Stuart Morgan starts his new monthly web blog with a short introduction about himself and a look back at his recent sessions...

The guys at Fox have asked if I would like to detail my fishing in a monthly blog so, I guess I should start this first one with a quick introduction. I, like many of you work long hours and have a young family. Fishing time is precious, and sadly nowhere near as much as I would like. I fish a variety of venues from syndicates, day-tickets and club waters and usually try and focus on a couple of waters each year. Anyway, let’s get started…

At the start of February I arrived at a local syndicate water that I managed to secure a winter ticket on. The lake is approximate 6 acres, uniform in depth, with 4 to 6ft being the norm. The stock is made up of upper doubles and twenties with around 10 or so over the 30lb mark. For once my trip coincided with some better weather after a recent cold spell. On my second lap of the lake a fish gave itself away by jumping out down the far end. I checked a marginal spot near the area; I was just able to make out a couple of shapes in the Vario sunglasses proving fish were in the area. I quickly grabbed the kit out of the car and tied up a couple of blowback rigs incorporating the new Edges Curve Shanks in size 5 and the Camotex Soft in 25lb Dark Camo. The right-hand rod was fished to the marginal spot, and the left-hand rod was fished towards a reed bed near the far bank.

Below: The components I have been using to good effect in recent times.

After 45 minutes the right-hand rod signalled a slow take. On picking up the rod I was immediately met with some heavy resistance. After a decent battle, with the fish staying deep until the last moment, a nice wide mirror was in the net. I had just got the mat ready and the sling zeroed when the left-hand rod was away as well and after an uneventful fight a second fish had joined the first in the net. I weighed them in at 28lb 12oz and 15lb 10oz and rested them in the STR Floatation Slings as I quickly redid the rods to make the most of this spell of action. With the rods back out I was just setting up the tripod and self-take kit for the camera when the right-hand rod was away again and soon a nice scaly 16lb 8oz mirror was having its photo taken. After such a hectic spell, surprisingly, nothing else happened for the rest of the day. However, I packed up that evening more than happy with the day’s events.

Above: February could not have started better, with this 28lb 12oz mirror, the best of a 3 fish catch!

A few days later I was suffering from a bit of man flu and should have stayed at home in the warm and rested but thought that I may as well feel ill down the lake. So, after taking the kids to school, I was soon driving through the syndicate gate to be greeted by a few cars in the car park. After a good walk round, and not seeing anything to go on, I set up in a swim that gave me a good view of the water but also a nice tree line to fish to. The tree line rod was simply a 10-yard flick down the margin. I decided to put a couple of scoops of my usual spod mix consisting of particles, trout pellets and plenty of whole and crumbled boilies over the area. The other two rods were fished towards the middle of the lake with small PVA mesh bags of trout pellet attached to the rigs. I packed up just into dark starting to regret not staying home as I was starting to really feel ill; but the two doubles that I managed on the tree line rod did go some way in making me feel better.

Above: A nice double that helped me overcome my man flu.

I was out again a week later for a 24-hour trip but it all proved a bit frustrating as I couldn’t locate the fish until the evening. During the night, I had a couple of savage liners before having to pack up early in the morning after being called into work to cover a shift. I felt I wasn’t far away from a take, and if I was able to stay for the day who knows what would have happened but hey, that’s fishing.

Above: A frustrating 24-hour blank.

I couldn’t get out the next week due to work commitments and typically the lake woke up for the few that gave it a go. It wasn’t until Storm Doris had been and gone before I managed to get back down for a couple of day trips in less than ideal conditions. I did my usual laps of the lake, and with very little to go on, I picked a swim just before some heavy rain set in. I flicked out a couple of rods and then put the Supa Brolly up over myself and my still loaded porter as I was ready to move if needed As the rain was at its heaviest I spotted a couple of fish show in a swim on the other side of the lake so the rods were reeled in and the brolly was soon down as I trudged round to where they had showed. Once I arrived in the new swim, it became apparent that a reasonable group of fish were present; with several topping out whilst I was putting the brolly back up. I endured a couple of very frustrating hours watching the carp show but no takes were forthcoming before they stopped and everything went a bit dead. I can only assume that the carp were waking up and having a bit of a clean off with the worst of the winter now behind us. Nothing of note happened for the rest of the day and I drove home determined to get things right on the next trip.

A week later I was back for a 24-hour session. On my third lap of the lake I noticed a tail pattern appear near a small reed bed and a small amount of bubbles. Swiftly I grabbed the kit and positioned a bait near the area of activity. I sat back confident something may occur and literally 2 minutes later the rod signalled a take.

Below: A nice common to end a run of blanks.

An 18lb 6oz common gave a good account of itself before slipping into the net to have its picture taken. After all the commotion, I didn’t see any more signs of fish in that area so I picked a swim which I felt gave me some good options and got set up ready for the night ahead. Just into dark my right-hand rod produced a lovely scaly upper-double mirror which had fallen to the blowback rig with a good scattering of boilies around it. Other than a couple of liners the night passed with no more action and it wasn’t until just as I was packing up that the same rod was away again with another nice upper-double mirror to end a very enjoyable session. Spring is very much in the air so my next trip can’t come around quick enough! Until next time I wish you all the very best of luck!

Below: A lovely scaly upper-double mirror, which fell to the blowback rig.