A fantastic first trip to France for these old friends after a wait of 3 years!
This week we welcomed Richard, Terry, Mark & Darren to the venue. Like so many groups, their holiday had been delayed and set back multiple times and in the end they had to wait three long years from making the decision to actually getting here. To say they were excited would be a massive understatement. Your first carp fishing trip to France is a really big deal (it was for me!). When the guys booked the holiday they also booked me for a day’s tuition as they didn’t want to leave anything to chance.
They chose the venue because it offered them the chance to do the type of fishing they’d always wanted to (boat work, wading etc.) but there’s not many venues in the UK where you can have that type of fun and it’s banned at many French venues too so Beausoleil was a good fit for them.
What a week in France we have had! I can’t recommend this place highly enough. Matt’s knowledge about carp fishing in general is top notch but the knowledge of his own water is something to be desired. Without the tutorial from him on the Sunday, our week would’ve been a lot different. The lake has many hidden features and ever changing feeding spots that keep you on your toes the whole time. We will definitely be seeing you again!
With a group of four anglers, Sunday was a very busy day indeed! Beausoleil was a step up for everyone but for Darren this would be the carp angling equivalent of walking on the moon when all you’ve done is flown on an aeroplane! Richard and Mark had not tied a rig for years as they’d become used to ready made rigs as many anglers do nowadays. Terry was the most experienced of the group but he didn’t miss any of the show and he was able to add multiple tricks to his armoury. The day passed in a blur and I think everyone’s head was spinning at the end of it. The guys absolutely loved every second of it and I was just about able to give them all the time and support they required.
Off the mark
It wasn’t a flying start for everyone but Richard and Terry were the first to strike gold. Sammy the sturgeon made an early appearance and he’s nearly 30lbs now! Richard’s PB was sub 20lbs before he arrived, so he stepped right to the big league with a big chunk of a mirror at 38lbs! That was “job done” as far as he was concerned. Terry was also off the mark banking the most gorgeous little fully scaled mirror, followed by a low twenty, then a thirty.
By Tuesday afternoon, Mark and Darren were yet to get off the mark so I offered a little bit of extra assistance. Mark was fishing the shallows from point ’A’ but when we headed off on a boat tour it was clear they weren’t there (unusually so). All we could do is reset some quality traps and hope they turned up at some point.
King of the pond on the bank
While we were out in the boat looking for signs, we spotted Terry (rod in hand) with Darren playing netsman so we hopped out of the boat and went for a butcher’s. There was excited chatter along the lines of “that’s really massive” and as soon as I walked up to the cradle I knew exactly what Terry had banked. Yes, you’ve guessed it, Mr. Angry, at 51lbs. Everyone was blown away by the proportions of this carp. Terry did really well getting him up for the photo. Bear in mind that this carp was a good 20lbs up on his previous PB!
Making the magic happen
It’s no good just sitting and waiting and hoping. That ain’t gonna cut it here. You need to force the issue. You need to make it happen. With no bites forthcoming from the shallows, Mark headed off to Island point the next day. Darren’s problem was more straightforward. He was in a good swim (the big double), we’d seen a show and he’d had a go but no joy. Closer inspection revealed blunt and damaged hooks so I soon whipped them off and loaded him up with a fresh set of Nash chod Twisters and he was good to go. I helped him pick some spots to try and we rowed them out with absolute precision.
The next morning at dawn, it all came together for Darren. By breakfast he’d banked a mid thirty and another super pretty, heavily scaled upper double. The smile says it all really. I could feel his buzz from home! He went on to catch Cut Tail at 40lbs so massive congrats to him for that one.
All comes good in the end
The move to Island point paid off handsomely for Mark and he banked 6 carp from Wednesday onwards. It was a great result for Mark who’d had to be very patient for things to align for him.
Richard had been beaten up by our big cats twice but third time’s the charm they say and he banked a 70lb specimen which was great to see. Most fish were caught on barbless chod Twisters and with yet another week of zero hook pulls it just goes to show how false the myth about barbless causing more hook pulls than micro barbed is.
Bait & Rigs
All fish were caught using the Scopex Squid food packs. The guys also got through a few sacs of carp pellets and a large bag of catfish pellets. On the rig front, Terry mainly used a skinlink version of the multi rig that was based on one of his designs that he’d got a lot of confidence in. His version used two material solutions connected with the Albright knot. I was pretty confident that I could create a 100% Skinlink version which would be a very close copy so that’s what he used. Over the years, Richard, Mark & Darren had become accustomed to buying ready-tied rigs and had lost the confidence to tie their own. One of the key focuses of this session was re-discovering those lost skills. By mid week they were all beavering away, tying up rigs and by the end they were much more confident in this area. Their favourite “go-to” rig was a trick braided multi rig that I’ve been demonstrating during the tuition sessions (look out for it soon on YouTube!).
Finishing with a flourish
I called round on Friday to catch up with the guys and Mark managed to winkle out a stunning mid thirty common while I was on site which is always a bonus. I said at the time that there were probably more bites to come and I was right! Darren had banked no fewer than five more carp on that day! The last two came within the last hour of packing up. Literally as he was bringing his rods in. He jokingly complained that he hadn’t planned to pack up in the dark… When we saw them the next morning the smile on Darren’s face was a mile wide. I don’t think he’s going to stop grinning for weeks! Top angling mate!
Big well done to everyone for trusting and applying the Beausoleil tried and tested tactics. The lads had an awesome holiday and learnt an incredible amount about carp and catfishing in a very short period of time. It was such a pleasure to spend some quality time with them and I do hope they get the chance to return one day. They certainly cannot wait!
PS – It was wonderful to see our home grown Beausoleil beauties looking so fantastic!
Don’t miss our latest YouTube video:
Learn how to make a simple catfish rig with carp tackle for catfish from 3lbs to 130lbs!
Catch report & Feedback from:Richard, Darren, Mark and Terry
Dates at Beausoleil: 23 to 30 April 2022
Brief details of your catches:11x Mirrors: 51lbs, 40lbs, 38lbs, 35lbs, 35lbs, 34lbs, 34lbs, 32lbs 4oz, 27lbs 5oz, 27lbs 4oz, 23lbs
3x Commons: 37lbs 9oz, 34lbs 4oz, 33lbs 3oz
1x Catfish: 70lbs
1x Sturgeon: 29lbs 10oz
7x Home grown: from 16 to 20lbs