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The week of 7 September 2024 is now available

A memorable week’s fishing with carp to 51 lbs and catfish too (don’t know, it was massive!)

This week we welcomed Niall & Hester back to the venue for their second visit. Niall is a very experienced angler when it comes to the rivers and canals of Holland but he’s not spent much time fishing lakes. In fact, his trip to us last year was his first time fishing still water. He loved the tuition so much the first time around that we had another session together this trip. 

While Hester had a good catch up with Ren, Niall and I snuck off to go and find some carp and that didn’t take us very long. They were having a lovely time along the back of the island margin and Niall wasted no time sliding a couple of traps into position and nicking an early one just 30 minutes later! At 34lbs it was a great start to the session. Not wanting to spend the night where he was, he chose to bivvy up in the point swims and caught Sammy from open water.

We had a great day together on Sunday and covered a lot of ground that isn’t part of my standard tuition session.

Niall has been developing his own trick lead system and it was great to have a look at what he’s been up to and help him refine his ideas. He was also using some of the Nash 25lb Armourline for the first time and had troubles with twisting so we sorted that issue. We discussed many things, from the pros and cons of various baiting strategies to how to fish far marginal shelves. Niall has a lot of knowledge and passion for the sport and this session was a way to help him refine his approach and disperse some of the fog that was clouding his mind. 

The rain returned on Monday and I wasn’t really expecting an update so you can imagine my surprise when he messaged me to say that he was literally shaking with excitement after banking a mid fifty mirror!

Weighing a fish of this size as a solo angler is not easy! The mighty Mr Angry is an absolute unit, fit and strong and mightier than ever! Congratulations mate… what a result!

Day and Night

Not many anglers can bait and fish multiple spots from two different swims but Niall continued with this approach for the whole week. This flip-flop approach from a day swim to a night swim enabled him to bait the spots and rest them while still keeping fishing other spots, from another angle.

It’s a powerful approach and one I’ve used myself a few times. Not many anglers do this because you need to be well equipped with multiple bank stick setups available. Two bivvies also help! It’s also really hard work!

Niall even found time to go out with Hester for a few hours on most days so they could enjoy the surrounding area as well as the lake. Before heading out, he always topped up the spots so that when he got back he could slide the traps in place and on most days, a take wasn’t long in coming. I’ve always said that you can’t grind them out here. You have to make it happen and force them into a mistake.

First test of the Nash 25lb Armourline with a big catfish!

Fishing Beausoleil as a solo angler is not for the faint hearted, especially now when the catfish are active. On Tuesday night, Niall hooked a very powerful catfish that decided to head around the wrong side of the island from where he was positioned. Without hesitation, Niall decided to take to the boat and head off into the unknown.

I’ve heard a number of stories from anglers that have done this and it’s quite a tricky endeavour.

Mainline failure is the most common outcome, due to the savage underwater hazards that make up the end of the island. Niall managed the challenge, he made his way over to the big double, secured the boat to the bank and took up the battle from there. After 1.5 hrs of arm aching battle, he was able to safely slip the barbless out while the catfish was in the water and watch as he silently slid back to his lair.

I cannot begin to tell you what a savage test of angler and equipment this is. Like me, Niall is a big fan of the Scopes in 9ft. I’m pretty sure that it wouldn’t have been possible to safely land this fish with a 12ft rod solo from the boat. The 25lb Armourline covered itself in glory just by not failing! The 35lb Armoulink also withood the test as did the size 6 chod Twister. It is not just the materials though, you still have to know how to put the whole terminal tackle setup together to achieve a massively strong setup. It was another really strong bit of angling from Niall and something he won’t forget in a hurry!

Obviously we don’t have a weight other than: ”Matt, it was massive!” 

Rigs & Bait

On the rig front, Niall used his own version of the supple multi rig. It’s very similar to my blowback multi but Niall prefers to use a kicker over the eye to hold the braid in place. He still uses the Nash chod Twister with the kicker so the gape doesn’t close down. The result is similar to an extra long longshank style hook but without the dangers of a longshank pattern.

The lead system he uses delivers a small bump effect but it easily converts to a running ledger on the take. It also has an added element of safety in that the lead can eject if it does become trapped. I’d not seen this type of system before and I rather liked it. It does require a fair bit of engineering to set up though.

Because Niall was flip flopping between two swims and he caught a lot of fish, it meant he went through a serious number of hooks: 65 in total for one week’s fishing! Now that may seem nuts but the results speak for themselves. Niall used the 35lb Armourlink and only had to replace two hooklinks because it’s so robust.

On the bait front, Nial concentrated on the tiger nut and veggie mix approach and kept the quantity of boilie to a minimum. Because he fished small bait boat traps of the mix, the small kittens were still quick to find it. He quite enjoyed catching them though and Hester thought they were very cute!

Smashing it!

Niall’s first visit to us last year was a bit of a baptism of fire. Last October, it took him until Thursday to catch his first carp. This time it took 30 minutes! The conditions at the end of the season can be challenging for any angler. Beausoleil is a tricky water, even for a skilled angler but when the conditions are tough, this place can get hard! This session, it couldn’t have been more different. His rig and lead system were identical and he fished the same spots, with the same baiting strategy and he caught carp after carp. He just couldn’t miss! 

Friday was his best day when he banked seven including 4 forties! Yes, the conditions were more favourable this time, but you still have to be able to join up the dots just to catch a few, let alone a hatful!

It wasn’t a record haul but definitely one of the highest individual tally of carp in a week and the average size was off the charts. 

Niall & Hester have given us some of the best catch pictures we’ve seen. They were all taken by Hester using a Canon EOS 7D. Although top end phones are capable of taking really good pictures, they are still no substitute for a decent DSLR + HQ lens. Thank you so much Hester and many congrats mate, that was very special ❤️

To see all of Niall’s fish: click here

Catch report & Feedback from:

Niall & Hester
Dates at Beausoleil: 18 - 25 May 2024
Number of anglers: 1

Brief details of your catches:

14x Mirror: 51lbs, 48lbs 2oz, 44lbs 6oz, 40lb 10oz, 36lbs 14oz, 36lbs, 35lbs, 34lbs, 32lbs 6oz, 30lbs 6oz, 28lbs 2oz, 27lbs 9oz, 22lbs, 19lbs
2x Commons: 43lbs 7oz, 27lbs, 10oz
Sturgeon: 2x
Kittens: 10x

Fancy a fishing holiday at Beausoleil Carp and Cats?

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