Every angler has a bogey venue. It could be a tricky stretch of river, a daunting gravel pit or moody pool; somewhere that no matter how much effort you put into fishing it, you still come away feeling somewhat defeated by the place. My bogey water is unfortunately also my local one, the river Lea. I don’t mind admitting that I really struggled to get to grips with the stretch at Fishers Green and over two years I didn’t manage to land even one of its famous monster chub or barbel. The closest I came was one September afternoon when I hooked a fish that was fooled by a little source boilie cast next to some bushes. I got a glimpse of what was a very nice chub before the hook pinged out and the line fell sickeningly slack.
I’ve just started to fish a different stretch of the river where there are certainly more fish, even if they don’t appear to grow to quite the proportions of their cousins downstream.
I spent a most enjoyable afternoon on the stretch recently, even managing to catch a few fish. Running a light stick-float down a short, shallow glide rewarded me with some nice roach, perch and dace before a pair of pike came to investigate and spooked the little fishes. Switching to link ledgered pellet in another spot that I’d primed with some hemp resulted in a few plucks and pulls that never quite materialised into proper bites. At dusk I dispensed with the pellet, tied on a size six hook and simply lowered chunks of meat into some likely looking areas. Firstly a handsome chub of just over three pounds did a good impression of a small bream before a larger specimen of 4lbs 7ozs put in a far better performance, giving a great scrap as the sun disappeared behind the trees.