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A great start to the season with cats to 81lbs and 5 forties

Opening week

To open the season this year, we welcomed Peter and Janet to the venue for their 3rd visit. They had a lovely time and Peter caught 10 catfish (including two big uns!) and three nice carp around upper twenties. What’s also really impressive is that Peter did not lose a single fish. On the rig front, he used my version of the classic mono hair rig and baited consistently with plenty of Scopex Squid, pellets and Nash particles. It was wonderful to see them again and we already look forward to their August visit 😎

Following on from Peter, we welcomed a group of four guys on their very first trip to France which is always really exciting. They’d booked the week 2 years ago so they were seriously looking forward to the holiday after a very long wait!

As I wasn’t spending any time with them on the Sunday we spent extra time on arrival going through the elements that are specific to the venue. 

A challenging water, rich in features with absolutely stunning carp and giant cats. Came to test our watercraft ability and caught fish but undoubtedly the tuition would have improved catch rates for all. The knowledge that Matt possesses is something we can only dream knowing.

81 lbs first cast!

All Pete’s Christmases came at once when he banked a big catfish on his first try. None of the group had any experience with creatures of such power and Pete did really well to bring in this specimen in just 20 minutes and literally danced for joy when Adam folded it into the net.

Pete continued to pull ahead with an upper twenty and then a whopping 45lbs mirror. Lilly only did one capture last year so it was great to see her in the cradle and looking amazing.

Mission accomplished

We love nothing more than anglers achieving their goals and usually, the more realistic the goal, the higher the chance of success. Adam had booked this trip to celebrate his 40th birthday and his objective was to catch a 30. On his first attempt, that box was ticked with one of the new carp at a shade under 32lbs.

In too deep

When I called round on Tuesday morning, Ben was off the mark with two small kittens but Anthony hadn’t managed a bite from the home swim and was feeling a bit out of his depth. If you don’t take the tuition I leave you to your own devices but a quick chat revealed some adjustments needed to be made. Even for skilled and experienced anglers, Beausoleil offers a serious challenge. 

Anthony decided to up sticks and moved to the Big Double and now he was fishing safely and effectively, caught a brace of 40s within 24hrs, one of them was caught within 5 mn of the rod being out!

A game of chess

We don’t get a lot of groups of 4 anglers anymore and if the fish are all up one end, the honours are rarely shared equally. Adam had done very well to nick one from point ‘B’ but he decided that a move into Catfish Corner was the way to go. It was great to see him winkle out one of our super tricky commons a few hours after making the move. He followed that up with a take 24hrs later but things did not go according to plan during the fight. Unfortunately the carp became snagged on an unseen branch in Catfish Corner. From the bank, there was very little Adam could do but luckily Pete was not far away in the point ‘C” and leapt to Adam’s rescue. With the wind and rain hacking into catfish corner Pete had one hell of a job on his hands getting this one in the back of the net. Still all’s well that ends well and it was another 40 safely landed. Well done chaps! Teamwork makes the dream work 👊

Rigs and Bait

The guys had ordered plenty of our handmade multi rigs before their trip. The blowback multi rig was by far the most successful and one carp was caught on a classic 3 x 20mm bottom bait rig with a two turn kicker. I still love the classic rigs myself and they do continue to work but if you aren’t sharpening your hooks or tying a new rig each cast, they simply won’t work here after the 2nd cast due to the nature of the lake bed.

That’s the great benefit of the multi rig because hook change is quick and simple. I gave the lads a quick demonstration of my classic inline running rig (with tell tale) on arrival and this is the lead system that they fished with across the board.

On the bait front they went with the awesome 20mm Scopex Squid bottom baits with flakes, pellets, syrup and Nash particles also adding to the attractiveness of the mix. Adam preferred to avoid the catfish altogether and caught three nice carp on tigers over veggie pellets.

Hidden dangers

We did lose a big poplar tree in that corner and despite our best efforts to remove all the branches, it’s likely that something broke off and is still down there. Now that we know it’s potentially an issue, I will be pointing this hazard out to visitors this year. Unfortunately this type of hazard can only be removed during a drain down which is scheduled for this November. 

A lonely time

Over in Island point, Ben was having a rather lonely time. He caught a couple of small catfish early in the week but by Thursday he hadn’t added to that tally. Over in point ‘C’ Pete couldn’t seem to put a foot wrong adding another two big mirrors on Thursday alone. Adam and Pete were really keen for Ben to get in on the action and did what they could for him, but unfortunately it just didn’t happen for him. That I’m afraid is the reality of French holiday fishing. It doesn’t always end in glory.

Well done guys!

For their first trip to the venue, they guys worked hard for their bites and banked some cracking fish. They did regret not doing the tuition and they told me that they thought it was just me showing them some spots. It’s far more than that. It’s a completely new way of thinking and going fishing. Our work on YouTube is just a tiny glimpse into this world 😊 Great to meet you guys, you put the work in and it’d be a pleasure to welcome you back!

🎬 Latest YouTube video:

The knotless knot hair rig may be the simplest rig to tie but it doesn’t mean you can’t get it wrong. The problem with the knotless knot is that there are lots of permutations possible. In this video, I go through all the mistakes I’ve done and seen over the years so that you can make the most of this fantastic rig.

Catch report & Feedback from:

Adam, Pete, Ben & Anthony
Dates at Beausoleil: 23rd to the 30th March 2024
Number of anglers: 4

Brief details of your catches:

9x Mirrors: 48lbs 6oz, 46lbs 8oz, 45lbs 6oz, 40lbs 7oz, 40lbs 6oz, 39lbs 11oz, 31lbs 14oz, 29lbs 4oz, 27lbs 6oz
1x Common: 32lbs 14oz
1x Specimen Catfish: 81lbs
Several small catfish

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

Point swims, Big Double. All bites came from deeper water using Matt’s rigs and baits

How was the weather?

Varied. Lots of wind and rain but a few sunny spells.

How did you find the accommodation?

Perfect! A brilliant addition to the fishing as we were able to shower and escape the elements

What could we do to improve your holiday?

Could put a dart board in the pool room. That would be a good, cheap addition. As for the lake, nothing, it’s perfect.

Would you recommend our venue to a friend?

Absolutely 100%. Superb!

General comments

A challenging water, rich in features with absolutely stunning carp and giant cats. Came to test our watercraft ability and caught fish but undoubtedly the tuition would have improved catch rates for all. The knowledge that Matt possesses is something we can only dream knowing.

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