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A two-week session to remember: Ben and Jay go home with new PBs, carp to 41lbs and a new lake record catfish of 118lbs!

This week we had the pleasure of welcoming back two great anglers who’ve been visiting us most years since 2013. Here for a double week again, they are big fans of the venue and have learnt how to outwit our wily fish in most conditions.

Thanks Matt & Ren for another amazing time. We are over the moon with both of us breaking our PB’s and the lake record catfish of 118lbs. Love you Beausoleil xxxxxxx

Jay racks them up

Jay was off to a flyer at the start of the session, banking a mid twenty and two good cats for his first night. As the days passed, the runs just kept coming.  When I met him for a chat, he said it didn’t seem to matter where he put them (not that he was dropping them just anywhere mind!), he knew within a matter of minutes or hours that one was going to be away! He was getting takes before he’d got the bait boat back to shore, double takes, you name it, it was off the charts fishing and we ain’t talking small carp either. Most were low to upper 30’s with some upper 20’s dotted in among them.

carp angler in france jay with a 30 pound common carp

Catfish pursuit with 2 boats!

When Jay hooked his first catfish, things got a bit tricky as it was on a mission to disappear the other side of the island.

Jay kept his cool and got in the boat, being very careful not to pull too hard and graunch the mainline over the rocks and tree stumps that lurk beneath. All was going well until the cat continued its tour of the lake, towing Jay behind him! Luckily, Ben was on hand with the other rowing boat and set off in pursuit. While Jay hung on for dear life, Ben secured the two boats together and rowed for all he was worth to put the brakes on this very determined catfish. After a protracted fight the guys managed to get the upper hand and land the 79lb catfish. Fair play to the guys as many a catfish has been lost on the island point rocks but armed with a rowing boat or two, big strong arms and nerves of steel they can be landed!

Sharing the spoils

Over on Ben’s side, it was a different story. Both guys are very capable anglers and were fishing the same Beausoleil bait and rigs but one was on feeding fish and one wasn’t.

Towards the end of the first week, Jay cut Ben in on the action as Jay filled his boots and Ben couldn’t manage a pickup. It didn’t take long for Ben’s Delkim to spark into life and he was soon cradling one of our finest.

carp angler in france ben with a 36lbs common carp
Ben with a 36lbs 4oz common carp

Getting it right

For the rest of the session, the action was more equally split between the two of them. Ben also tangled with a couple of bigs cats. He’d banked cats to 70lbs before here but had a proper tussle with a 98lb specimen. Ben is big and strong but he was blown away by the power of this catfish. Jay continued to pick up some lovely carp along the way including a new PB carp for him at 38lbs.

It was great angling, technically and tactically spot on.

carp fishing in france jay with a mirror carp of 38lbs
Jay with Scalpel at 38lbs 4oz

A rare jewel

The guys are very familiar with our incredible stock of carp and know the names of many of them. Ben was hoping to bank Mr. Angry this year but as he was out last week at 46lbs 8oz (new lake record), the chance of him getting it wrong again were very slim.

Needing a new target to aim for, we mentioned a rare visitor. We stocked him in 2013 and he’s only been out a handful of times since. He’s called Single Scale and at the netting he was a good 40.

carp fishing in france ben with a mirror carp of 41lbs

We’re happy to see this carp on the bank once a year so the scale of the challenge was definitely on the tricky side! Towards the end of the 2nd week, we got a very excited message from Ben as he thought he might have caught him and a quick check of the photos confirmed it! Single Scale at 41lbs…. get in boy!

What a result. Ben was literally jumping for joy and sparked up the world’s biggest cigar in celebration… and why the hell not! Great angling mate!

A giant emerges from the depths

The guys were having an amazing session and it really couldn’t get much better….. but that’s the thing about Beausoleil. Even when you think it can’t get better, it can. All Ben’s other captures were about to be eclipsed by an absolute giant! This is when your skills will be tested to the absolute max and why we advocate all new guests take our tutorial.

Not long into the fight the catfish decided he rather fancied the other side of the island. To avoid being cut off, both Jay and Ben piled into a boat with Jay on the oars this time. What followed can only be described a Royal tour of the lake with not one but two tours of the island.

It’s very difficult to row against these fish but if you can, it does tire them out and keeps you in the game long enough to get your chance to net or glove them. After a long battle behind the island, the guys managed to get themselves back to the Point swims while the cat was in open water and by lashing themselves to a tree, they tipped the balance of power in their favour. A short while later a proper giant emerged from the depths much to their delight. They needed every ounce of strength they had with this one. They filmed the weighing for me. I’ve never seen a set of 120lbs Reubens spin round so many times!

The final weight?

A new lake record of 118lbs. Think I might need to get even bigger scales!

Ben and Jay are a top team and made exactly the right decisions at the right time. Great angling!

Beausoleil bait + rigs are devastatingly effective!

Ben and Jay were the first guests to request some of our handmade rigs a number of years ago. Since then, many guests have followed suit and they’ve accounted for an incredible number of big carp and cats. Ben & Jay are good anglers and perfectly capable of making rigs for themselves but experience has taught them that our rigs make all the difference in the world and they have total faith in them. Talking of total faith, they also know how good our bait is.

The combination of our rigs and baits is simply devastating. I know that’s a big statement but for many of our guests now it’s proven beyond doubt. All of our rigs (apart from the stiff hinge) are made using our own hooklink which yet again proved its worth.

Any material that can withstand the brutal nature of the sharp granite rocks and boulders + swan mussels + three figure cats with anger management issues + be supple enough to trip up some extremely tricky carp that don’t often get their photo taken is seriously worth considering. For €1 per metre, it’s a wallet saver too!

carp fishing in france jay with a mirror carp of 30lbs
Jay with Peppercorn at 30lbs

Rock solid tactics: Pac Man strikes again

If you think success at this venue hinges on how much bait you can afford then you are in for a big shock. Yet again this week, carefully laid traps of boilies and pellets with a few freebies dotted about were all it took to get the pickups.

The guys decided not to fish every night and chose these times to be more generous with the freebies and to build the fishes’ confidence. It was Ben and Jay that actually put me onto the tactic and coined the phrase of Pac-Man baiting: dotting baits along a margin at regular intervals. It’s a very simple and highly effective tactic and yet again worked well.

The big cats fell for exactly the same rigs and bait that were set for the carp which is further proof that to catch catfish here you don’t need to do anything different. You just have to fish very strong for both species!

Rigorous attention to detail = zero losses!

I hate losing fish as an angler and here at Beausoleil we hate to see guests lose fish as each bite is hard won.

The guys know this all too well and paid a great deal of attention to honing their hooks to perfection before every drop. They also tested their knots religiously, inspected hooklinks and mainline for damage and re-rigged as appropriate. The result was another full two week session without a single loss… fabulous work boys! Total respect. The standard of angling we’ve seen this year has been higher than ever. To my knowledge, we’ve only heard reports of two hookpulls and one catfish lost. That’s fabulous work and proof that with the right approach, hookpulls and line failures can be virtually eliminated.

Back for more

It was really great to see the guys again and we’ve already been talking about date options for next year. They had an amazing session but in terms of rod hours they really didn’t fish it that hard. Like a number of our regular visitors, that works in their favour as the fish are less pressured when the lines are out the water. It’s all about the prep here and when you’ve done your prep right, and you’ve sorted location and timing, catching is just something that happens almost automatically. Loving your work boys, it was a pleasure to witness.

Catch report & Feedback from:

Ben & Jay
Dates at Beausoleil: 20thy April to the 4th May 2019
Number of anglers: 2

Brief details of your catches:

28 fish in total
18 x Mirror Carp: 41lbs, 38lbs 4oz, 37lbs, 35lbs 2oz, 34lbs, 31lbs, 31lbs, 31lbs, 30lbs, 30lbs, 29lbs, 29lbs, 28lbs 4oz, 28lbs 2oz, 28lbs, 28lbs, 26lbs, 26lbs
2 x Common Carp: 36lbs 4oz, 30lbs 4oz
6 x Catfish: 118lbs (lake record), 98lbs, 79lbs, 76lbs, 64lbs, 51lbs
2 x Sturgeon: 22lbs 5oz

and 5 baby carp

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

Points B & C. Matt’s double 20mm bottom baits.

How was the weather?


How did you find the accommodation?

Amazing as always

What could we do to improve your holiday?

Bigger scales lol :)

Would you recommend our venue to a friend?

Yes 100%

General comments

Thanks Matt & Ren for another amazing time. We are over the moon with both of us breaking our PB’s and the lake record catfish of 118lbs. We will be seeing you next year. Hope to see some bigger scales hahaha. Love you Beausoleil :) xxxxxxx

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