I kick off this week’s blog with a visit to the River Stour. Not the world-renowned Dorset version though but rather the one that flows through the industrialised Black Country. In effect the only thing they have in common is the name.

It’s not the sort of venue you would want to travel great distances to fish, but when it’s reasonably close, as it is for me, it’s certainly worth a go. Speaking relatively, I’ve had some decent fish from there over the years, including roach about the 1lb mark.

They were my target this time round as well. Fishing a tiny cage-feeder packed with maggots and brown crumb, with a single maggot on a size 18 hook, it’s a simple set-up that has served me well in the past.

Arriving mid-day it was only the hour before dark that the bites started. Even then, they were just half-hearted ones though, and by the time I departed the water’s edge none developed into a fish. Not that it’s an excuse, of course, but it’s been a very cold week.

The temperatures have been rock-bottom, but as long as your bait's in the water you've got a chance
The temperatures have been rock-bottom, but as long as your bait’s in the water you’ve got a chance

The water temperatures have been rock-bottom, just coming through a period of frozen surfaces on the local canals and stillwaters. Therefore, with three canal sessions this week and just one blank, I was pleased with the return of roach and perch. As Meatloaf once sang, two out of three ain’t bad.

Two of the canal outings were on the Staffs/Worcs with the third on the Montgomery Canal. With a busy day ahead of me at TNS, I was up at 6.00 in the morning to grab a short session before the day proper began.

I really enjoy fishing for the mini-species
I really enjoy fishing for the mini-species

The final three outings this week were again short – but also very sweet – as I again visited the brook that I’ve enjoyed fishing so much of late. I caught 18 roach, 4 sticklebacks and a gudgeon. It might not sound like much but from the tiny venue that it is, I was more than thrilled.

The solitary gudgeon was a real clonker as well. It never ceases to amaze me how places like this can throw up such good quality fish. For most of its length it’s so shallow you can walk across it with wellingtons. It’s just the bends that provide any sort of depth at all. Even then, catch a few and it goes quiet.

Below are a few other things that I’ve been up to this week. They’re all embedded Facebook posts and in chronological order. By the way, this blog entry is the 705th consecutive Saturday that I’ve published one. Why not subscribe to the weekly updates via the link at the base of the page.


Sporting Khalsa v Tring Athletic – 61st game of the season 


The Guardian and BeIN Sports at Park Hall 


Halesowen Town v Kidderminster Harriers – 62nd game of the season 


Dudley Town v Bewdley Town – 63rd game of the season 


FIFA on the telephone 


Filming with FIFA