Fox-backed consistent catcher, Stu Morgan, returns to our website with an interesting 3rd instalment of his Blog series...

My last blog ended on a high as I had managed to break my personal best bream not only once but twice on a 24 hour session with a couple of friends. It was a full six weeks before I managed to get out again as the bait making world was in full swing and my other job in the aquatics industry was also extremely busy with importing koi carp in from Japan. My next outing was a bit spur of the moment really as I had planned to be rolling bait orders all day until my Son wasn’t well enough to go to school so we decided to work for a couple of hours before utilising the fresh air around a couple of lakes. We obviously decided that it would be stupid to not take a rod with us and soon enough we were on our way. With the spring temperatures on the increase and my absolute love of catching carp from the surface, it was the stalking kit that found its way into the car and it wasn’t to long before we at the first lake that I felt would be worth a look round. It didn’t take too long to find signs of carp in the upper layers but the breeze on this medium sized pit would have made the fishing a little tricky so we jumped back into the car and drove a short distance to a more intimate little lake.

My boy (Ryan) and me both put on a pair of Vario sunglasses and grabbed the kit from the car before setting off to find some fish, which took all of twenty yards as a group were clearly visible in the first swim. I quickly set about mounting my softened dog mixers onto a size 8 Edges Zig and Floater Hook whilst explaining everything to Ryan and then carefully flicking the free lined bait past the group of fish before slowly tweaking it back. I managed to successfully single out the best fish from the group and after a great fight where the fish tested the 12ft stalker rod , EOS 7000 reel and 12lb Surface line to the limit, a lovely old mirror of 19lb 2oz was in the net. It was a great pleasure to have seen that old fish on the bank and even though the lake doesn’t hold any monsters by today’s standards, to have shared the capture with my boy made it extra special. Unfortunately though I left my tripod at home so it was the old ‘balance the camera on a bucket’ trick so the pictures are not the best but never mind as the memory is there. We walked round the lake for a while more but the tricky old fish would not offer up another opportunity so to beat the traffic we decided to head off home.The next week I cleared 24 hours from my schedule for another trip to my syndicate that I have spent most of my time on this year. I had decided on a swim but with the fish already present in the shallow water and with the need to lead around a far bit to find some clear spots, I made the last minute decision to move into a swim opposite that I knew quite well. Since my last trip, the lake had some new rules so because of this I needed to redo all my rods with edges loaded tungsten tubing. That didn’t take too long and soon had the rods all sorted and baited ready for the night ahead. Just before first light my left hand rod screamed off and almost instantly the fish had weeded me up solid so after the usual steady pressure, I slackened off and put the rod back on the rest. After a couple of minutes, the NTXr alarm signalled a slight movement so I picked the rod back up and applied some steady pressure again which did the trick as it was soon moving again. With a big ball of silk weed over the fishes head, the rest of the fight was pretty uneventful and was soon over. At 22lb 12oz, the mirror was soon being held up in the early light for its photo to be taken before being released to make someone else’s day.

As the morning progressed, a cold easterly wind sprung up and it just made my current swim choice feel very wrong so a move was on the cards. Nothing really seemed a better option so I decided to put most of the kit in the car and be mobile. By around mid afternoon a few fish were cruising around in front of a swim called steps so with the floater rod still rigged up from last time it didn’t take long to get a hook bait out to them. I was having to fish to the extreme limit of free lining range but after 10 minutes I managed to get a fish to take the hook bait. Unfortunately it soon shed the hook after shooting off across the lake and powering through several weed beds. The fish hadn’t spooked though so I quickly got another hook bait out to them and soon enough I had another chance to redeemed myself with a 20lb 2oz common. Nothing else happened for the rest of the day and I soon made my way home to the family, happy with the two fish from the session.

The following week, as I was loading the car for a return to the syndicate, I received a message to say that the lake had been closed as the fish had just started spawning, which is really good lake management in my eyes. It did leave me at a loose end though so I messaged a good friend, Tom Oliver, who works for FLE who run a day ticket fishery near my home to see if it was busy on their new carp lake. Tom messaged back that it wasn’t too bad and to come on down for a brew if for nothing else. On arriving at the fishery I bumped into Graham Mabey who runs the fishery and after a quick chat I went off to find Tom. Now the other thing that FLE offers other than the day ticket fishing is that they provide fishing tuition's to lots of disabled and disadvantaged people through council funded schemes and are making a real difference locally by introducing new people to the sport.I soon found Tom teaching a group of school kids on one of their lakes and before long I was called into action to net a fish for one of them as several were playing fish at the same time with the action coming thick and fast. After a quick catch up with Tom I grabbed the surface kit from the car and had a walk round one of the lakes. In all honesty, there was carp everywhere soaking up the late spring heat and I set about trying to single out the better fish. I managed 3 carp in the end from around 2 to 3 hours fishing before heading for home but with common’s of 16lb 14oz and 17lb 10oz and a cracking mirror of 22lb 6oz under my belt it couldn’t have gone any better! Until next time, I wish you all the very best of luck!