Fox rod Stu Morgan enjoyed a birthday session to remember recently after banking his target fish.
After catching many of his water's best fish, there was only a handful of fish Stu dearly wanted to catch and he was hoping a four-night session would result in the downfall of at least one of them.
He explained: “I was able to put four nights aside for a birthday session, and arrived to a surprisingly empty lake. Despite the room, for some reason I was not really feeling it.
"I had a walk round and found the fish to be fairly spread out over the whole lake. I eventually picked a swim that seemed to have the bulk of them in and started to get all the kit set up. Even though it was not overly sunny the heat was unbearable in the muggy conditions but I soon found and clipped up to a nice smooth area of silt behind a gravely hump.
"I opted to fish only two rods, as I thought a third may be a little tight – but decided to fish them a foot or so apart on the same spot. My thinking behind this was that I was going to spod and wanted all the food in the swim concentrated in one area. Rigwise I went with my ever-faithful blowbacks incorporating a size 7 Fox Arma Point SSSP hook tied on about eight inches of Coretex in weedy green.
"Baitwise, my spod mix consisted of a big bucket of Kent Particles mixed particles and I added to that a few kilos of Kent Particles mixed trout and salmon pellets and a couple of kilos of mixed boilies. I got all the rods sorted and baited up by 7pm and settled down for the night ahead.
"I awoke the next morning at 4am to an army of tufties diving on the spot, but by 7am I had some carp rolling in among them, and the slick that was coming up off the spot was incredible. I managed to take a couple of pictures of carp rolling on the spot and by 9am, when my left-hand rod finally signalled a take, I had about 200 shows over my rods. After a spirited battle a nice 21lb 4oz mirror rolled into the net and it didn't take long for the other rod to produce a lovely dark 25lb 12oz mirror. That was all the action for the day and, after topping the spot up before dark, I settled in, happy with the day’s events and hopeful of a repeat the next day.
"It took until 9.40am for my next take after not seeing anything like the activity on the spot from the day before. As I played the fish it soon dawned on me that it felt a decent one and thoughts ran through my head about whether it may be one of my remaining target fish. Once in the margins I could clearly see it was a fish called Fingers. I eventually won the battle and on the mat she was clearly showing a very healthy spawn. On her last capture she was in excess of 36lb while for me she weighed in at 30lb 9oz, but the weight was immaterial.
"I had a couple of mates on the other lake on the complex and soon enough Rich and Will were soon in my swim with their cups in hand to do some pics. After a quick brew (which I needed to calm myself down) we got some great pics of the not-so-common visitor to the bank. After she was returned the kettle went on again and we chatted about how the fishing was going on both the lakes when suddenly my one remaining rod burst into life with a solid-looking 29lb 4oz mirror.
"It slowed up a little over the next couple of days but I still managed to add a 22lb 4oz mirror and a 25lb 10oz common, which showed I got a few things right as only one other fish was caught all week by everyone else.”