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A journey of discovery for this week’s anglers with carp to mid thirties

This week we welcomed another new group to the venue. Jules, Rick and Andy have been friends for a very long time and all share a passion for carp and catfish angling. This would be their first carp fishing trip to France and the longest fishing trip they’d ever done so whatever happened, this was going to be one hell of an adventure for them. On arrival they were blown away by the place and it was clear that we were all going to get on very well. As they’d booked the tuition, the lake tour was reasonably short and after a quick unload, it was time to steer the guys towards the nearest supermarket to load up on provisions.

Myself and two friends have just spent the most fabulous week at Beausoleil. The accommodation was perfect for us and the lake and grounds beautifully maintained. We booked a day’s tuition with Matt and it was the best decision of the trip ! Not only did we get invaluable insights on the lake and fishing tactics, but we acquired many new skills and tips which will serve us well wherever we fish in the future. Matt and Ren were the most wonderful hosts and did all they could to make the trip as smooth and enjoyable as possible. All three of us achieved PBs and it was fantastic to pitch our wit and cunning to try and hook/land the wily carp of Beausoleil. We will undoubtably be looking to return again to this superb venue.

A jam-packed tuition day

I was back the next day for what was going to be a pivotal moment in their angling journey. I’ve been doing these sessions for quite a few years now and I really look forward to them. It’s impossible for me to explain just how transformative these sessions are but I knew that I was going to fast track these guys and in just one day, they’d learn more about carp fishing than they’d learnt over a lifetime of angling.

We began with a little science, then moved onto rigs and knots (always a popular section). Then we started to explore the venue in detail in waders and the boats to see what’s out there. To finish, I helped prep all the guys’ rods but time was getting on and so I had to leave them to position them themselves. Not ideal but we’d already covered an insane amount of ground. It was a real eye opener for all 3 of them to start to understand the difference between what they are used to doing as opposed to what’s required to catch here. It’s the old adage, you don’t know what you don’t know!

It’s a hat trick!

After such an intense session, I left the guys to fly solo for a couple of days. The first bite happened on Tuesday and Jules was the first to get a take. Jules had applied all he’d learnt on Sunday. He now knew what to do, it was just a question of doing it at the right time, in the right place. He got his first pickup from a solid PVA bag in open water. At 32lbs, this carp smashed his PB by some margin and he was over the moon. It didn’t stop there though. He’d seen a couple of big boshes right down the shallows underneath a tree. The spot was very tight to the margin and it was simply a case of carefully lowering a rig and laying the line flat to the bottom. Jules managed two takes from this unknown spot and banked two more 30’s. That’s 3 x 30s in just a few hours of fishing, nicely done sir! It just goes to show what can be done with the right approach. He described the experience as his best day’s fishing ever!

Fine margins

When I called back Wednesday, Rick and Andy were still to get off the mark. Jules had sacrificed his swim to Andy to give him a chance of getting some action. Despite the ground we covered on Sunday, there was still some work to do to get all the ducks lined up for Andy and Rick. These details are tiny but they are literally the difference between catching and blanking here.

Gotta love a solid bag

If your casting is a bit dodgy, solid PVA bags are an excellent choice and this is what was making the difference for Jules and fair play to Jules for following my advice on this one. Jules added three more fish to his tally for the week by catching two more carp and the sturgeon. Jules got Andy on the solid PVA bag approach and this enabled him to bank the sturgeon. When we met Andy on Friday he still hadn’t given hope of a carp and was doing all he could to catch one which is a testament to his mental fortitude. He’d had a difficult week’s fishing but he loved every minute of it, well most of them anyway! Beausoleil was a massive step up but he kept on going. Such an experience has broken lesser men!

Last gasp whacker!

Rick had to wait until Thursday for his first carp but at 16lbs 4oz it was 4oz smaller than his PB! Ouch, that had to hurt.

I was gutted for Rick as we’d spent some quality time together and he could really see the benefit of my methods and he was able to apply them. I knew his luck (not that I believe in luck) had to change but the big bonus was, it happened while we were there. I heard the alarm and I shouted to Rick to leave it as I could see the line had dropped back already. Reading the bites here is hard. I still get it wrong.

We both stared intently at the line and much to our delight it re-tightened and this time there was no doubt. This was definitely a bite! Rick wound down and connected but after a few seconds he felt the line go slack and the disappointment on his face was awful. As he continued to wind, the disappointment changed to delight as he felt the weight, felt a kick and it was clearly game on. The carp had obviously swam towards him and the line had pinged off a rock or a branch before making direct contact with the fish. The fish came in rather too easily and I said it’s probably just a small one. Rick concurred but I clocked a flash of bronze and declared that it was a carp and they all count. This carp didn’t wake up until he was in close and proceeded to circle under the tip for a good five minutes. During this time this small carp grew bigger and bigger and bigger. It’s funny how that happens sometimes. It was obviously not a small carp but it wasn’t until I saw the depth and the width of it that I knew this was going to make a grown man very happy.

Carp holding 101

Holding a carp properly for a photo is not an easy thing to do. We did a video on this a while back but watching me do it on a video is a world away from learning to do it for real. This was a perfect moment to help Rick take his skills to the next level. At 32lbs this carp was double Rick’s PB and he was absolutely delighted with it.

This was no fluke. No luck was involved whatsoever. Rick was simply doing the right thing in the right place at the right time. Before I met Rick, he didn’t have any appreciation about how many chances he’d missed during the years he’d been fishing. Now, he knew exactly why and how he’d caught that carp and he knew that his fishing was never going to be the same again. It was an emotional moment for everyone and this is why we love doing this!

Bait and rigs

The guys split two of our Scopex Squid carp food packs between them and this was just enough bait for them to fish very small traps and PVA bags. Rigs were either my original Beausoleil double bottom bait rig or my new supple multi rig that I’ve been demonstrating during tuition sessions.

A pivotal moment

Jules had a great week’s fishing for a first time visitor and it’s testament to his open mindedness, and his ability to learn and quickly apply new skills. He admitted that he felt guilty about his success and as the week went on he sacrificed more and more of his session for his friends which is always nice to see. He also reflected on just how many opportunities for catching he’d missed over the years. What’s done is done, you can’t move backwards. Our motto is “always forward”.

As we said our farewells he reflected on the massive impact that the session had had on all of them and what it meant for them for the future. They’ll be living off the memory of this session for many years. It was a massive leap of faith for them to decide to visit us and to take the tuition but oh boy are they glad they did. A casual glance of the catch numbers from the week tells you nothing about what this trip meant to these guys. It was an experience of a lifetime and one they’d rather like to repeat with us so we may well see them again in the future.

Congratulations guys, it was a privilege to help you along your journey. This is why we do what we do.

Catch report & Feedback from:

Rick, Julian and Andy
Dates at Beausoleil: 11 to 18 September 2021
Number of anglers: 3

Brief details of your catches:

5x Mirror carp: 33lbs 5oz, 33lbs 5oz, 32lbs, 32lbs 29lbs 5oz
1x Common carp: 24lbs
3x Sturgeon
1x Homegrown carp of 16lbs
Small cats

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

Point Swims all around, single boilie on multi rig, cave side of the island, near aerator

How was the weather?

Warm, 23C with intermittent cloud cover, some drizzle one day

How did you find the accommodation?

Great, comfortable and accommodating

What could we do to improve your holiday?

Nothing we could think of

Would you recommend our venue to a friend?

Definitely

General comments

We just wanted to thank you both for an educational and thoroughly enjoyable holiday and experience. We are leaving here as transformed carp anglers thanks to your tuition. We certainly hope to return and see you both again as soon as the stars align to make it feasible. All the very best.

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