Here’s what happened at Beausoleil over the last 3 weeks. Following on from the Ball family, we had Ian and his wife. Ian only started fishing seriously 8 years ago and booked the tuition. He’s been fishing in France for the last 4 years but Beausoleil is on an entirely different level to the other waters he’s visited. It was a really steep learning curve but he was able to apply the methods successfully and had a decent week’s fishing catching carp to 40lbs and multiple 30s. The conditions were much cooler than the previous week which definitely made a big difference. Ian and his wife really enjoyed their time here.
Then, Eric was here on his second trip. He did the tuition with me last year and he caught well. This year the conditions were the most challenging we’ve seen with temps in the mid thirties every day. Eric persevered through the heat and managed to trip up a really nice mid thirty at lunch time on the last morning. It was a really tough session and I’m sure he’ll do much better when he returns to us next April.
This week we have Sam, Steve, Dave and Daniel on their 4th trip. Their last trip was in 2013 which feels like a lifetime ago now! In the meantime, the guys have become super fans of our YouTube channel and have even organised fishing prep socials with our videos for entertainment! For Dave’s son Daniel, this would be his first serious carp fishing adventure. Despite their previous experience and knowledge of the venue, they leapt at the chance to spend the day with me on Sunday to take their fishing to a whole new level.
The day absolutely flew by in a whirlwind of carp fishing knowledge. The guys were very well prepared so we could go deeper in the areas that make a big difference. It was an honour to work with them and they got a tremendous amount from the session.
Returning after 3 previous trips 10 years ago and the venue is still fabulous. Hot weather and low oxygen levels made the fishing challenging at times but the knowledge learned from the very worthwhile tuition helped us to get some good results. We look forward to coming back in April 2025!
On the fishing front, Sam led the way with a nice carp on the very first evening shortly after arriving. When I saw how perfectly executed her rig was, it was absolutely no surprise to me that she’d got off to such a quick start. The conditions were already improving and we had a little rain on Sunday which cooled things off nicely. These mild conditions were set for the week which everyone was relieved about!
Dave and his son Daniel were particularly hoping to meet our big catfish and the first couple of days were hectic on that front! Even for very skilled and experienced anglers, doing battle with one of our catfish is a serious challenge. I simply can’t imagine what it must have been like for young Daniel on his first ever fishing trip abroad to tangle with one of these beasts.
Luckily his dad Dave was by his side every step of the way to guide him through it. Even if you do everything right and have good gear and materials, banking one of these beasts is far from guaranteed. By Wednesday Daniel had hooked 5 and been bust up twice. Once due to a hooklink failure and once when the mainline let go.
The smallest catfish he had was 67 lbs, next was 119 lbs and then a 125 lbs monster! Dave has had cats to 70lbs and that’s a powerful animal but Dave said a 70 is just nothing when compared to these creatures. Banking something of this size from a small lake on conventional carp gear is extremely challenging. They go where they want, when they want and there’s not much you can do. The guys did really well to bank the two bigguns. I know Dave wasn’t exactly looking forward to the next one but Daniel couldn’t wait. He’s mad for it now and was still wearing a massive grin on departure!!
Over in the point swims Steve had a few kittens but it was his wife Sam in point ‘A’ that was getting among the good carp. Steve and Sam fish together as a team and share tasks equally. Even though Steve wasn’t able to connect with anything big this trip, he had a great time, learned loads that he can apply back home, and was an integral part of the group’s overall success.
Despite the cooling temperatures, oxygen levels were low in the morning because of the algae. This had an impact on when and where the carp are cacheable. During the tuition we spent time going through the massive role that oxygen levels have on carp fishing. Yet again the results matched the science and because the guys understood what was going on, they were better able to tune their approach and maximise their session.
At certain times of year the fish are very active but are still really hard to catch. The guys experienced many savage liners despite their best efforts at back leading and slacklining. I’ve had this myself and it can be very frustrating. I gave them some extra options to minimise this but sometimes there’s not much that can be done. They’d all adopted the tell tale indicators system on the lead and yes they did get done a few times. I still get done. It’s just part of the game.
Bait & Rigs
On the bait front the guys mostly used the Scopex Squid carp food packs. Dave and Daniel targeted the cats with Scopex Squid bottom baits and plenty of our house catfish pellets. Later in the week they switched to the tiger/ Nash particle approach to avoid the kittens and target the carp which was partially successful but it’s still not 100%. On the rig front, the guys all used my original trick inline running lead system with a tell tale indicator. This rig has been tripping up our fish regularly ever since I first used it over 12 years ago. At the business end, they also stuck to my classic double bottom bait rig tied with the size 6 Nash Twisters and 35lb Armourlink. Hooks were changed or re-sharpened religiously day or night to keep the runs coming. A very solid, well proven approach and perfectly executed.
Big thumbs up to Sam and Dave on their hook sharpening skills, it’s not an easy skill to master but it comes easily to them and it’s a great edge. Over the years I’ve shown hook sharpening to loads of anglers and many actually make their hooks worse.
Big ups to Sam as well for mastering wrap sticks and hitting the clip in the dark! This is really hard to do and despite the lack of casting practice in recent years the old skills came back to her easily enough.
Congratulations guys on making the most of the conditions and working hard for your bites. It was an absolute pleasure to see you back on the banks of Beausoleil and no doubt you’ll make more special memories next time.
Catch report & Feedback from:Sam, Steve, Dave & Daniel
Dates at Beausoleil: 9-16th September 2023
Number of anglers: 4
Brief details of your catches:7x Mirrors: 34lbs 5oz, 32lbs, 31lbs 12oz, 30lbs 5oz, 28lbs, 22lbs, 20lbs
2x Commons: 27lbs, 22lbs
3x Catfish: 125lbs, 119lbs, 67lbs
1x Sturgeon: 25lbs