Friday 22nd December saw me taking advantage of the fact that I was well up with Christmas chores – and that Liz was on a later than usual shift at work meaning that she wouldn’t need the car until around 1430.
So, at 0800, I headed off to a part of the local Staffs-Worcs Canal at Stourton/Stewponey – a stretch which has sections that are Birmingham AA controlled section and Kinver Freeliners controlled … and it also runs parallel to a BAA controlled stretch of the Worcester Stour…. and I made use of all 3!
It was a very misty morning from start to finish…. but was very mild and calm … and that made for an enjoyable day.
My first port of call was on the BAA section – at the junction of the Staffie with the Stourbridge Canal …. and I float fished here with a single sprat on a tandem pair of size 2 single hooks for around 30 minutes… and after having had no interest taken in the bait I switched to the River Stour (Worcs) which was 20 yards behind me, again fishing for around 20 minutes ‘trotting’ the bait for about 50 yards around a sharp bend … again, no interest was taken in the bait. So I switched back to the canal and walked back up to the end of the BAA section/start of the Kinver Freeliners and fished several spots along the KF section for 15-30 minutes at a time … and I tried adding 1-2 extra sprats to the offered bait to form a mini-‘Xmas Tree’ or shoal which I have found effective at times when single baits have been ignored … but all to no avail … and I packed in at just after 1130 to allow time to return home and empty the tackle from the car before Liz needed to set off for work.
So, a blank for the last session of 2017 … but I was glad to get back out on the water after several weeks away – having last fished on 16th November.
The Staffie has not been a major producer of pike for me anyway – I think I’ve only ever had one from there (plus one escapee) – both same swim, different days – and that was a stretch several miles the other side of Wolverhampton – and I’ve had a fair few pike seeking sessions on there. For me, the Shropshire Union is a far better ‘pike’ canal but I didn’t really have the available time to travel that far for this session. And, I find lures/wobbled baits to far outfish floatfished or ledgered deadbaits in any case even on the Shroppie – and a mate of mine perch fishes with lures on the Staffie and he reports getting annoyed by marauding pike almost every time he goes! But, at the end of the day, I fancied bait fishing for this session and, for me, doing what I want to do regardless of results is the most important and satisfying – to me, the end in no way justifies the means!