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How to make the most of your session

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.

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 I have compiled here the ultimate guide to fishing this fascinating water.

Tackle, tactics and tips

Mainline, tubing and hook link

Mainline

You will see from the rules that 25lb mono is the minimum strength mainline for the venue. Experience has taught us that standard 15lb or even 20lb carp mono is inadequate here. Since 2017, many more carp and cats have been landed rather than lost thanks to this rule.

My no1 recommendation for your mainline is Berkley Trilene Big Game in 25lbs: it’s very strong and very reliable. For more info on this line and other options you could choose, have a look at our 25lb mono buying guide to choose your line for Beausoleil.

Tubing

It is essential to protect the last metre of your mainline with top quality rig tubing. I recommend Rig Marole’s Freefall tubing in 1mm bore (not the micro one, watch out, it’s easy to get them confused!). It only comes in 1m length and should not be cut. It’s the easiest to thread by miles and can be re-used time and time again. The stainless steel core provides the ultimate level of cut protection and abrasion resistance and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It also sinks like a brick.

If you’re struggling to get hold of the Rig Marole tubing (usually found on ebay), then the next best option is Korda Kamo Rig Tube or Dark Matter. If you hate threading tubing, you can always use a diamond eye pole threader.

Don’t forget to bring some Drennan Feeder Gum or Power Gum to create a stop knot above the tubing to hold it in place. I’ll show you on arrival why this is critical.

Hook link

Finding the right hook link material for Beausoleil has taken me years….. literally! None of the standard carp hook links have been consistently strong enough and most of the heavier braided hook links tend to be too stiff.

I have tested a specific product from Berkley which exceeds the performance of every hook link that I’ve ever fished with and is the perfect choice for the venue. Our Beausoleil carp and cat hook link has the strength and abrasion resistance to deal with the angriest of our massive cats and yet is supple and delicate enough to fool our wily carp. It’s only available to buy in bulk spools so we offer it in a 3m length which is perfect for a week long session. It is available to pre-order from our bait and rig order form.

I have also seen some excellent examples of very strong and highly abrasion resistant hooklinks such as: Gardner Vigilante 45lbs, Nash Armourlink 35lbs, Nash Skinlink 35lbs (this is awesome stuff!), Kryston Quicksilver 45lbs and Amnesia 30lbs.

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. I use 3.25lbs and I’m still outgunned if I hook a big catfish. Although you won’t be casting very far, I prefer a fast tapered action rather than a through action as I want the point of leverage to be half way up the blank not at the reel seat. If you plan on targeting our big catfish specifically, I’d recommend using your spod rod or invest in a set of dedicated catfish rods.

Reels
Good quality, robustly constructed big pit reels are an excellent choice and anything in that style from Daiwa or Shimano should be fine.  I use Shimano Ultegra C14 10000 and rate them highly. Good reels aren’t cheap but choose well and they should last a very long time. We have seen anglers use inferior quality reels that have literally disintegrated while playing a big catfish. If you’re very serious about your cat fishing, then specialist catfish reels are available.

● Knots
Good knots are essential if you’re going to land what you hook. All lines and materials are different and you’ll need to use the right knot for each. Strong mainline knots include the palomar, double grinner and the tucked blood knot. To find out which knot is the best for your choice of mainline, you need to test each one against the other. Fluoro carbon and stiff filament hooklinks work well with a two turn blood knot. For braided hooklinks, you can’t beat the 5-turn grinner and for coated materials the uni knot works well. Every single knot must be properly tested before fishing using a rig puller and a leather glove.

Leads
The most important thing here is to avoid traditional semi fixed systems, such as lead clips or inline leads with an insert. The carp find it very easy to use the weight of the lead to swing out the hook and you may not even get a beep! My Beausoleil inline system has been popular and successful for many years. Other options include pure running lead systems with either a swivel or inline lead. Size wise, I tend to stick with 3.5oz leads but you may find leads as light as 1.5oz useful for fishing softer areas.

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. Each rod should be set right back so that the tip is just over the edge of the bank. This gives you much more room to play fish, and will reduce the chances of picking up your other lines. Using hangers instead of swingers will give you increased bite indication. You also need a rear rod rest that securely holds the rod in position. Even with the clutch 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 locked up safely in front of many of the features will be seriously compromised. Fishing two rods and a bank stick is a more workable option if you don’t want to buy yourself a full set of bank sticks.

Bait

Your best bet at Beausoleil is either a boilie only, or boilie and pellet approach. Shelf life boilies and nuts of any sort are not allowed. You can bring your own freezer baits and pellets or pre-order our Beausoleil boilies and pellets. I take bait quality very seriously and only roll bait to order to guarantee freshness.

You can choose from a nut based Nutty Banoffee mix and a shellfish based Shrimp & Cray mix in 20 or 24mm with matching cork ball popups and balanced baits. For guidance on bait quantities, click here to read “How much bait for a week’s fishing in France”.

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: If you haven’t seen this before, it’s a trick version of a standard braided rig. It’s a confuser of carp and is well worth a look at.
● The stiff hinged rig: I recommend it because some of our regular visitors have banked some superb specimen carp and cats on it.

Whatever rig you choose, I would recommend avoiding traditional semi fixed rigs which incorporate lead clips or inline rigs with an insert to retain the swivel. The carp at Beausoleil have worked out how to use the weight of the lead to lever the hook out and all you will get is a short flurry of beeps and no run. Your best bet is to stick to running rigs or a very lightly fixed lead system.

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 and rowing boat provided. 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. 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. I know of three that have been used successfully at Beausoleil.
● A beefed up variant of my Beausoleil rig using 45lb Kryston Quicksilver, click here to find step by step instructions.
● A strong stiff hinged rig connected to a Beausoleil lead system.
● The live bait poly ball rig. To make this rig, check out this article from the Catfish Conservation Group.

Catfish tactics

Generally our catfish are not too difficult to hook. Pick a good swim and target them in open water with beds of pellets, and fish boilies or a popup over the top. OK, it’s not exactly a technique for purists but it’s very effective. The more discerning catfish specialists have their own highly specialised methods which can be effective on their day but with so many cats being hooked on carp rigs I don’t see the need.

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.

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

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 are essential for consistent results. Only an ultra sharp hook is good enough to trip up our carp time after time. If this is something that’s new to you or you don’t have the kit, don’t worry, you’ll find a full hook sharpening kit on site and I’m more than happy to demonstrate how to use it. You can also check out my hook sharpening blog and video.

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 is difficult. It’s best to carefully sink them, from rig to bank, across the contours of the lake. I find this technique more effective than back leading. Back leading works well when fishing open water marks but is not great when you present a bait on a far marginal slope and need to keep the tubing nailed to the deck to avoid spooking the fish.

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.

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 from half a day to 24hrs. 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. Contact us to discuss your specific requirements.

anglers-carp-fishing-tuition-in-france

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