Leaving on a High (Part 1) – Lee Morris

I’m writhing this as I’ve just finished my last trip on the New Forest Water Park (NFWP), a syndicate which has been very kind to me over the past two years.

Where to start….well let’s start briefly at the beginning when it first come about for me joining NFWP….. two years ago our Carp Catchers DVD had a spin on it, where the guys would go out and video diary our fishing adventures. In total we had around 6/7months to record as much of our fishing as possible and any good footage would make the DVD for the Carp Catchers 2 Series.

At the time I was fishing a lake called Pingewood and as the resident carp were fairly shy to the bank, it wasn’t the easiest of places to fish. It was a very busy water and one of its residents, the Brute, was a much sort-after carp so many good anglers would be there competing for the ultimate prize of capturing this famous carp, which would reach weights of over 50lb at the right time of the year.

So it wasn’t a runs water and with winter fast approaching it was looking unlikely that I would catch the Brute, I decided to look elsewhere for a chosen venue to record my video diary and hopefully capture a few fish. I won’t bore you with the search of venues and you know were this is going as I ended up on the NFWP.

So with a late ticket secured, the NFWP adventure was born! Only the day before my ticket had arrived Craig Mortimer had set the bar with capturing a 36lb mirror, I wasn’t having this no way was I letting the Mortimer get away with capturing the biggest fish for the DVD! No way! (haha love you Craig).

With this in mind I couldn’t wait to get my first trip under way. On my fist walk around I was met by some of the other syndicate members, who looked a little shocked I was on there. They seemed friendly enough so I told them the truth: I needed decent video footage of as many cod as possible and that I needed at least a 37lb carp to raise the bar on Pretty Boys capture of the 36lb mirror.

They laughed, they said there’s not many that go over that weight in here, good luck with that one and they also told me I’d only have a month left till they would stop feeding for the winter. The last 3 winters the lake done its last fish at the start of November and wouldn’t do another fish till March.

Well that seemed a little bit of a worry but I didn’t let it worry me too much and set about my first session……

I’ve already written about my fist session on there which is on the Bait-Tech website, I managed to bank two carp, first being a 17lb mirror then to my surprise I managed a 37lb mirror which totally blew me away. It was an incredible creature and the bar was raised nicely on Craig’s capture (hee hee).


The winter on there proved to be a tough one, I didn’t catch anything that winter even though I fished it hard.

March came and sure enough the syndicate members were right, first week of March saw me catch some mega cod and that continued throughout the year.



Now on to my very last trip, as of last week on the Sunday 21st of June my final trip would start, then finish on the Friday 26th of June, my ticket was up at the end of the month so this was my last gasp at catching the few I had left to catch.

During that time though I had the Fox cameras turning up on the Tuesday and Wednesday for my debut and then I had a tuition to do on the Thursday into Friday with a lad called Dan Carter.

The pressure was on, not only for me to try and catch the last few I dearly wanted but to also catch for the cameras and to try and catch Dan a new PB which he was very keen to beat.

The rods went out that Sunday evening and I was set up in a swim which hasn’t been very kind to me in the past after loosing the lakes big one right at the net and doing a few blanks in the swim, I was a little unsure setting up there but that’s where a majority of the fish were so that’s where I set up base camp.

The plan for the trip was to set the rods up on buzzers in the swim then after the mornings feed go out stalking and surface fishing everyday till the evening and then get the rods back out for the night and morning again.

Monday morning came and on cue the left had rod was away………

I had two of the other syndicate members set-up to the left and right of me: my mate Ross was to the right and Rich to my left and they both came over to give me a hand with the netting of this angry fish. We were all joking saying wouldn’t it be nice if this was Chubby Chops, one of the few commons I had left to catch which we were talking about the night previous.

Over the net cord this fish went and once on the bank Ross said to me mate ‘that’s Chubby’ I couldn’t believe it and on the scales it went a spawned out 31lb it had been out the week previous at 38lb so it was good to know they were having a good spawn out and still looking magnificent.


That evening I had a surprise bite form a carp called the Random Linear which was the last fish I had caught off the top last summer. I mention this because the next day the cameras were turning up to film me doing some surface fishing, which may I add, I hadn’t done any surface fishing since I last caught this fish.


Anyone that knows me knows I prepare weeks…. months…. years in advance of any fishing trip, I couldn’t get out to do any surface fishing this year after spending two weeks at Rainbow then coming home to a poorly girlfriend I just couldn’t get out to prepare for this filming so the pressure was on.

Tuesday morning came and I had two quick bites off the bottom rods just as Harry from Fox arrived, both were 20lb 6oz and was a nice start to the day, so with the cameras switched on I began my surface fishing and I can truly say the next few days were to be some of my best days fishing yet…………………


Read part two to see what baits I used and how this epic session ended……click here

Lee Morris



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