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Articles about Mas Bas Main LakeHow to satisfy 4 female creatures on a fishing trip?
Oct 2011 by Sander Beijderwellen
Although the question in the title of this article looks rather challenging, not to say a mission impossible, the answer is that it can actually be quite simple!
In order to have the biggest chance on a successful carp fishing trip, a thorough preparation is essential. This means good planning and organisation, as fishing for carp is something completely different than non-angling people might think. It cannot be compared to the way I started fishing when I was 6 years old. Then I only needed a small bamboo rod and a white slice of bread. For a week of carp fishing I currently need a large size baggage car plus a large roof box and then it is still a challenge to get everything in...
The preparations for this week fishing in October 2011 started earlier this year in May. We were looking for a venue with sufficient comfort (proper beds and sanitary), TV/DVD for the kids, fully equipped kitchen, nice carp up to 50 lbs, lake size > 4 acres and possibility to rent exclusively, the house very close to the lake, a good chance of reasonable weather at the end October, ideally a swimming pool and bait boats allowed.
Now that´s a challenge!
It took some evenings surfing on the internet to find venues that met the requirements and eventually we selected Mas Bas. The whole family (my wife Annette, our 3 daughters: Pascalle (17), Michelle (16) & Joyce (12) and myself) was very excited about this venue and so we quickly contacted Angling Lines, to check availability. Luckily it was still available and booking went very smoothly. The list of fishing gear, bait etc. from previous fishing trips to France was updated and the detailed preparations started. Some weeks before the departure to Mas Bas, the weather reports and updates on the website of Angling Lines about Mas Bas, were followed-up closely.
As we could only book for a week (due to the school vacation period), we decided to drive from the Netherlands (Breda area) in one go to Le Mas. This is about 1070 kilometres and took us approx. 13-14 hours, incl. several stops. The journey went very smoothly and the sun was shining brightly, when we arrived at Mas Bas Saturday afternoon. Lesley was there very quickly when we arrived, to welcome us and explaining all the things we needed to know. The first view on the Lake was really stunning and we couldn´t wait to unpack and start to go fishing!!
Within 2-3 hours everything was set-up and the first rods were made ready to do their job. With 3 part-time angling daughters and 6 full days of fishing ahead of us, the math is quite easy. All the girls would fish 2 days and nights each, so that the other days they could relax, watch some TV/DVD, do some studying and play with the three adorable cats.
In total we set-up 6 rods in front of the lake house, which was more than enough and during the night we only fished with 2-4 rods. A bait boat is not a must at the main lake at Mas Bas, but it is still very handy, in order to get the bait exactly on the right spot (e.g. under the Willows) or further than casting distance. We´ve also used the throwing stick a lot, to get boilies spread over a wider area.
The first hours not much happened, besides a bream that - attracted by the fish pellets - a bit hesitantly turned on the bite alarm. Early in the evening Gilles arrived and he quickly analysed the whole set-up, the rigs and bait used.
According to Gilles a lot needed to be changed, in order to be successful on the water that he knows like his pocket. In order to catch the larger fish, ground bait like hemp, pellets or maize could better not be used, as this would attract the smaller fish including breamm (which we already experienced...). At least 20mm single boilies should be used as hook bait, with larger hook sizes (1, 2 or 4), ideally mini-barbed and the distance between the hook and the boilie should be 0.5 cm maximum. He also advised to use a specific boilie (Rahja Spice) from Quest Baits, as the carp really liked this flavour.
We quickly changed tactics and followed most of Gilles advice. As I have a lot of confidence in the boilies I normally use, I decided to supply 2 rods with the Rahja Spice boilies and the other rods with the boilies I brought from home.
During the night we´ve landed the first carp, a mirror of 15 lbs. Not a big one to start with, but it increased the confidence that we were on the right track!
During the next day (Sunday) – the wind still blowing from North – we caught a handful fish, including a very nice mirror carp of 24 lbs.
On Monday – after the wind direction changed – it went bezerk!
It started at 3.30 am and since then, we didn´t get much sleep anymore. Also during the day, one carp followed the other and the only thing we were doing was drilling, landing, weighing, photographing & filming fish, refreshing the bait, navigating the bait boat to the same hotspot... over and over again.
In total 17 fish were landed, of which: a mirror of 45.3 lbs, a common of 30.9 lbs, a mirror of 30.0 lbs, 2 mirrors of 28.7 lbs and 2 mirrors of 25.4 lbs. What an incredible day!
The big mirror of 45.03
The big mirror was caught at around 5pm near the small island on the left side, on a single pink Squid & Octopus boilie. It was a really slow drill and I could feel quite quickly that it concerned a large fish. The fish was in excellent condition and had a bump on the right side (visible on the photo).
Wow, what an experience, knowing that my old personal best was a mirror of “only” 35 lbs.
At the end of the day it started to rain and as we were pretty exhausted, we decided not to fish during the night, as we could use a good night sleep.
The next day very early in the morning – Tuesday – started foggy and when I am fishing, this is my favourite time of the day. It is then so quiet and peaceful, you only hear some birds whistle or the sound of a cricket. Looking at the water for any movement, bubbles or rings, knowing that the carp are still feeding and that at any time one of the bite alarms will start screaming....
Although the circumstances were fantastic, the bites stayed a little behind. Only 5 carp were caught during the day, of which 4 mirrors up to 25 lbs and one very nice common carp of 32 lbs. Around 10 am the fog started to disappear and the sun quickly warmed-up the air.
The great advantage of Mas Bas is that the cottage is very close to the water. It is like fishing from the backyard and the whole family is together, which makes it a very pleasurable and sociable event. The part of the family that is not fishing is still around and there is plenty of space for everybody to enjoy oneself. Also the large porch is very comfortable, where we enjoyed breakfast, lunch and dinner the whole week and that at the end of October!
Unfortunately the beds in the house were too comfortable! This which resulted in no more night fishing during the week... The girls certainly didn´t mind, as they now could all have their undisturbed beauty sleep.
The last couple of days we started fishing in the morning around 7.30 am when it slowly started to get light.
On Wednesday, the first fish hooked itself around 9.30 am. A nice 21 lbs mirror carp slowly slided into the landing net 10 minutes later, quickly followed by a small common carp and sturgeon.
During the day we caught in total 11 fish, of which the biggest ones were a 29.8 lbs mirror, a 28.8 lbs mirror and a 26.7 lbs mirror carp.
The weather forecast for the last 2 days was cloudy, some minor showers of rain, but the temperature would still be ok. On Thursday the fish was much more active than the day before and as from 9.00 am sharp, the bites started and continued until dark.
In total that day 17 fish were caught, of which some great mirror (29.8 lbs, 27.6 lbs, 2x 26.5 lbs, 24.3 lbs, 23.1 lbs, 21.2 lbs and 20.9 lbs) and common carp (20.9 lbs).
Time flies when you´re having fun. That is what crossed our minds on Friday morning, when we were preparing for the last day of fishing. I suppose that for all anglers that visit Mas Bas (or other venues), the last day is already used to start packing part of the gear and that everybody is trying to keep the rods out as long as possible... The expectations are usually less, but a voice in the back of my head is saying: “Wouldn´t it be great, if....” and how fantastic is it, when imagination becomes reality!
The first catch was a fact at 8.30 am (small Grass carp), followed by a nice mirror carp of 25.4 lbs less than an hour later.
At 10.00 am we had another bite on the most left rod, of which the hook bait was placed near the little island, with a pink Squid & Octopus boilie. The drill felt very familiar and the fish – certainly not a bream – crossed the whole lake and I couldn´t do much about this.
It took more than 15 minutes to get the fish under the tip of the rod and it still didn´t want to show itself.
Finally the carp gave up and slowly it could be safely directed into the landing net. When I opened the net, I was sure that it was (again!) a 40 pounder...., but looking more closely to the fish as soon as it was on the unhooking mat...we noticed that it had the same bump on its side as the carp that we caught on Monday!
In the meantime it must have consumed lots of boilies, as the weight of the fish had increased to 46.3 lbs!!
Just recovered from the spectacular fight with (one of?) the largest fish of the Mas Bas Main Lake, one of the middle bite alarms started screaming!
Also this one felt pretty heavy. It looked like the best fish had saved itself for the last day... An astonishing 35.3 lbs mirror carp (caught on an attractive Rahja Spice boilie) with beautiful colours, in perfect condition, welcomed us somewhat later.
Although the expression on my face on the picture below doesn´t reveal this immediately, I felt absolutely great!
We continued fishing until 3.30 pm and caught another 7 fish, of which 4 20+ lbs carp.
Then the fun part was over and the last things had to be packed, in order to be ready for departure Saturday early in the morning.
Evaluating the week, we can conclude that we had a fantastic holiday at Mas Bas Main Lake in and around the Lake House, where action (carp fishing), relaxing (great autumn weather) and socializing (quality family time) could be perfectly combined! We certainly recommend this venue to other people/families, for anglers and non-anglers, man or women.
The fish that we caught are in very good condition and fight hard. Lesley and Gilles are great hosts and make sure that everything is fine.
For the ones who didn´t got the message yet, “How to satisfy 4 female creatures on a fishing trip”: Just book a carp fishing holiday to Mas Bas!!!