London Anglers Association
This lake is owned solely by the LAA, and therefore, the club has complete control over what happens to the surrounding area with regard to trees, swims and so on. To protect fish stocks, last year the club, at considerable cost, erected an Otter fence. Please be mindful of this and close all gates when entering the fishery. You can park in many of the swims, but when doing so, please leave your car in an area where you will not block access for others. Because this lake is completely fenced in, the only people that you will see are other anglers and the bailiff.
This lake is picturesque, peaceful, and very quiet, particularly at night. It comes with some notable history, non-least a remarkable catch by Mid-Essex Specimen angler Len Head. In 1975, when a 4lb Tench was considered a special fish, Len had a capture of two fish to 8lb 2oz and 7lb 1oz. This took his tally of 7lb fish to six – more than anyone else at that time. All fish came from Bures Lake.
There are still more than a few big Tench to target, although one or two of the locals may suggest otherwise. I have been fishing Bures seriously for around five years now and have had some real stunners, with many fish in the 8-9lb bracket and a couple of good doubles. Most of the big fish tend to come during darkness when the lake is at its quietest. That said it never gets busy. The big beds of weed and large lily pad beds put off many people. Please do not allow this to deter you as the fish respond well to raking. There is even a boat for use by anglers to help when raking. When using the boat, please consider other members. In addition, the tallest tree has metal climbing steps, which helps with fish spotting and identifying clear areas.
Old dark warrior
Fresh young fish
An average 24-hour session for me normally produced four to six Tench, plus the occasional Carp. (I will talk about the carp shortly.) For many anglers, the lake fished poorly last year certainly by comparison with previous years. Many people saw Tench rolling and fizzing in their swims, but reports suggested only a handful of decent fish caught. I believe this was largely due to the building of otter fence combined with some serious tree cutting. Last October, the lake started fishing well again, and this backs up my view. Interestingly, the biggest Tench are not necessarily the old dark warriors and often the young mustard coloured fish show up in the 8lb plus bracket. So, the future fishing in this lake is only going to get better.
Alongside the Tench, the lake holds lots of big Rudd, Perch and a few decent roach. Bream are occasionally seen rolling, but I don’t know of any being caught. It is difficult to access the number of carp present. This is down to two reasons, firstly, it being under fished and secondly, there are so many hiding places. Many carp into double figures have been stocked over the years, most recently in 2004. I have had a number of commons into the mid twenties. Every fish has been a fin perfect, stunning example of ‘old English fish’ with bright gold scales, and dark backs. I have seen a number of fish into the low 30s, including a couple of very big mirrors.
Sweet corn, maize, maggots, worms, and small boilies all work well. My preference is an 8mm drilled pellet combined with any of the above. Being mindful of the amount of Rudd present, I always use a lot of ground bait, which is largely fishmeal based. The fish in this lake respond well to bait over their heads, so don’t be afraid to top your swim up even when the fish are feeding. In fact, I bait up after every fish. Although many of the bigger Tench show up during darkness, a lot of fish are captured during daylight hours. That said early evening and first thing in the morning are good times to fish. I’ve found the best place to fish is very close to the lily pads and because of this, strong line is a must. Fortunately, the fish in here are not spooked by heavy line, although small hooks are a must, with a size 10 Drennan Barbel being my personal choice. On the subject of lily pads, you will often find clear areas close to the pads. There is a channel, which is around 7feet deep that zigzags through the lake. Spend some time with your marker rod and you will find this channel. It is worth the effort because even with no lily pad cover the fish do patrol this area. You can fish the channel from all swims along the riverbank. Every swim is worth fishing and often setting up very close can produce the best results. I often fish no more than 15 yards out.
To give you an idea, I have knocked up a rough map of the lake, with depths and approximate lily pad location.
I hope this all helps and please remember, this is only my personal opinion.