Fishery of the Week
Record fish swim in this day-ticket stretch
We head to the famous Kings Weir stretch of the River Lea
THERE aren’t many places where you have a chance of catching a British record for the price of a day ticket, but Kings Weir Fishery is just that.
Located within the Lea Valley, this historic stretch of river holds double-figure barbel and bream that swim alongside 4lb perch and record-shaking chub.
The fishing is not easy, but it can certainly be rewarding, and by using a patient and calculated approach it is possible to catch the fish of a lifetime.
A NATURAL RIVER
Walking the banks of the Lea, it’s easy to see why Kings Weir is such a haven for big fish. Large trees overhang the river and there are many enticing rafts to fish beneath.
The fishery didn’t always look like this, however – in the past any snags were cleared, leaving the fish with little sanctuary from angling pressure and making them incredibly difficult to catch.
This all changed when Andrew Tredgett became manager and decided to run Kings Weir as a natural fishery. That meant any branches or trees that fell into the water were left for nature to claim, creating the perfect environment for fish to grow to immense proportions. One thing hasn’t changed – catching them is still a challenge, even for the dedicated angler.
Among the species in Kings Weir, barbel are one of the most popular targets for anglers, and the weir itself is one of the most consistent areas for these.
There is a swim on either bank immediately below the weir, and barbel are regularly caught from these areas. Casting a large chunk of meat into the weir can work well for the fish that regularly patrol along this route. However, if you haven’t had a bite within four hours then the barbel probably aren’t there.
Casting along the edge of the main flow can also work well, where boilies and pellets are reliable hookbaits.
A few swims downstream, at the tail of the pool, there are large areas of slack water. Here, a large shoal of bream can be found, including fish that run to over 10lb. Small pellets work well for these fish, and casting a feeder filled with groundbait should put you in touch.
This slack water also holds perch to well over 4lb. Lobworms alongside a maggot feeder can score well.
THE MEMBERS STRETCH
The biggest chub can be found downstream of the weir. Floatfished maggots will work well, as can legered pellets and boilies. Take time feeding the swim before casting out to allow the chub to gain confidence.
There are also some big barbel and perch along this stretch, so prepare yourself for a few pleasant surprises.
This piece of water is members only, safely enclosed within a gated area. When you become a member you are given a key that gives access to this stretch.