First of all let me say, that I am sure you will enjoy your time at Beaurepaire. After travelling to France many times over the last 15 years I would have to say this venue is up there with the best of them. It is in a lovely quiet location, has loads of carp (which average 30lb +) and is run by nice people who just leave you to get on with the fishing with no hassle.
The first thing to think about is how you are going to fish the lake from a location point of view. Most anglers seem to fish from the ‘spit’ when it is above water, now this is great from a ‘social’ point of view (if there is a group of you) but to me the ‘spit’ is the obvious feature to fish to not from. There were 4 in our group and with this in mind we fished in pairs. One pair fishing the ‘near bank’ to the left of the facilities, and the other pair fishing opposite them on the far bank. This would give each angler, roughly a quarter of the lake each, whilst still giving each pair the chance to fish back towards the ‘spit’ or the small island if they wanted to.
Studying the lake depth map on the website, it struck me that the lake was basically ‘two bowls’ separated by the ‘spit’ and another small island. After a lot of plumbing around with the marker rod I found that the map was quite accurate. I opted to try and create a baited area at the bottom of the marginal slope towards the centre of the spit (about 15 yards short of the spit in 7 feet of water), feeling sure the carp would patrol that area. I would concentrate two rods on this spot (about 12 feet apart) and build this area up as the week went on. The other rod was used as a ‘rover’ and was moved after a couple of nights if nothing happened.
Baiting wise I approached the venue as I always do when in France. I always start off with a light baiting approach until I have worked out where the carp are feeding and what they are feeding on. It’s easy to spoil your week at the start by piling in too much bait, especially if you put it in the wrong area. So to start off I only put about fifty baits around each rod to start with (just boilies, nothing else).
It was around Sunday teatime when I caught my first fish, from the bottom of the slope, so I then decided to put more bait in. This spot was to produce the vast majority of my bites. Around about 6pm each evening I would top the spot up with about a kilo of boilies plus about ½ kilo of pellet and ½ kilo of pigeon conditioner. I would then introduce 4 spomb fulls of mixed sized boilies after each fish.
This baiting method produced well for me during the week, although I did start baiting with just boilies towards the end of the week because the pellet and particles seemed to be attracting the attention of the lakes bream population.
Presentation wise most of my carp came to a 15mm Rahja Spice bottom bait, topped with a piece of fake corn or a pimple pop, fished KD syle on a combi-link. I did have some on a 10mm snowman set up, but again I gave up on this because the bream were consistently taking it.
Bait choice was not a problem, as the Quest Baits Rahja Spice has never let me down on any of my French Trips. I took 25Kg of Rahja Spice in 10 and 15mm and 15Kg of Magnum White in 10 and 15mm. Added to this I took 25Kg of carp pellets and 25Kg of pigeon conditioner. This would be plenty for David (my brother) and myself for a week.
It was a strange week whilst we were there, I would say that 90 % of the carp were spending the daylight hours at the facilities end of the lake and only started to move up to our end from around 8pm onwards (it was always the rod fished furthest out that went first). The only thing that I could put this down to was the masses of daphnea that was present in the facilities end of the lake (the wind changed to a southerly on Tuesday and so kept it down there). I never actually saw a carp in my corner of the lake until the last night!
The weather wasn’t great for carp fishing either with very high pressure and frosty nights for most of the week. Therefore it is testament to the quality of the lake that I ended up with the catch that I did. Although the lake has a large head of carp, location of the feeding areas is very important, this was proved by the roving rod which once went 3 nights without a run (if I remember correctly).
For the record I finished with 20 carp, of which 15 were over 30lbs, with 7 over 35lbs including 3 x 40′s up to 45lb 10oz. Plus numerous bream, a catfish and a grass carp.
I hope this has been of some help to you. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need any more information.