Hello all, having just returned from a weeks fishing at Beaurepaire, I would like to invite you to read a few articles regarding this great lake. I’d like to cover all aspects of our group’s fishing trip, from bait, tactics and execution through to results and where we got it right and sometimes wrong.
This first article will cover bait selection, a little insight into our pre-holiday thought process and first impressions of arriving at Beaurepaire.
How did we come to choose Beaurepaire?
Unfortunately our original venue of fishing Sapphire was cancelled leaving us with around four months to find a substitute lake. Four of us would be fishing with a lake exclusive being the preferred choice. Stewart and myself have fished a broad spectrum of Angling Lines venues, and as normal we fancied a lake we hadn’t fished before. As it was the two Marks second French visit we decided between us to fish a lake around seven to twelve acres in size and a venue where we could enjoy a bit of a social.
After a few phone conversations with Angling Lines we had decided on four or five possible places that would suit our needs and began to whittle the list down to just one. In the end it was between Brie and Beaurepaire. Beaurepaire swung it with us due to the fact that we could pretty much bivvy up where we wanted to and the fact that it has a few fifties swimming around helped.
How much bait do I take?
Having fished Sapphire before I had a fairly good idea of what to take and the amounts I would need for the week. Now fishing a lake that would be new to me I delved into deep research on the Angling Lines website and read just about everything that was written regarding Beaurepaire.
The first task was choosing what type of boilies and the amount which I would take.
I’d read in a feedback for Beaurepaire that CC Moores Live System had produced a big hit for a group and seeing as I’m a fan of their bait I settled on 10kg of Live System and 20kg of the new Equinox. To finish off my boilie allowance I added 10kg of Cell as I find it has a similar smell and taste to the Live System.
Next up would be my pellet allowance which comprised 10kg of Hinders Bloodworm, 10Kg Hinders Little Gemz, 10kg Hinders Big Bite, and 10kg Sticky Baits Krill pellet.
My particles consisted of 10kg TB Baits blood worm and hemp, 10kg TB Baits aniseed parti-mix and some jars of CC Moores Intense cooked mega hemp, krill and shrimp.
I finished off the bait list with some CC Moores pre-prepared tiger nuts, four bags of CC Moores frozen water snails, three gallons of Maggots from Willy Worms, six kg bags of frozen sweetcorn, 10 large tins of sweetcorn and various dips, liquids, pellet soaks and pop-ups which I keep in my bait cupboard.
Stewart’s bait list was almost identical apart from an added 30kg of maize and flaked maize, but with less pellet and less maggots than myself.
All of Stewarts Maize products were pre-prepared at home and quality tested by his bait Beagle Snoopy.
The above list may sound like a lot of bait, and believe me it is. I’m always comfortable with taking more and knowing that what I don’t use I can bring home with me. I did run out of bait at crucial times on my first few French trips and vowed it would never happen to me again.
As I belive I’ve written before, I pay for all of my bait in full, I have no allegiance to any bait company, I buy what I think will work best for any given lake, and while I realise that the above list isn’t cheap to buy, I would rather have it and not need it, than go short. As a side note, I actually didn’t think I had enough particle and pellet for the trip.
Do I alter my tackle for French fishing?
I use exactly the same set-ups for both my French and English fishing, the only new addition this year was to swap my 15lb X-line for 16lb Tiger Line.
The fun begins
Being fresh for arrival at your lake on Saturday is hugely important. Other guys have written about it in depth and getting a hotel in France for the friday night is a great idea.
Having turned up at lakes before half asleep, I realize the importance of this. This year we booked neither a hotel or a decently timed ferry crossing (2am to be precise).
I would finish work thursday, stay up till 5am friday morning, wake up at 4pm friday afternoon, load the van at eight and leave for Dover by nine in the evening.
I felt alert and wide awake right through the drive to Dover and during the ferry crossing. I started to flag a bit en route to Beaurepaire and by the time I was getting the weekly shopping at the super market in Guignicourt, I was feeling rather jaded.
We met Bernard and his daughter at Beaurepaire around ten and had a good walk around the lake. As far as lake owners go, Bernard is an excellent host. Okay his English isn’t great but he’s as accommodating and friendly a guy as you could wish for.
The facilities at Beaurepaire are fantastic, plenty of freezer room along with three fridges, the cabins are warm at night and there is also a hob and microwave at your disposal.
First impressions and swim picking
The first thing that struck us was how high the water levels were. The normally fishable spit was underwater by about two foot and tide marks on the trees and bushes indicated it had been up a further few feet before our arrival.
The map below is the best I could find that represents the higher water levels we encountered, I apologise for the poor quality of the image but the only way to copy it was to take a picture of the map with my phone and email it to myself. (You can also watch an aerial video of Beaurepaire here, which shows the layout of the lake)
After a couple of laps around the lake, we decided that all four of us would fish the far bank, we worked out four swims along with visual boundaries and began our draw.
My cousin Mark was first out of the hat and picked what I will call swim two, Stewart was second out and picked swim one. Swim two was the spot all four of us desperately wanted. For some reason unknown to myself (perhaps bribery, or some form of blackmail) Mark gave Stewart swim two and fished swim one himself. I was next out of the hat and picked swim three leaving the other Mark with number four, which was everyone’s least fancied swim on the lake.
A frenzied rush of activity saw all the tackle and bait being dropped off at the swims and Bernard returned after an hour or so with the rowing boat, complete with electric motor.
After markering up from the bank and from the rowing boat, I got the rods in the water by six and I was finally ready to take on Beaurepaire.
To be continued in Part Two…………………
Okay thanks for your patience in reading this article which is, I must admit, a little light in the real meat which makes a good carping article, that being CARP. So as a little gesture to reward you with taking your time to read this blog, I’ll give you a small teaser;
Not a king, but hopefully something that will pique your interest for the next installment.
Thanks for reading guys
For more information on Beaurepaire follow the link – Carp Lakes near Calais