Matt takes you for a tour around the hidden features of Beausoleil that were exposed during the draining and netting of the lake.
As a carp angler, if you ever get the chance to visit a lake that is being drained, then my advice would be to do so. It’s a fascinating experience and one that will stay with me for a long time. Over the last three years I’ve done over 100 nights at the lake and probably spent 100 hrs feature finding either in waders, by boat or by marker rod. Interestingly enough, I would definitely say that the least effective tool for feature finding is the one that most of us rely on all the time and that’s the marker rod. Using a prodding stick from a boat is next best but the ultimate feature finders are located at the end of your legs and are more commonly referred to as your feet! It’s amazing what you can feel through them: you can instantly measure the depth and firmness of the silt, feel branches that are buried in chod and feel depth changes easily.
As any carp angler that has fished the venue will tell you, I think feature finding is one of the most important tasks to undertake before fishing, so you can imagine my delight as slowly over a number of weeks, the underwater world of the Beausoleil lake was revealed to my eyes. In this blog I’d like to show you in more detail what I found from this unique experience!
Firstly, here’s the video we made during the draining down and netting of the lake:
Lake feature 1: A dinner plate fit for a king and queen!
The picture above shows the small diner plate of a feeding spot along snake bank that produced a brace of 40’s which included the largest and 2nd largest resident mirror carp for me back in March 2013. As you can see the spot is only about 2ft across and it’s adjacent to a larger feeding trench which extends out to the right. The bottom of the spot is hard and the leaf and chod increase in depth the further out from the centre of the spot that you go. I already knew that this was a hard spot as I’d spent many hours prodding along the margins of that bank for such things. I caught the brace after my friend Perm spotted a slow heavy swirl over the spot.
Lake feature 2: An unknown mark by Channel B swim
Well this one by the Channel B swim certainly surprised me. This is an unknown feeding hole that I very much doubt has ever been fished. Near margin features are often ignored by us but it is quite obvious that the fish feed well here as it’s 9” deep! I have caught a mid thirty pound mirror from under my feet there before and must remind myself to try and repeat the act next time especially in this hole!
Lake feature 3: Round the ragged rock!
This feature was well known to me but I had no idea actually how big it was. As you can see it’s three features merged into one really. At the back of the feature are two very distinctive catfish nests. In this instance the nests can be distinguished from a normal carp feeding hole due to the steep sides and the flat bowl like bottom. At the front of the feature is a large rock with at least another 12” below the water line. The carp have excavated all around this mark and it has produced a number of fish for me when I’ve targeted it from the home swim. I will definitely be dropping my rig short and right of the rock as it’s shown in the picture and let my line fall naturally through the water rather than tightening down to the lead.
Lake feature 4: “Point B” island rock
This is a classic spot that’s been kind to me and to those that have managed to fish it accurately enough. It’s located directly opposite the Point ‘B’ swim and this shot was taken from the island. It’s really two features in one with a rocky shallow plateau section followed by a much deeper hole in front of the main rock. I always aim to drop my rig in the deeper hole, whether I achieve this or not is debatable but it produces fish so I don’t worry too much!
Lake feature 5: Two more holy rocks
Or should I say rocks in holes! This shot was taken from the island margin. The rock in the distance was already known to me and has produced some nice fish. Being an open water feature it can be challenging to find it though! The rock and hole at the front of the shot was a real surprise. I knew there was a hard spot (the rock) here but I had no idea the size of the hole that had been excavated in front of it! One of our regular female carpers, Sam (featured in our best fishing stories of 2013), fished this spot well and out fished her carping comrades last year!
Lake feature 6: Is the bar open?
This was interesting to see. Originally the lake was dug on the site of an old stream. You can still see the snake-like path that feeds into the lake at the back of this shot. Mid shot is a large rocky/gravel bar that is located to the left of where the aerator is sited. The bar is shallow and you can see the slightly deeper channels either side of this. Again I’d say that this is an under fished area as clients prefer to fish closer to the aerator.
This is not an exhaustive list of features, there are far too many to talk about in just one article. If you’ve been to Beausoleil before you’ll know I’m not one for holding back with information on the fishery tour and can help you find a particular feature if that’s of interest to you.
If hope you’ve enjoyed this small window inside the underwater world of the carp and that you enjoy the feature finding process as much as the fishing itself as I do.