A much needed fishing holiday with carp to 30lbs and a new lake record catfish!
This week we welcomed Jon, Stacy, Max and Olivia to the venue for the 4th time. Jon & Max have had some spectacular catches here in the past but it was going to be warm all week which can make it tricky.
The first night was very busy! Sammy hit the bank within an hour or so and then all hell broke loose when Max hooked the fish of a lifetime. Bear in mind that his catfish PB is already a whopping 125lbs from a previous visit so he’s not exactly a stranger when it comes to wrestling a monster. Max was targeting the cats in open water using textbook methods (Scopex Squid boilies with lashings of syrup and catfish pellets). Each trap is 3-4 kg worth of bait which might seem like a lot but for our cats that is the human equivalent of a small snack!
The rod ripped into life at around 11pm just as everyone was falling asleep after the long journey (timing!). Max was tooled up for the job with a Nash BP10 reel on a 4.5lb spod rod. Rather than risk a long fight Max gave it the butt and played the fish as hard as he could: the longer these battles go on for, the lower the chance of them ending well! Everyone was wide awake and bankside for this one. Big shout out to Stacy for getting fully involved in the fun. It was so heavy that it took 3 of them (Max, Jon & Stacy) to haul him out of the water. As always Olivia was there on the camera to record the event.
He’s done it again!?
The first attempt at weighing didn’t go well. How many anglers have bottomed out a set of 120 lbs Reuben Heaton on a freshwater specimen? Not many I reckon! Luckily we do have a larger set of 200 lbs and a weight of 137 lbs was agreed upon. It’s a new lake record by 2 lbs and a new PB for Max. Every capture of one of our big catfish is special but this, this is something else! Congrats mate, you are the catfish lake record holder for the SECOND time !!!🏆🏆
By Wednesday, Jon hadn’t caught and Max had managed one carp and the sturgeon again. Now for most anglers, most weeks, a mid week total of 4 specimens between two anglers is alright, it’s even very good when the daytime temps are over 30 deg. But this was so far off what Max was used to, it came as a bit of a shock!
I’ve never seen him baffled!
After a bit of a chat, Max switched to tigers, particles and veggie pellets and upped the quantity of bait per drop. He was on the fish for sure, but the runs weren’t coming. He also switched from the inline shock and run lead setup that had always served him well in previous years and went with a pure running setup which has been my go-to approach for the last couple of years. The rest of his approach is rock solid. His rigs are neater than mine and he certainly knows how to sharpen a hook. It would be interesting to see if the changes paid dividends or not.
On Thursday there was a decrease in air pressure, and an increase in humidity. Thankfully the rain came, the temperature dropped and the fishing improved dramatically. It was literally as though someone flicked a switch. Max had two that day and another during the night. Jon also got on the scoreboard with a nice common. I asked Max whether he felt the changes had been a positive influence and he felt that they had. One of the best and most frustrating things about this sport is that we’ll never know for sure, but that’s why I like it!
Unfortunately they were setting off for the ferry in the small hours of Saturday morning so by Friday lunchtime they were winding the rods in and they had to accept that that was it for this year. This place is still a test of any angler’s skills and even if you’ve been successful here in the past, there’s absolutely no guarantee that’s always going to be the case. All of our regular visitors have tough sessions from time to time.
Nocturnal strangeness and things that go screech in the night!
The fishing was a bit slow but there was plenty of action elsewhere! While investigating a few bleeps, Max came across a creature that resembled a larger than average cat with extra long pointed ears sitting next to one of his rods. The only creature that Max could think of that came close was a lynx. Now as we don’t have a zoo anywhere near us I think the chances of a visit from a passing lynx is relatively slim. However, Maine Coon’s are quite large with pointy ears. I’ve certainly never seen one around here but it’s certainly possible that a neighbour owns one.
The next bit of weirdness came when Jon was awoken by a blood curdling scream that slowly disappeared into the distance. I reckon this was probably our resident heron that got spooked by something, then flew off and then glided into the night screeching his head off. They are certainly capable of making an awful sound and all noises are amplified at night!
Then, the next morning Max found one of his rods hauled on the deck, bankstick and Delkim angled over with lots of line pulled off between the reel and the butt ring and the lead repositioned 2m closer to the near margin being fished!!
After a bit of CSI (Carp Scene Investigation!), we reckon it’s the heron that did it and spooked itself off after getting a bit too close to the rod. I don’t think it was a ghost guys!
‘Our happy place’
Stacy and Olivia love holidaying with us and took no time at all to settle into the fishing routine. It was great to see Beausoleil work its magic and reduce stress levels to a minimum. They have caught some very nice specimens on previous trips when there’s been plenty of runs to share. This trip was a bit different as the fishing was harder but they were as supportive as ever as the guys worked the problem and played the hand they were dealt. It was wonderful to see them enjoy the place so much and we look forward to seeing them again in the future.
Catch report & Feedback from:Max, Jon, Liv, Stacy
Dates at Beausoleil: 19th to 26th August 2023
Brief details of your catches:Mirror: 30lbs 11oz, 28lbs 5oz
Common: 28lbs 12oz, 28lbs 8oz
Lake record catfish: 137lbs
The sturgeon three times