A tricky couple of weeks but Mr. Angry hit the bank at 51lbs+ along with a few other crackers
For the penultimate week of the year, we welcomed Karl and his wife to the venue for their first visit. Karl is a newcomer to the sport and had booked me for the day on Sunday to give him the best chance of success. This was a bit of a steep learning curve as this style of fishing was new to him. It’s a testament to Karl’s character that he was open minded enough to completely change how he fished and apply the methods I showed him. I must admit that when he hadn’t banked anything by Wednesday I was starting to get a bit nervous but there really wasn’t much else I could do.
Luckily, the carp gods smiled favourably upon him and he was rewarded with not just one take but two. Only trouble is they were only seconds apart! If Karl only landed one he’d be doing well but in fact he landed both of them… solo, fantastic! The common weighed in at 31lbs and the mirror was a whopping 45lbs.
I know that if you’ve not tried the combination of running rigs and barbless hooks and a semi tight clutch you simply won’t believe how ridiculously effective they are and that hook pulls are incredibly rare but that’s the way it is. The mirror was on for 10 minutes before Karl even picked up the rod and he still couldn’t shake that rig out! He was delighted, and in fact he was so happy he didn’t even fish on Friday as it was very much a case of job done.
After Karl, we welcomed the Normans back to the venue for their 2nd visit (Okay Dave’s been 3 times if you want to be exact!) with Gavan who is a newcomer to the sport and booked some time with me on Sunday to get him pointing in the right direction. We covered plenty of ground in a few hours and Gavan will certainly return to the UK a different angler.
When Dave reported that the rod I’d dropped for Gavan had produced I was delighted and hoped that he was in for a few but, despite his best efforts he wasn’t able to nudge the score forward. He nearly banked Sammy but unfortunately Sammy decided he fancied a little knitting and wiped out Dave’s rods next door. Dave thought his hour had come when both of his rods ripped off at the same time but in the carnage, Sammy slipped the hook just before the netting stage. Sammy 1 – Gavan 0.
Dave was also having a tricky time of it but caught one mid week. He came close earlier in the week but unfortunately he never ended up in the net. Dave’s carp was really worth waiting for, an old warrior of a carp named Scalpel. Congratulations mate, you earned him!
Over on the main bank Phillip fished the Big Double and then the Island point swims. All of Phillip’s fish came from just two carefully chosen spots. One just under the fir tree and the other right tight underneath an oak tree a little further along. Most fell to double tigers fished over a scoop of particles but Mr. Angry came on a single Scopex Squid fished over some whole baits/flakes and pellets with lashings of Scopex Squid Syrup.
Phillip is a very skilled and experienced angler and even with powerful 3.75 TC rods it took him a good twenty minutes to subdue him. He’s not called Mr. Angry for nothing! It was a new PB for Phillip and he was chuffed to bits.
The excitement wasn’t over though. I’m going to hand the keyboard over to Dave who very kindly wrote up exactly what happened!
‘Catfish wear pink’
At approximately 4am in the pitch black on Thursday 26th October 2023, a certain person was fishing out to the very tip of the island with a pink pop up. Then there were 2 gentle bleeps, and the battle commenced.
Up the channel, down the channel, across the lake to my swim, out to the deep water, through Gavan’s lines and to Catfish Corner. In fact he went wherever he wanted in the lake, there was nothing Phillip could do to stop him.
As a result, the chase went from land to water, and Philip began an unusual boat ride where he didn’t have to row. Straight across to a hole in Catfish Corner and under the footpath. After 10 or 15 mins the catfish made a bolt to the centre of the lake, towing Philip and boat behind him. It was here that Phillip managed to get him to the surface the first time, a huge head and at least 5 feet long. Just massive was the exclamation. Now came the difficult task of holding on to the catfish and rowing into the nearest swim, mine. Sounds like a plan but didn’t include the catfish as he went off towards the trees down Snake Bank. A brief battle brought the catfish up to the surface again and back to trying to reach my swim, towing the catfish along. Just as the boat reached the bank, the catfish dived again and this time the line gave way and the catfish bolted away still wearing a pink pop up.
2 hours and 25 mins to lose the battle.
I always say that there’s literally nothing I can say that can prepare you for what it’s like to hook one of these creatures but Dave’s done a fantastic write-up and although the battle was lost they’ve got a great tale to tell of an epic encounter with a monster!
I met Phillip and the gang for a drink before they headed back to the UK and he commented on just how different Beausoleil is to many other waters he’s fished over the years and he’s fished a lot! Phillip’s tactics were absolutely spot on again this year. Small carefully laid traps are absolutely deadly. It’s just a matter of setting them in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. Easy really 😭
It was wonderful to welcome them back to the venue and we’re delighted they’ll be returning in September of next year. Kind regards to all, and especially Rose, who looks after everyone so well.
Catch report & Feedback from:Dave, Philip, Gavan and Rose
Dates at Beausoleil: 21 to 28 October 2023
Brief details of your catches:Mirrors x6: 51lbs 14oz, 39lbs 12oz, 39lbs 5oz, 36lbs, 31lbs 9oz, 28lbs
Commons x2: 29lbs 12oz, 22lbs 3oz