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How to make the most of your Beausoleil fishing holiday

We want you to have an amazing fishing experience at Beausoleil.

Whether you dream of cradling one of our magnificent specimen carp, or dancing toe to toe with one of our monster moggies, you’ll have to bring your ‘A’ game. The fish do not give themselves up easily.

The carp can be harder to catch than the catfish as they are good at ejecting rigs. Our catfish aren’t difficult to hook although they can be tricky to land. Every lake creates unique angling challenges and Beausoleil is no exception. It’s a thinking man’s water. You will have to work for each fish you catch, but that is what makes fishing Beausoleil so special. In order to make the most of your trip, book our carp fishing tuition that I guarantee will make a massive difference to your results.

Do I need to change my setup?

Fishing a lake that contains specimen carp and multiple 100lb+catfish is something that very few anglers have experienced before. You and your gear will be tested to the max. Remember, our cats don’t know which is your carp rod and which is your cat rod so you need to fish strong for both species at all times.

So, what’s the secret to getting it right?

Fishing a new water for the first time can be daunting, so have a browse through the sections below and make sure you follow our fishery rules. The carp here are very clued up. What I’ve seen over the years is that small details can make a massive difference and we cover that in depth during the tuition.

Personal tuition available

Step up your game

If you have only fished for carp on runs waters in the UK or France and you want to up your game and tackle more challenging waters, we offer a structured tuition program. I will work with you one on one and go through everything you need to know. This structured program can be tailored to your exact needs and will transform your angling both at home and abroad. It’s the only way to get up to speed quickly enough in the short time you have here and you will be a more complete angler for the experience.

anglers-carp-fishing-tuition-in-france

Under the surface

Beausoleil is a tree lined estate lake that was dug in the 1950’s along the line of an ancient stream. The lakebed is feature rich, complicated and changes every year. When I talk to anglers that come and fish here for the first time, I bang on about how accurate and precise you have to be in your whole setup. I understand how difficult it is to imagine exactly what I’m talking about so have a look at this video where I take you on a tour of the lake shallows when the lake was drained for the netting. You’ll see some of the features that are typical to this venue, how and where the carp feed and how they carve and change the lakebed. You can also see how small changes in rig location can have a massive effect on your rig presentation. We spend a lot of time during the tuition exploring the features and you can see why in this video.

Tackle and tactics

Mainline, tubing, hook link and hooks

Mainline
You will see from the rules that we only allow Berkley Big Game in 25lb (0.45 min) or Nash Bullet in 20lbs (0.40). Experience has taught us that no other line of this strength and diameter can handle the awesome power of our catfish. It’s also helped anglers bank carp that would have otherwise been lost on the savage lake bottom. It may come as a shock to use such a heavy line for carp fishing but rest assured, it will help you catch more, not less.

Tubing
It is essential to protect the last metre of your mainline with top quality rig tubing. We suggest that you use tungsten rig tubing from the likes of Nash or Korda. If you hate threading tubing and you book a tuition with me, I’ll show you how to do it in 30 seconds flat!

Don’t forget that you’ll need some medium sized tungsten sinkers (smaller or same size as your mainline) to ensure that your rig tubing stays in place during the fight. I will explain exactly how to do this on arrival if it’s something that you are not familiar with.

Hooklink
For hooklink we recommend Nash Armourlink in 35lbs which is available to purchase on site. Other proven products are the Nash Skinlink 35lbs and the Nash Heavy Duty Snag Leader in 30lbs. If you are not familiar with these products and are unsure as to whether your favourite hooklink is up to the task, just let me know and I’ll be happy to advise.

Hooks
Only short, straight shank, barbless hooks are allowed at Beausoleil for reasons of fish safety. We only recommend the Nash Twisters or chod Twisters as they are the only hooks that have a proven track record of out of the packet sharpness (essential for our wily carp) and yet still be strong enough to bank cats in excess of 100 lbs.

Tackle

Due to the large catfish, light or even medium weight carp tackle is not enough. To maximise your chances of landing every fish you hook, do follow our fishery rules for tackle and see my other recommendations below.

Rods
I wouldn’t advise using anything lighter than a 3lb TC rod even if you are targeting the carp only. It’s possible to land a very large catfish on a 3lb rod but it’s not going to come in quickly. No-one leaves the venue wishing they’d bought lighter rods with them and 3.5lb for carp or cats is ideal. If you plan on targeting our big catfish specifically, I’d recommend using 4.5lb TC rods or more.

Reels
Good quality, robustly constructed big pit reels are really important here. Ideally, your reel should be able to hold at least 250m of 0.45 mono. Small, bait runner style reels are very much on the limit of suitability so please check with me . We have seen anglers use inferior quality reels that have literally disintegrated while playing a big fish. If you’re very serious about your cat fishing, then specialist catfish reels are available but not strictly necessary.

● Knots
All lines and materials are different and you’ll need to use the right knot for each. Fishery rules state that every single knot (hooklink and mainline) must be properly tested before fishing using: a rig, a leather glove and one of our 8kg kettle bells. We understand that we are very unique in asking for this but, experience has taught us that it’s the only way to ensure that anglers bank what they hook.

Leads
Traditional semi fixed rigs such as lead clips or inline leads with a tightly fitting insert are banned because they are not effective and they can be dangerous. Most anglers opt for my original “Beausoleil style” inline running rig but you can also use a free running ledger (as long as it’s set up safely). It is not necessary to dump the lead on the take here. If you need help with your lead setup, then just ask.

Bankware
Individual bank sticks are very versatile and enable you to fish more effectively and safely. I use a soft hammer if necessary to make them more secure. Most swims are gravelled and quality stainless bankware can be driven deeply into it. Long, thin aluminium bankware is not a suitable choice for the venue. Make sure you point each rod directly at the mark you’re fishing. It is essential that you use a rear rod rest that securely holds the rod in position. Even with the clutch semi locked up, the rod should not move an inch on the take. If you have a three rod pod, your options will be more limited and your ability to fish semi locked up safely in front of many of the features will be seriously compromised.

If you are not sure whether your gear is up to task, just send me a message, tell me what you have and I’ll do my very best to guide you. We do have some gear available for rental so I can usually get you sorted at very little cost.

Bait

We recommend anglers use the Nash Scopex Squid range because it’s proven to be good for the carp and catfish and highly effective since its introduction at Beausoleil in 2020.

If you prefer to catch carp and avoid the catfish then you can switch over to a 100% veggie approach as it has proven to be a highly effective method of being more selective between the two species. Catfish love the Scopex Squid boilies, especially when placed in a nice tight pile!

Only Nash particles purchased on site are allowed to be used so that we can control the quantity used. You do not need a large quantity of particles to be successful here. In fact a particle based approach is usually significantly cheaper than using boilies and pellets.

Rigs and tactics for carp

Carp rigs

The carp at Beausoleil can be caught on a variety of rigs. I have my own favourites of course and after a few years of experimentation, I know what works here, but these are not the only rigs that work.

● The Beausoleil rig: This rig has been around since I first introduced it to the venue way in 2011. If you haven’t seen it before, it’s a trick version of a standard braided rig. Although the materials chosen to tie the rig have changed, the way it works is identical and it’s still a winner for those that love a classic approach.

● The mono D rig: I recommend it because it’s tangle free, easy to tie and 30lbs Heavy Duty Snag leader makes a great hooklink. It’s a brilliantly effective rig.

● The blowback multi rig: This rig is perfect for anglers who don’t want to tie their own rigs. You can re-use the material time and time again and just change the bait and the hook each time you recast.

Whatever rig you pick, remember that they won’t work here after the 2nd cast due to the nature of the lake bed. Also, traditional semi fixed rigs which incorporate lead clips or inline rigs with an insert to retain the swivel are banned for reasons of fish safety. Please stick to simple or trick running rigs only.

Carp tactics

The carp at Beausoleil are very cute and fully aware that they are being fished for. These tips should help you in your quest.

● Get to know the lake
Beausoleil is feature rich. Explore it well, both above and below the surface, with the prodding pole, rowing boat and waders. Winding in and searching for signs of activity are fundamental to success. Timing is everything: the very best anglers only fish during the hours when a bite is most likely.

● Bait strategically
Our carp are hungry and can eat a tremendous amount of bait. However, it’s no good just piling it in expecting success. They’ve learnt to sort free bait from your rig so you need to force them into making a mistake. Build their confidence by introducing bait without a rig present. Spread baits along marginal shelves or over large areas to force them to move in between baits. Build the swim steadily by increasing the amount of free bait after each capture.

● Pick your spots
Casting singles to showing fish is a powerful tactic. Fish from an alternative margin to change your line angle. Spread your rods out and don’t fish too many spots at the same time. Avoid disturbing the spots near bite times. Try to have multiple spots on the go and juggle rods between them.

Rigs and tactics for catfish

Catfish rigs

There are countless different catfish rigs but the honest truth is you don’t need anything complicated. It just has to be simple and very strong! All I use is 35lbs Armourlink knotted to a size 6 Nash Twister to bank catfish 100lbs+. I do not recommend using dedicated catfish hooks.

Catfish tactics

Generally our catfish are not too difficult to hook. Pick a good swim and target them in open water with beds of catfish pellets and Scopex Squid boilies. OK, it’s not exactly a technique for purists but it’s very effective!

Don’t think landing them will be easy! You will need strength, patience and a little luck. If they are heading towards danger such as the tip of the island or the bridge, it is possible to spook them back towards you, either from the bank or from the rowing boat. I call it waterborne catfish herding! For more tips, check out the catfish section of our blog.

Fishing essentials for Beausoleil

At a lake where every single bite counts, small details can make all the difference in the world. To get the very best from your session, check out my 6  essential tips below. They may well be common practice for you already but maybe not all of them.

Hook sharpening

Hand sharpened hooks can definitely give you the edge but nowadays I advise anglers just to use the Nash Twisters straight out of the packet and change them every cast. Hook sharpening is very hard to do well and in my experience many anglers make their hooks blunter, not sharper. On average you’ll need 3-4 packs of hooks per week, per angler, on a water where the line between catching and blanking is thin.

Knot testing

Kryston puts it best: “The finest tackle in the world is totally useless if your knot is iffy”. With a badly tied knot, you will lose fish. To make sure it is strong enough, test it. A knot that can survive our kettle bell test is a pass. If it fails, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your line is not good, it means you have to tie the knot again.

Knot testing

Kryston puts it best: “The finest tackle in the world is totally useless if your knot is iffy”. With a badly tied knot, you will lose fish. To make sure it is strong enough, test it. A knot that can survive our kettle bell test is a pass. If it fails, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your line is not good, it means you have to tie the knot again.

Knowing you’ve been done

Knowing whether or not your rig has been into a carp’s mouth and ejected is a great piece of information to have. If you get done repeatedly, you know you need to make some changes. There are different ways to do this: my tell tale system is one or you can add a small piece of silicon on the shank of the hook to trap the hair.

Tightening your clutch

It takes a lot more than the weight of a 3oz lead to hook our fish properly. You need to tighten your clutch well: not so tight that your rod will go in, but tight enough to stop the fish getting up ahead of steam. This way, it’s the clutch that drives the hook home before you even pickup the rod, effectively striking for you.

Tightening your clutch

It takes a lot more than the weight of a 3oz lead to hook our fish properly. You need to tighten your clutch well: not so tight that your rod will go in, but tight enough to stop the fish getting up ahead of steam. This way, it’s the clutch that drives the hook home before you even pickup the rod, effectively striking for you.

Sinking your line

Our carp are very aware of lines in the water and getting pickups when fishing tight lines can be difficult. For me the choice between slack lining and backleading very much depends on which spot you are targeting and from what angle. I used to do a lot of slacklining but nowadays I prefer to backlead most of the time using a very light 15g backlead.

Inspecting your line for damage

The lake bottom of Beausoleil is not a flat smooth silt bowl. There are many super hard gravel bars littered with small rocks of various sizes and there are one or two larger boulders out there too. Walking out your lines and routinely inspecting them inch by inch for damage is an essential part of fishing the venue. Damage is most likely after a capture or a loss.

Inspecting your line for damage

The lake bottom of Beausoleil is not a flat smooth silt bowl. There are many super hard gravel bars littered with small rocks of various sizes and there are one or two larger boulders out there too. Walking out your lines and routinely inspecting them inch by inch for damage is an essential part of fishing the venue. Damage is most likely after a capture or a loss.

Have a question?

If you are not sure whether your existing setup
and gear are suitable for fishing Beausoleil,
drop me a line and we’ll talk about it.

     get in touch     

ask-any-question-about-your-tackle

Find out more about your holiday:

FISHERY RULES
Check your tackle and setup

Read More

BAIT AND BOILIES
Pre-order before you arrive

See More

BEAUSOLEIL FISHING VIDEO
Check out how exciting it can be

Watch Now