fish, uber sharp hooks and good rigs. It’s not rocket science but this place can cook anyone’s noodle at times (including mine!).
With two fish on the bank, Paul’s tail was up and he was very confident for more to come. Despite an early departure time, both Paul and Mark fished hard till the last minute and Paul was rewarded with another cracking mirror of 37lbs (Monkfaire). It was a great piece of angling and just reward after a tough session.
Better luck next time
It was a proper head scratcher of a week for all concerned including me. The guys are all quality anglers and were very diligent in their approach but bites were as rare as rocking horse poo this week and that’s just the way it goes sometimes. On the plus side, the average size of fish was very high. The lake has fished very well up to this point but with spawning due soon, fish obviously have other things on their minds. The guys took it in their stride and are to be congratulated for their approach and positive attitude throughout. Better luck next time guys. It was a pleasure as always to welcome you.
Catch report & Feedback from:Mark, Paul, Barry and Josh
Dates at Beausoleil: 18 to 25 May 2019
Number of anglers: 4
Brief details of your catches:4 x Mirror Carp: 37lbs 4oz, 37lbs 4oz, 34lbs 12oz, 34lbs 5oz
1 x Common Carp: 43lbs 5oz
2 x Catfish: 98lbs, 80lbs
2 x Sturgeon: 22lbs