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An amazing week’s carp and cat fishing with the biggest ever haul of specimens, a lake record common of 42lbs 6oz, 22 x 30lbs+ and cats to 108lbs!

This week we had the absolute pleasure of welcoming back a group that we first met last year. Andy has been carp fishing for a few years and has already banked some good specimens. Edward is a skilled barbel angler and is pretty good at tricking wily carp when he has the chance. Richard is a true all rounder and has spent most of his long life chasing a whole host of species ranging from massive tarpon in America to specimen roach on the Ebro in Spain. I got to know them better than most on their first trip as they had a 24hr carp/cat tutorial and we were delighted to welcome them back this year.

Richard with Jess at 37lbs 8oz
Richard with Jess at 37lbs 8oz

A dream start for Ed

Setup was a bit frantic as they arrived late afternoon but Ed, fishing from the channel margin, got off to a flyer when he banked mirrors of 39lbs, 34lbs and 26lb, oh and the sturgeon, before dawn the next morning! Yep, that’s the sort of fishing you can experience when you get everything right and the conditions are good too!

Dodgy hooklink

Andy was next to see some action with a 60lb catfish, however, he lost another good fish when his 50lb Cat Pro hook link failed! On Monday, we got together and tested their hook links for abrasion resistance and the Cat Pro was the quickest one to fail… Ed was using Gardner Vigilante in 45lb which passed the test so is worth considering but we recommend our own product for very good reasons… these creatures are massively powerful and will test you and your gear to the max!

Following this loss Andy swapped over to our hooklink and he later banked the catfish with the Cat Pro hook link and hook in it which weighed 80lbs. Well done to Andy for safely removing the rig from the catfish.

Andy with the Big Apple at 36lbs
Andy with the Big Apple at 36lbs

The long game

By Monday, Richard hadn’t caught much but he’d set the foundations for an epic week’s fishing! He was based in the Big Double and spent Saturday and Sunday dotting handfuls of bait along the 60m of margin he had access to. Richard used plenty of our soft boilies sticks along with sweetcorn, 3mm, 6mm and 10mm pellet. He chose not to put a rig anywhere near bait and laid a couple of traps in open water. Richard had had loads of beeps and bangs on the open water traps but only one proper take (small kitten). Looking at his setup, Richard was fishing traditional semi fished rigs and had damaged hook points so after a bit of re-work, he was back on track.

With the carp now crashing confidently over his bait, it wasn’t long before he was into his first 30lb mirror of the session. Richard has excellent water craft and used a variety of different baiting strategies to induce those all important mistakes and when he’d tuned into the water, he absolutely smashed it with a total for the week of 15 fish including 9 x 30’s, a 42lb common and a 108lb catfish using just two rods! Almost all his fish fell to our pre-glugged, home rolled cork ball popups. Brilliant work mate!

Richard with Scalpel at 36lbs
Richard with Scalpel at 36lbs

Ed makes magic

With basic but highly effective self tied rigs, perfectly hand sharpened hooks and an good baiting strategy, Edward was catching at will and he was racking up a whole string of quality fish to his name.

Lines of bait along the margins (aka “Pacman baiting” ?), dropping rigs off bait and fishing small traps with very little food content but loads of scent (crushed hemp), worked a charm for him. He also only used two rods to reduce angling pressure.

Ed with Fan Tail at 36lbs
Ed with Fan Tail at 36lbs

It was text book stuff and brilliant to watch. Ed was clearly revelling in his success and quite right too as he finished top rod with a whopping 17 fish!

Ed with Claws at 31lbs 2oz

Lake record common of 42lbs 4oz!

With a drop in pressure on Wednesday and a good south westerly pushing into the snake margin, the scene was set for a red letter day for Richard. Again he chose to fish just two rods (better to fish two rods well than three rods poorly!). After two good mirrors on Tuesday night, he banked a new PB common of 37lbs which he was very pleased with as he loves commons!

A few hours later he connected with a proper Beausoleil beast… after an epic 50 minute battle, Ed managed to bundle the catfish into the net for him at a whopping 108lbs!

Again just a few hours later he had a solid take from the snake bank margin. I was there at the time so I casually wandered round to see what he was into. At first we thought it might be a midsized cat as at one point it steamed off creating a massive bow wave. After 10 minutes or so, a massive bronze flank of golden scales flashed in the margin and as he rose from the depths, I immediately recognised Pepe, the big common that went 40lbs for the first time last year! I probably shouldn’t have blurted this out to Ed (net man) and Richard (the angler) but it was clear to see that this was something special. A few nervous minutes later, she kissed the spreader block and it was high fives all round.

Richard with Pepe at 42lbs 4oz
Richard with Pepe at 42lbs 4oz

Richard’s arms were already three inches longer after his battle with the 108 but there was no way this common wasn’t getting hoisted in the air for a proper photo! He spanned the scales to 42lbs 4oz and new lake record. I banked him last year in February at 38lbs 8oz so he’s really been on the munch!

Beausoleil bait and rigs strike again!

Pepe was caught on one of our stiff hinge rigs using a heavily glugged Beausoleil cork ball popup. The rig was fished just off a scattering of our whole and broken soft boilie sticks. During the week Richard banked an insane number of mid and upper thirties using our bait, rigs and glug and was full of praise for the quality of our product. His two favourite rigs were the stiff hinge and a popup version of my Slip-D rig that I’d made especially for him.

Rig Maintenance

Over in the points swims, Andy had banked three good mirrors and a couple of cats but he’d lost a few fish and just wasn’t getting the pickups that Ed and Richard were. The rigs he’d ordered were looking in rather a sorry state and most of them required remaking.

The great sturgeon debate continues…

Andy with Little Sammy at 20lbs
Andy with Little Sammy at 20lbs

While Andy was making me a cuppa (extra points there!), his left hander let out a flurry of bleeps then stopped. Thinking it was liner I carried on rig making until it went again so I popped my head out the bivvy to see the tip arching round…. that’ll be a take then! I lifted into it and it immediately powered off so I shouted to Andy that he was in. As I passed him the rod, I caught a flash of grey as it rolled at 20m and thought it could be the sturgeon and Andy went in raptures about how much he wanted to catch one as it would be so exciting to show his 9 year old son. Turns out it was the sturgeon this time coming in at 20lbs. And last week, it was caught at 24lbs.

Now, our regular readers and visitors will know that we’ve had this debate before, is it one or two sturgeon? Well, based on the number of times we’ve had the discussion now, I do believe we have a big Sammy and a little Sammy… ?

Nothing came for Andy that night but after a change of tactics, he banked one of our best looking mirrors, the Big Apple 36lbs 2oz literally 5 minutes after dropping his rig!

Andy with the Football at 37lbs
Andy with the Football at 37lbs

Best ever week… top that!

It was an incredible week’s fishing and the guys now hold the record for the largest total number of specimens ever caught in one week with 40 fish. The number of 30lbs+ carp was pure madness with 22. It was such a privilege for us to witness. Beausoleil is not an easy water but if you come prepared and use our advice, although rare, weeks like these can happen!

Catch report & Feedback from:

Andy, Richard and Edward
Dates at Beausoleil: 28th April to the 5th May 2018
Number of anglers: 3

Brief details of your catches:

40 fish in total
27 x Mirror Carp: 39lbs, 37lbs, 37lbs, 36lbs, 36lbs, 36lbs, 34lbs 4oz, 34lbs 4oz, 34lbs 1oz, 34lbs, 34lbs, 33lbs, 32lbs, 32lbs, 31lbs, 31lbs, 31lbs, 29lbs, 29lbs, 29lbs, 28lbs, 28lbs, 26lbs, 25lbs 10oz, 25lbs, 25lbs, 20lbs 4oz
6 x Common Carp: 42lbs 4oz (lake record), 37lbs 8oz, 34lbs 1oz, 33lbs, 30lbs, 26lbs
5 x Catfish: 108lbs, 86lbs, 82lbs, 80lbs, 76lbs
2 x Sturgeon: 20lbs
9 x kittens
8 x single figure carp

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

Soft boilie sticks, 20mm boilies, 16mm cork ball popups and glugged hookers all caught well as did some other baits. Best two swims were Big Double and Island point.

How was the weather?

2 days very wet then it improved, last two days were very nice.

How did you find the accommodation?

1st Class

What could we do to improve your holiday?

A picnic table on the main bank would be nice, oh and a larger microwave.

Would you recommend our venue to a friend?


General comments

Cull the small cats (this is something we do all the time anyway). We were impressed by the condition of the fish and how hard they fight! You definitely need 25lb mainline. Many, many thanks!

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