The ever-consistent, Stu Morgan, checks in with his latest Web Blog instalment... 

I will start this blog off with a quick overnighter on a local day ticket after a phone call from a mate (Ian) asking if I would like to join him. As I hadn’t been able to get out for over a week, I was chomping at the bit so after I finished work, I shot home to grab some kit and drove the 20 or so miles to the lake where Ian was already set up. After a quick catch up with Ian, I got all set up in a tiny bay to his left where a fair few fish were present. To get the rods in position was a simple job of casting across the bay, onto the far bank and then attaching the rig before lowering it into position with a handful a bait over the top. I was all set up and sorted by 9pm so sat back and had a good catch up with Ian as it had been a while since we last fished together. As we had to be packed up and gone by 7am, we both retired back to our swims at around midnight. I hadn’t even got to sleep before my right hand rod belted off and after a reasonable fight I had what I thought was a upper double in the net. After grabbing the halo head torch, I lifted it out onto the easy mat and noticed that it was bigger than I first thought. The common weighed in at 25lb 12oz and Ian got a couple of quick snaps before I slipped her back.

A new blowback rig was tied up using the Camotex Semi Stiff in 25lb and a Edges Curve Shank barbless hook in size 6 before getting the rod back into position along the far bank. I had literally just got back into the sleeping bag when the same rod burst into life again. Now this fish really did put on a good scrap in the middle of the night but after a few minutes, another common was in the net. As I weighed her in at 26lb 12oz, I heard one of Ian’s rod’s signal a take so after retaining my fish in the STR flotation sling, I went over to help with his. Ian’s fish went 28lb so after the pics were all done and rods back into position, I wasted no time getting back to sleep. My phone alarm woke me at 6am and I was quite surprised that I hadn’t received any more action but soon found out why as they had started to spawn all around the lake. After a quick pack up we both joined the heinous rush hour traffic to get home before work.

My next trip was to a lake that I had known about for a long time but had never had the pleasure of fishing so as you can imagine I was pretty excited about getting offered a guesty on their. The day finally came around and after loading the car, I soon made my way to meet my friend Dave, before heading to the lake. After arriving I was gob smacked by the beauty of the place, it really was something special! We did a quick lap and I noticed a couple of fish rummaging around in some surface weed down the far end and with Dave knowing exactly what I was like, I didn’t need asking twice if I wanted to get my surface rod from the car. After composing myself and getting all set up, I made a cast with my free lined hook bait past where the bigger of the two fish was sat and after tweaking it back so it was pretty much on its nose, it took it straight away. The fish was really powerful and I just couldn’t stop it reaching the sanctuary of a nearby weed bed. After a couple of minutes something finally budged but unfortunately all I brought in was my hook buried in a ball of weed.

After that I got all set up and ready for the night ahead but decided that I would have one more walk round before getting the rods out. I soon found a small group of carp milling around in one of the corners of the 3 acre lake. They didn’t really look up for a mixer but I flicked the mixer out in amongst them anyway and one just came straight up to it, before engulfing it down. My strike was met with a small explosion as the fish powered off trying to find some sanctuary in a nearby weed bed but I pilled the pressure on and managed to turn the fish before eventually getting it into the waiting net. I got all sorted and with Dave in attendance, we lifted the fish out and onto the easy mate before revealing a stunning mirror of 20lb 4oz.

Dave took some great pictures in the difficult light and she was soon returned home to fight another day before we headed back to our swims to get the rods out for the night. At around 8pm my rod fished next to set of marginal lilies burst into life and after really good fight another stunning mirror weighing in at 20lb 9oz was in the net. I was really starting to like it here!

After a quiet night, a few showed near one of rods during the morning but eventually the shows resided and at around midday I decided to walk round the other lake on the complex that only contained a handful of carp and was a bit of a unknown. I did a couple of laps of this extremely weedy pit before I noticed a small movement in some weed and after watching for a bit more, I reckoned I had found pretty much all of the 10 or so carp that resided in the pit. Again my free lined mixer was tweaked into position before a fish rose up through the weed to snaffle it down. The strike was met with that familiar solid resistance before the fish ploughed straight through the thick bed of elodea before coming to a stand still. The 12lb Surface line was more than a match for the thick weed though and before long the fish was moving again. With a ball of weed on its head, I was able to guild it straight into the waiting net. Removing the weed, revealed a stunning long common of mid doubles that had possibly never been caught before. After the pictures were done, it was time to head back to the swim and get sorted for my 2nd and last night of my trip. Nothing else happened for the remaining time that I was at the lake but I had a right result in that I had been offered another guest trip to another water on the way home from this one. So after packing up and loading the car, I said my goodbyes before heading to this other syndicate water which I wont name out of respect for its members.

Now this water was completely different to the first as it was over 30 acres of windswept, weedy and crystal clear water. Also it had a abundance of crayfish to contend with so a small change in tactics were called for. I opted to use tiger nuts and plastic corn hookbaits instead of my favoured boilies on my blowback rigs. We picked a swim that my friend Nathan said were worth giving a go after not seeing much on our walk round and quickly found a couple of presentable areas for my rigs. A few spods of bait over the top had me all sorted before dark so sat back and cooked some tea. Just before dark, a few showed at range in front of us but unfortunately nothing happened throughout the night and next day before we decided to knock it on the head at around midday. As always, it had been great to be out and Nathan even offered a chance for another crack at the pits awesome carp with the offer of another guest ticket, to which I will be taking him up on! Anyway, until next time, I wish you all the very best of luck!