OpenClose Advanced Options / Search By Date
Articles about Mas Bas Main LakeMas Bas Review
Oct 2011 by The Rangers Fishing Team
After months of planning and preparation it was finally time for me (Steve) to head from Manchester to Bristol to pick up the others. On arrival at Bristol I picked up Andrew (Angler) and Kerry (non-angler) and spent the night at James' to get a fresh start to head to Dover first thing in the morning. Friday morning arrived and we started loading up the car and roof box, it was like playing Tetris, ensuring everything went in the car the most efficient way to make sure we had enough room, having grown up with Tetris it was pretty easy. We used a 1997 Vauxhall Vectra Estate which was bought specifically for the journey to Mas Bas. This was our 2nd time heading to France and to Mas Bas, the previous year we used a smaller car, which was really cramped, the bigger car made all the difference.
6:30am came and it was time to head to Dover, our ferry wasn’t due until 11:45 so we knew we would have plenty of time to have a rest there and sort out anything else we needed to. About 30 minutes after setting off I jokingly asked if everyone had remembered everything and if James had remembered his brand new expensive rod pod, at which point his face dropped and we had to head back to pick it up, I thought “ok it’s no big deal, we had plenty of time and there had to have been something”…
We got near to Dover at around 11am after some stops on the way and just before the motorway ends we get stuck in traffic for well over 2 hours! We decided to call Angling Lines to let them know we would miss the ferry, the guy we spoke to was very helpful and kind and said it wouldn’t be a problem and he would ring the ferry port up to let them know and to ensure we could get a later ferry. We eventually arrived in Dover where we got our last few Euros and got onto the ferry!
After a short while on the ferry we arrived on French soil and set our satnav, we decided to set it initially for Le Mans to make sure it got us past Paris and then we set it for Cahors with this intention to go to the market. The journey down to Cahors was pretty uneventful, we stopped a few times for a rest and a drink but we actually took a rest for too long as by the time we got to Cahors the market was closed. We then decided it would be best if we called at the local supermarket to get some food so we loaded the car up with as much food as we could and headed down to Mas Bas.
We arrived at Mas Bas by about 2:30pm, which we knew was too early because we had been told we can’t check in before 4pm but we decided to go and say hello to Giles who was in the process of sorting out the pool while the house was being cleaned, he told us that we could wait by lotus lake and he gave us some beers, which we were all really pleased about. It was at that time he told us that there was no one else booked in to be at Mas Bas for the whole 2 weeks we were there and he said we can use the Lotus Lake as well as the main lake. This was a real surprise and we were very grateful so we had a chat with Giles before we setup our gear, asking how it was fishing, where was best to cast and what was generally the best way to catch fish. He told us that we should fish near the island, the far bank next to trees, near the pump and by the right hand side bank. Previous weeks had fetched more than 100 for people fishing there using very slack lines, smaller hooks than we did last year and to keep feeding the swims.
The first day we were fishing produced a handful of fish, the biggest was 25lb and was caught on Rahja spice boilie in front of the island. You’ll find that the majority of our fish were caught on Rahja Spice boilies. Fishing in France, or at least Mas Bas isn’t really the same as fishing in the UK, here at Mas Bas you need to sit down with Giles, listen to what he says and work at catching the fish. I can honestly say that we didn’t work at it as hard as we should be to catch the 100+ fish per weeks that other people caught.
On Monday our biggest Carp was a Mirror to 30lb which I caught (my previous personal best was 27lb) so I was really please, this carp came from the far bank next to a small bush and was a really good fight, when it eventually came in it decided to give me a few slaps, which you’ll find is really common of the Carp here, after a few photos it went back to the lake and I recast. Tuesday was a pretty slow day and the weather wasn’t too good but we still enjoyed it, biggest on Tuesday was just under 20lb for Andrew.
Wednesday came and I decided to head over to the pier to try a bit of spinning because Giles told us about the black bass in the lake and I’ve never caught 1 so I thought why not give it a try. After about 30 minutes of using a fairly big spinner by the pump I finally managed to hook into a fish, it wasn’t big but it put up a good fight, it wasn’t until it was a few feet out that I saw the fish jump out of the water and saw it was a black bass, I was really happy with this as it was on my list of fish to catch while I was there, it was only 5lb but it was pretty.
Over the next few days the fish came at a steady pace, Andrew got a very nice 41lb mirror carp from Lotus lake near the pump which put up a massive fight and wouldn’t stop on the bank either, this was now Andrews personal best and he was ecstatic. James got a nice 20lb common carp on Friday night from main lake but later on Friday night my alarm started going off and as soon as I picked up the rod I knew it was a big fish. It started at the far bank by a small bush, went over to the right then decided to head back to the island, this fish was really trying its best to get away, previously in the week I had hooked into big fish but lost them to either hooks coming free or rigs breaking but with this fish I had learnt my lesson and kept steady pressure on the fish but also set the drag on my Shimano Baitrunners just enough to let the fish take line just enough to keep my rigs intact.
The fight went on for about 15 to 20 minutes, which seemed like an eternity, but eventually the fish was ready to be netted, by this time it was past midnight so I couldn’t see much, Andrew and James dealt with netting the fish and as soon as they lifted it out of the water I knew it was a biggie, when we got it on the unhooking mat we saw just how big it was, it was the biggest fish anyone of us had ever seen on the end of our rods. After a few photos with me grinning like a Cheshire cat it was time to weigh the fish, this Mirror Carp turned out to be around 46.5lb! by far my biggest fish, only a few days earlier my personal best was 27lb and now I was holding a fish that was almost double the size, how happy was I!
The fish kept coming throughout the next week, mainly from the far bank between the island and the pump and also all around the pump. When Giles came on one day we sat down with him and had a beer and a chat, he told us that we would catch more if we baited up more, he showed us a few spots to try and said bait little but often. He wasn’t too impressed with my Fox catapult so he lent us his throwing stick for the rest of the week, which we found really useful.
By the end of the 2 weeks Andrew, James and I had managed to catch a total of 65 fish weighing a total of 1225.5lbs. Looking back at the time there I can see where we could have done better, next year we are planning on going back again with more bait, a bait boat, better rods and reels and more knowledge. We are really looking forward to our 3rd trip down to Mas Bas.
We would recommend Mas Bas to anyone looking for a fishing (or non-fishing) holiday in France, in fact, when we were getting on the ferry in Dover we got stopped by customs to be checked over and we recommended Mas Bas and Angling Lines to the lady who dealt with us, she even took the web address and shared it with her colleagues!
If you’re heading to Mas Bas make sure you talk to Giles about the best places to fish and the best tactics. Giles does recommend using at least 3.25lb test curve rods. The local tackle shops have improved since last year but you still can’t get decent micro barbed hooks, so take plenty with you. The local supermarkets are really good and have everything you may need, if you’re looking to shop on a budget they’re budget range of food is really good quality and better than the food you can get in the UK, the Market in Agen is a really good place to visit, its close by and is full of culture and you can get locally produced wine which is really nice, well worth a look.
Thank you for taking the time to read this & i hope this has given you some insight with what to expect with a holiday to Mas Bas
Review by, Rangers Fishing Team