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An idyllic fishing holiday with carp to 39lbs, catfish to 108lbs and plenty of quality family time for these 2 fishing couples.

This week we had the pleasure of welcoming Colin and wife Hazel along with Colin’s sister, Julie, and her husband, Simon. They had travelled to France together before and fancied tackling a new fishing challenge. They had done plenty of prep work before coming over and after the tour, they were thrilled by the variety of features Beausoleil has to offer the thinking angler.

A fast start…stops…

Hazel got off to a fast start when she banked a mid twenty mirror the first evening which she asked Colin to hold for her. Then Colin was in himself the next morning with the sturgeon. As we’d had a big storm during the night, I popped in Sunday morning to check the oxygen levels and we spent time exploring a few of the hidden features. When I came back on Tuesday though, it was a little surprising to hear that very little had occurred.

Simon with Split Tail at 26lbs

Fish the nights, rest the days

There is always a reason for lack of action and with the conditions looking bang on, during our chat, we came up with a couple of things that could enhance their setup. The rigs were a bit long, although Colin had followed my advice in my rig video of 300mm, nowadays 200mm works better here. The hook points were good but a quick inspection revealed minor, yet critical damage and they needed a bit of restoration. The tweaks were very minor and at a runs water you’d probably not notice the difference but it matters here.

We also talked about how to set the traps. The guys had only done one night so far and may have missed some chances. What works really well here is to set the traps mid-afternoon and leave them in place for 24hrs or until they go!

And then, things started to turn on Wednesday! Simon’s first pick up came up at 7:30am, followed by Colin at 11am. These successes showed the way forward for the rest of the week.

Colin with Batman at 30lbs 6oz mirror carp france

Julie with a 73lbs catfish

Perfect teamwork

It was wonderful to see the guys enjoy the fishing and the beautiful surroundings together. Fishing as a group of 4 from the same swim is very rarely successful as there are usually too many lines in the water but they managed it perfectly. Never fishing more than 6 rods at a time and spreading them well into a variety of sections of water, they were able to share all the experiences together.

With Colin and Simon in charge of the setup bankside, it was up to Hazel and Julie to take care of things in the water: finding features and topping the spots with bait. They liked it so much that  by the end of the week, they just enjoyed rowing round the lake for the fun of it!

Colin and family with an 108lbs catfish

Colin with a 108lbs catfish

Finishing with a flourish

On Thursday things really got serious: first, Julie had her first experience of a big catfish with a 73lber. It was a relief all round to bank the fish as Simon had been bust up twice round the island despite bucket testing every knot to 20lbs!

Then, less than an hour later, Colin hooked into his second massive cat! It was again all hands on deck as Simon was in the water, in his waders, ready with the gloves. Julie was right up for getting in the mix and helped husband Simon haul the creature from the water while Hazel cheered and filmed the event. It was a great piece of team work and high fives all round for banking it.

On the scales it went 108lbs 8oz, just 8oz short of the catfish lake record!

On Friday the guys had broken down all the bivvies and packed most of the gear but still wanted to clock a few more rod hours and what a good job they did as Colin was in again with a new PB mirror of 39lbs (The Big Apple) while Julie was banking a mid-twenty at the same time. Oh we do love a double take!

Colin with the Big Apple at 39lbs
What a way to finish the week: the Big Apple at 39lbs!

Bait and rigs

All fish fell to our double 20mm bottom baits mostly Shrimp & Cray, a few to the Nutty Banoffee. Colin bought a couple of my basic 2 x 20mm rigs and used them as templates to create his own. Colin is also an engineer and used his own hand made backleads and in-line leads and fished them in the Beausoleil manner.

What was particularly smart about his inline leads is that he’s cut the large hole (where the insert would normally go) tapered so that it’s a perfect fit for a tail rubber… nice!

This meant the lead dropped free at just the right amount of pressure to ensure that the fish was pricked but couldn’t then use the lead the throw the hook out. Colin loved the way the Beausoleil lead setup works and how it made so much more sense that a traditional semi-fixed insert.

Yes, we have to talk about the sturgeon again…

We thought we’d seen it all but the sturgeon still managed to surprise us this week …. not once or twice but a record 5 times! And, this one had a very distinctive fresh nick on the top of its head, and weighed in at 22lbs 8oz… each time…. OK, Big Sammy, time for a rest now!

Colin with the sturgeon at 22lbs 15oz
Big Sammy has earned his rest now!

It was an absolute pleasure to welcome the guys and girls to the venue and when we said good-byes on Saturday, they were already talking about a return trip next year!

Catch report & Feedback from:

Colin, Hazel, Simon and Julie
Dates at Beausoleil: 26th May to the 2nd June 2018
Number of anglers: 4

Brief details of your catches:

7 x Mirror Carp: 39lbs, 30lbs 5oz, 28lbs, 11oz, 27lbs 2oz, 26lbs 6oz, 26lbs 6oz
3 x Catfish: 108lbs 7oz, 88lbs 7oz, 73lbs 7oz
5 x Sturgeon 22lbs 8oz (same fish 5 x times!)
1 x kitten (now removed)
1 x small carp: 6lbs 9oz

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

Big double and the point swims for catfish. Avoid 10am till 2pm as those times were flat. Double bottom baits (Matt’s mix).

How was the weather?

A few thunder storms, humid, cloudy with some sunshine. A mixed bag.

How did you find the accommodation?

Perfect, well equipped and an amazing location

What could we do to improve your holiday?

Couldn’t have asked for more

Would you recommend our venue to a friend?


General comments

Matt’s knowledge and tips were crucial, interesting and informative. Matt & Ren are amazing hosts, warm, welcoming and friendly. We look forward to our next visit!

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