A solo trip with plenty of big carp!
This week we welcomed Eric who, unfortunately, had to make the trip from Holland on his own. He’d already had to shift his holiday plans a few times and after a long 2 year wait he was very happy to be here! Eric is a skilled carp angler but he wasn’t going to tackle the venue without help so he booked a tuition on Sunday. We had a super lovely time and the session went very quickly. Eric already has a PB of 21kg and he was not here to catch anything bigger than that. In fact his only objective was to catch one carp. We love to hear this from anglers on their first trip because they know it’s not an easy water and that there may well (definitely) be a learning curve.
Eric’s never fished a gravel pit before but he was well accustomed to fishing for carp that are not easy to catch. During the tuition session, it was more a question of guiding and nudging and opening his eyes to some new ways to catch carp. He found the carp science section of particular interest and we spent a good couple of hours just going through that.
That’s a cracker!
Eric didn’t fish on Saturday night and following the tuition session, it was a bit of a rush to get his camp setup and get the rods out. It gets dark much earlier now of course and he wasn’t quite happy with how the traps were set. The result was a blank night on all rods but it was kind of expected. On Monday he took the time to do a proper setup job and was rewarded with the stunning Nicky. Eric didn’t weigh any of his captures and only one or two were lifted into a cradle for a photo. We know Nicky is a good upper 30 but the pounds and ounces didn’t matter to Eric, he came for one and he’d caught one. It just happened to be a cracker!
During the tuition we identified a number of spots to target and along the way Eric used the tools at his disposal to pick a few more. These were all programmed into his boat and it was just a question of dialling up which spot he wanted to fish. He kept all spots topped up daily with a drop from the hopper (8 drops totals) and then topped up each spot with more bait when he set his traps. This enabled him to catch carp from one spot and then move to another after each successful capture. This rotation system has been used successfully by anglers in the past but it’s unusual to see these advanced tactics being used by an angler on his first trip. It was wonderful to see and it worked a charm!
Nuts for the nights
Eric quickly realised why I advocate swapping to tiger nuts at night as the small kittens love boilies! Eric had never really used tigers before so it was a bit of a leap of faith (as it was for me). He still preferred to use boilies during the day (as do I) but a small quantity of tigers at night along with a mix of veggie pellets and some small seed mix worked very well for him. He also had a few on the Cultured Citruz. He’d hoped that the Citruz would be less attractive to the kittens but he still picked up a few on this method. He caught some lovely carp on the Citruz though so it wasn’t all bad!
New running lead fan
Eric, being Dutch, was very familiar with the PB product hit and run system but he was keen to explore different ways of fishing. He’d never fished running rigs before so this is what I suggested he used. I was very confident and it wasn’t long before Eric realised why… because they work great! No more short flurries of bleeps and then nothing like with a semi fixed system. Nope, just screaming takes. It’s a no brainer when comparing semi fixed rigs to running rigs.
Simple is best
I showed Eric a few rig options but the one that he liked the most for its simplicity, effectiveness and for the quality of the hook holds was a simple mono D-rig. This is a new version I’ve been testing for many months that uses a heavy duty 0.50 mono snag leader material as the hooklink. He loved the rig so much he told me it was worth coming just for this rig! There’s no video on this mono D rig yet (it’s on the way!)
Like many anglers, Eric had never considered repurposing this inexpensive material as hooklink. It’s very robust, impossible to tangle and is phenomenally effective. I love it! The only downside is that you have to love rig tying as you need a new one for each rod, every cast (unless you are sharpening your hooks).
Talking of hook sharpening, Eric followed my advice and stuck with the Nash Chod Twister for his mono rigs used straight out of the packet and at a rate of one per cast (drop). He never lost any fish when using this setup although he did drop two on a hybrid rig we formulated between us (not all of my experiments work lol.) The Dutch don’t do barbless but it was great to hear how Eric is now a fan. He totally saw how it’s safer for the carp, safer and easier for the angler. Most fish were quickly unhooked in the water and not even lifted for a photo or weighed as he was on his own.
Queen of the pond
Eric is a massive fan of common carp and he’d already identified Pepe as a nice addition to his album. Pepe is a powerhouse of a common and was caught earlier in the year at 45lbs. It’s a dream for many anglers to catch one of the largest carp in the lake but the reality is that very few anglers are lucky enough to do so. Eric told me it was the hardest fighting carp that he’d ever caught and that during the first phase of the fight he was convinced he was into a catfish. Eric was able to send us a quick shot in the net along with a short video clip of the big common and we are 100% certain that it was Pepe. What a result!
Big congrats to Eric on his very successful session. He had total faith in the plan and executed it with rigorous attention to detail. He was rewarded with a superb string of big carp from a tricky venue at the back end of the season which takes some doing. Well done mate, it was a pleasure to spend time on the bank with you and we hope to see you again soon.
Catch report & Feedback from:Eric
Dates at Beausoleil: 15 to the 22nd October 2022
Number of anglers: 1
Brief details of your catches:Helix - 36lbs
The Fully - 38lbs
Jess - 39lbs
Nicky - 39lbs
Petals - 35lbs
Pepe - 47lbs
(all approx weights)
2 x Unknown - not weighed but no smaller than 30lbs
10 x kittens plus one larger 20lbs catfish