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Brother & sister return for a heavenly two week carp fishing holiday and bank 7 x 30’s to 38lbs and cats to 84lbs

For the last two weeks, we’ve had the pleasure of welcoming Nathalie & Maurice back to the venue for their 4th holiday. This was a very special trip for them as they had the whole place to themselves for two weeks for the very first time. It’s a long drive from Holland so they were tired on arrival but were soon reinvigorated as the place is looking so vibrant.


A gentle start followed by a heat wave

After the long journey, it took the guys a few days to settle in and we saw the first fish on the bank on Monday. It was a good start at 34lbs and Maurice was glad to get off the mark.

Wednesday saw the arrival of a very intense period of roasting temperatures and boy did it get hot: 35 °C to start rising to 39 °C! By 11am it was basically too hot to do much and this did not help the fishing. I did what I could to help but I knew bites were going to be hard to come by. Fair play though, they battled through the heat, applied the method and Maurice racked up a couple more decent fish in brutal conditions. The high temperatures did not abate until late Saturday evening when it dropped from a high of 39 °C to low twenties.

Maurice with two mirror carp in july in france

When I arrived Sunday morning, Nathalie was playing her first carp of the holiday. It was wonderful to see the smile on her face as she cradled another low 30. To beat the heat and get the bite, they’d risen at stupid o’clock in the morning and placed a rig by hand on one of the known marks. Classic stuff.

Absolute precision

Even though they were on their fourth holiday at the venue, Maurice and Nathalie were still coming to terms with the level of accuracy and the effort required to create each bite. This year, they came up with a better method of getting things absolutely spot on.

With one of them on the bank by the rod and the other positioned on the margin behind the target spot, the rig was driven over in the bait boat. The far bank angler then got into the water in waders. Armed with a prodding stick and a bucket of bait, it was time to receive the boat. On arrival, the rig was removed from the boat and the spot pinpointed with the prodding stick to within inches. The rig was lowered and the trap baited with a good scoop of boilies and pellets.

This process takes time and effort but is deadly effective.

Obviously the choice of spot is critical but even more critical is where within the spot you drop it (it’s all about the line lay). Trap set, it was then up to the hand sharpened hooks and Beausoleil rig to do the rest!

Feeling for the bite

Again this week, the bites were difficult to read but Maurice expertly read the signs.

On multiple occasions, the bite was as little as one single bleep of the Delkim (sensitivity 4 on the minus) which registered something was up. When nothing further developed, no bobbin lifting, no beeps, no nothing, many anglers would simply say “liner” but not Maurice. He delicately held the line between his fingers and applied a little tension to better feel for any movement.

Maurice with a mirror carp of 34 pounds

If he detected something, he wound down confidently and hit it only to find that the carp was already many meters away from where the rig was positioned! This was a top bit of carping and resulted in multiple carp being banked that would have simply got away with it…. again. Top angling!

Cracking the code

Nathalie absolutely loves her carp fishing but hadn’t cracked to code to catching consistently. I’ve gradually helped Nathalie get there and this year, rather than watch her brother (and father previously) take all the glory, she got a big slice of the action.

Breaking the duck on the Sunday was a good step and a sign that the tide had changed. From then on, Nathalie was unstoppable, banking multiple mid 30’s. The big highlight of the week was when she banked Magnum at 38lbs. A new PB and the best carp of the week. You go girl!

nathalie with a mirror carp in france of 38lbs

Obviously there’s a touch of sibling rivalry between the two of them but Maurice was very proud of his sister’s achievements and knew exactly how far she’d come.

When we met up at the end of the holiday, Nathalie simply couldn’t stop smiling. It was a proper winner’s smile and great to see.

Anyone can listen to me ramble on about how to do it, not everyone can apply the method and get results. Congratulations Nathalie! It was wonderful to see you get the rewards for the work you put into your fishing.

Whittled baits

The level of activity from the roach reaches its peak during the warmer weather. Nathalie and Maurice had brought something they believed was a good bait but you only had to break one open to see it was just food colouring, flavour, semolina and a bit of bird seed.

Unsurprisingly, these baits started to go missing and even those that didn’t came back significantly smaller than they started. They switched to our Beausoleil baits for the rest of the session and the problem was solved.

Our bait is specifically designed to withstand the attentions of the roach with extra egg albumen and extra long cook time to produce a much tougher bait. They still need to be air dried and don’t reach their peak until two or three days into the session to be virtually impervious to the roach. It’s no good just fishing with hardened hookers either. Unless the whole batch of bait is extra tough, there won’t be anything for when the carp rock up. You’ll just be fishing with singles if anything at all!

Note: if you are coming to Beausoleil this summer with your own freezer baits, please make sure they are cooked for longer and with additional egg albumen. Any small bait roller will do this for you.

Oxygen dip

With the heat wave, the oxygen levels took a hit. The new diffused air system is great at maintaining high and stable conditions (7-8 mg/l) but it’s not able to raise oxygens levels quickly if mother nature does get the upper hand. It’s at times like these that the big old splasher has to go on. The mushroom aerator is a beast at 1.5kw and shifts a serious amount of water very quickly. It has the ability to boost levels by up to 3 mg/l across the lake. To make the most of this richer water, Maurice relocated from the Big Double, which had slowed up, to the Home swim.

Battles with monsters

Maurice catfishing in france with a 70lb catfish

The fish don’t often get fished for next to the large aerator. When it’s on, it’s a good spot though and it kept the runs coming during the 2nd week. Maurice loves his carp fishing and didn’t fancy tangling with one of our cats. Typical then that he hooked one close to the aerator!

On its first run, it made it as far as Catfish corner… that’s a blooming long way (200+yards). On a long line, the fight becomes very spongy but it’s kind of what you need as it enabled Maurice to very gently tease it back to the swim. This is another reason why we recommend big pit reels that are capable of holding 250 yards min of 0.48mm line.

Nathalie didn’t hesitate to don the waders and leapt in the water with our large catfish cradle. Maurice guided it expertly in and on the scales it weighed 70lbs. Maurice banked a 2nd one even larger at 84lbs from the very same spot and in exactly the same manner (up to catfish corner and back!). Home swim is one of the most challenging swims to bank big cats in. What with the island, the island bridge, the aerator and now a coypu trap to avoid, things can get a bit dicey!

Maurice did very well to bank both. A real testament to his skill as an angler. It was great to hear him confess that he really enjoyed the experience and went from being not very keen to you know what, “It was great fun!”. Another convert to the thrill of catfishing!

Beausoleil rigs

For new visitors, I know it’s hard to believe what a difference our rigs can make to a session but if you’ve visited us since we took over Beausoleil in 2011, you’ll know exactly how vital they are! Nathalie and Maurice kept me busy tying plenty of rigs over their two week holiday and by the end, Maurice was happily tying his own multi rigs.

We’ve just finished a full video tutorial on the multi rig so do pop over to YouTube to check that out. It also covers a better way of mounting a bottom bait when faced with ravenous roach!

Until next time

It was wonderful to spend some quality bank time with this brother and sister carping duo. They’ve already rebooked for a two week fishing holiday next year and we are very much looking forward to seeing them again. They’ve now racked up five week’s angling experience at Beausoleil and as they are always telling us, “We are always learning something new here, every time we come, something new. That’s why we love it”.

For the vast majority of anglers, Beausoleil is not a venue you can crack in one trip or even two. Even after 8 years of fishing and guiding anglers on this water, I’m still learning! That’s what makes it special. It’s not for everyone of course but for some of our regular visitors, carp fishing in France is Beausoleil!

Catch report & Feedback from:

Dates at Beausoleil: 22 June to 6 July 2019
Number of anglers: 2

Brief details of your catches:

10 x Mirror Carp: 38lbs, 37lbs 7oz, 34lbs 8oz, 34lbs 1oz, 33lbs 5oz, 33lbs, 30lbs 2oz, 29lbs 5oz, 28lbs 2oz, 27lbs
2 x Catfish: 84lbs, 70lbs
1 x Sturgeon: 21lbs 5oz
Two low double figure carp

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

Point swims, Home swim, Big Double, 20mm Nutty Banoffee

How was the weather?

First week very hot to 38C, second week 26C

How did you find the accommodation?

Perfect as always

What could we do to improve your holiday?


Would you recommend our venue to a friend?

Yes, 100%

General comments

Thanks Matt and Irène for a wonderful holiday and we see you next year!

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