Hello all and welcome to part two of my blog for the Angling Lines venue Beaurepaire, which we fished from the 5th to the 12th of April this year. Having covered lake selection, baiting approaches and swim picking in part one, part two will cover our individual tactics, baiting strategy and early week results.
Just to give a quick recap on swims: Mark Gilbert would fish one, Stewart Cliff in two, myself in three and finally Mark Henson in number four.
One of the interesting things for me this year was the extreme differences in how we all fished the lake. Last year at Boux all four of us fished in a similar manner, with near identical bait and rig positions all rowed out to the far margin. This year individuality really shone through and results were certainly different and surprising.
After the hard work of rowing each individual hookbait from the wooded bank to the far right of the dam wall at Boux, I decided this year to fish something within my casting range in which I could comfortably top up the swim with a spod and throwing stick, although I would allow myself use of the rowing boat for any really heavy baiting.
Stewart in the next swim along from me would use a similar tactic and we had already decided between us to aggressively bait an area just past the group of partially underwater trees and bushes in front of us.
My intention was to present a hookbait as close to the edge of the furthest snag as I would dare. However, along the submerged tree line a few really coarse branches and bushes stuck out from the main group meaning that, being left handed and having a tree next to me, I just couldn’t quite cast safely to where I wanted to be. So in the end I had to fish much further to the right than I would have intially prefered.
After finishing the marker work I clipped up the rod and walked out the line using two bank sticks as my start and finish points for distance. From the bank it didn’t look like much of a cast to my spots, but much to my suprise I paced it out at roughly seventy five meters or eighty two yards to hit the clip.
I’ve used X-line flurocarbon mainline for quite a few years and will be the first to admit it’s awful to cast, so with great curiosity it was time to see what Tiger Line was made of. To cut a long story short the Tiger Line seemed to cast slightly better than the X-line, but I must admit It was so slight I don’t know if I could really warrant the price difference between the two lines.
Stewart and myself took to the rowing boat armed with around 20kg’s worth of bait each and proceeded to feed a thin line right across the back of the submerged trees. All three of Stewart’s rods would be fished at an identical distance, as would two of mine with the third rod punched out a little bit further towards the channel in front of the spit.
Over in swim four Mark Henson had a very different idea of how to fish Beaurepaire which was completely contrary to Stewarts and my own tactics.
Firstly his right hand rod would be placed just in front of the lone Willow tree, with a very minimal scattering of boilies around his hookbait, while the other two rods would be cast out chod style.
The main feature of Marks chod rigs were small size eight and ten hooks coupled with a 10mm or smaller bright yellow or orange fluro pop-up He decided to keep both of these rods roving which would allow him to reel in and quickly re-cast cast at any showing fish.
Over to the other Mark in swim one and again different tactics were being used. After having to row out baits last year beyond casting range at Boux, Mark decided to purchase himself a baitboat for this years visit. Mark decided to present his hookbaits slightly further and wider than Stewart’s baited line and would use initially around two kilos of bait per rod.
Saturday passed by into Sunday afternoon with no action until seven pm when Mark Henson’s willow tree aimed rod burst into life resulting in a twenty one pound, seven ounce mirror.
Next up was a eighteen pound grass for Stewart just as the last light of the day was melting away from the sky.
Two fish by monday morning, without so much as a knock on my rods left me feeling a little uneasy, the two fish out on sunday were within a two hour time period in swims either side of me. I decided to stay with my plan of baiting a line between Stewart’s and my own swim, although today I would only bait up with around ten kilos of bait plus a few boilies put out with the throwing stick. In contrast Stewart would bait up with around another 20kilos his side of submerged snags.
At midday one of Mark’s chods screamed off resulting in a fantastic forty one pound six ounce mirror, this was followed at one pm with another mirror weighing in at thirty three pounds eight ounces. Both of these fish came to single hookbaits with no bait whatsoever around them, at this point I was slightly concerned I’d overdone it with bait.
All was quiet untill one in the morning when Stewart landed another grass carp at thirty pounds seven ounces, followed an hour later by a mirror at thirty one pounds seven ounces and finally at four am Stu landed another mirror at thirty five pounds and thirteen ounces.
I awoke early tuesday morning and scanned the misty water looking for any signs of carp, sure enough a few carp revealed themselves over towards the far bank. I was now stuck with a dilemma, do I move and fish from the bank opposite me or do I stay put and try to work my swim. My main problem was that Mark seemed to catch in the day time, while Stewart’s runs all came at night. Why was I getting nothing being bang in the middle between them? I was convinced the fish were swimming along the back of the submerged snags, but maybe I was too far to the right and they were diverting towards the front of the spit before coming across to my rigs.
Over in my cousin Mark’s swim things were quiet too. We decided that without any action today we would both move to the opposite bank Wednesday morning and try our luck.
Having a gut feeling I’d be on the move the next morning I decided to get out in the rowing boat and try and find something to fish to from my potential new swim.
Using my long prodding stick I found an area alongside the spit at around six foot deep that dropped off straight down to around eleven feet deep. With this spot I could present two rigs three foot apart in two different depths. I grabbed a spare marker float, attached some line from the float to three four ounce leads and dropped the marker in the six foot of water tight to the drop off. By leaving the float in the water I had a visual marker to bait up to until the point I would choose to actually fish the spot. In the morning I put around ten kilos of bait around the float followed by another ten kilos in the early evening. As for my fishing on Tuesday I left two rods in their usual position, while the third rod was punched out well to my right hand side, with of course a chod rig and tiny pop up.
As I’m sure I’ve written before, when fishing a lake exclusive try to work out the lake as whole as opposed to just the swim in front of you. If someone has got something that works, there’s a good chance it’ll work for someone else. Stu was catching over a heavily baited area, Mark was catching with single hookbaits, I couldn’t get any tighter to Stu but I could get a chod over in Marks direction (I asked him first of course, so it’s not really swim bullying…..well sort of).
Midday Tuesday rewarded Mark with another twenty pounds eight ounce mirror, again falling to a chod rig. As midnight approached Stewart landed a forty three pound thirteen ounce mirror followed shortly by two grass carp weighing in at twenty four pounds eight ounces and sixteen pounds nine ounces respectively.
Well its here at Wednesday morning where I will leave part two, ready to cover the final few days in the next blog. Both myself and my cousin Mark at this point are doing frankly appallingly, the mooted move is on and the rather dodgy gut feelings have been replaced with fresh optimism for the remaining days ahead.
Thanks for reading and please join me again for part three.
For more information on Beaurepaire follow the link – Carp Lakes near Calais