Where do I start
Started fishing on a small river called the red house in the lea valley region in 1980 ish. I was only 10 back then and used to go with dad. Back then the small river was teaming with big everything, mostly pike, chub, perch and bream. Smaller species were by the bucket load, bleak, gaugeon, ruff, roach. I Used to catch the bleak on a sing hook with a maggot. Give the fish to my old man stick it on a treble under a pike bung a normally as I remember a pike would eat it within seconds. It was that easy. I remember once (its stuck firmly in my memory) I put a live bait out on the far margin and got a take. After the initial fight an enormous pike surfaced and spat the hooks out. I remember shouting out (Surrounded by around 4 or 5 friends and my dad) did you see the size of that CXXX. I was only 10 or so. Almost got a clip around the ear by my daddy. Good memories of a once great little river. It was a tribute of the river lee relief channel. I then upgraded to the barbell and chub fishing at king’s weir. I loved the summer months stacking the chub in two foot of water with free lined meat. I become a bit of an expert at it. Just ask my dad and uncle Alf. I used to go back to them a tell them what I had with a big grin. I once got in the local paper with a 8lb 4oz barbell. I was 11 or 12. Headlines read boy 11 ? 12 lands monster barbell. The year was 1982 or so. That was a big fish back then. I was famous. By the age of 14 – 17 I found carp fishing. Again, initially with my dad and uncle Alf at various venues. I loved the stalking element of catching off the top. Uncle Alf saying was bloody hell not another one. While they were blanking. Holy-fields fishery was the place to be around my area (Waltham abbey) and what is called beach casting method for the carp was the way to go. A deadly method for the carp but is widely banned now, I think. Can tear their mouths if not set up correctly. The setup achieved a floating bait with no line around it. I was again the master. Fishing at 30 yards or so millimetres from the floating weeds was the key. This taught me that a bait right next to a snag or feather will out fish a open water bait as a rule. Once 17 came I found a thing called females So, blanked my mates and stopped fishing for 10 years I think. I think this happens to everyone. Once I reached 30 ish I think I started fishing again with my brothering law (mick) and tried to find out about the wels catfish for some reason. Our 1stsession was on the long lake in that smelly county called Kent. We both had a 30’s that night on works straight on the deck. We were then hooked by the power. we wanted catfish. We then found a local cat lake stuffed full of them. Mick had an almost 40 on our 1stvisit. At the time the British record was around 65lb ish. We fished this little lake for years and then found a thing call France. I did struggle for years when my pals would catch all the time. I was nick named Dawson. (blanketly blank). My name is still on my mates’ phone. I then had France sussed and was catching numerous fish every time I went. Big ones as well to 134lb. that’s my biggest to date had two fish at 134 but one of them looks a lot bigger ah Jason Oliver who weighed it whilst I was looking away. (What a fool I was) It was fatter than me. I then basically found the uk a little like tiddler bashing so didn’t go in the uk for around 10 years or so. I lost touch really of the uk seen but years later mike caught a 93lb cat in the uk. I said how big and then showed me a photo of it. Omg. The mission was on for a uk 100lb. my 1stattempt in one year was two separate fish at 99lb. both weighed by my mate. He had that year two at 100lb. anyway at last two years ago 106lb. done it. And last year 105.5LB. all caught within the rules of the lake unlike OTHERS. And a lot of them. That’s its folks almost ready for another year. Getting the gear sorted out as and when I have time.
Ps I often get asked if I’ve ever beaten dean. Several times. Only joking.
Darren cheek 49 years old almost (in April)
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