The second most populated county in England after Greater London, the Midlands takes in an area covering Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull and Walsall. Needless to say there is a huge range of opportunities for fishing in the county fishing for coarse and game fish in a variety of waters including rivers, canals, lakes and reservoirs. As the region borders Staffordshire and Warwickshire it is also worth reading our pages on these counties as there is a degree of overlap between these counties when it comes to the exact location of fisheries.
Birmingham has more canals than Venice
Given the industrial heritage of the Midlands it is not surprising that the county has plenty of canals. Indeed, with more than 35 miles of canals, Birmingham has more canals than Venice. Whilst many of these were once heavily polluted by local industry, they have been cleaned up to such an extent that anglers can now even catch fish in the centre of Birmingham.
Amongst the network are the Grand Union Canal, the Birmingham Canal, the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal, the Dudley Canal, the Stourbridge Canal, the Tame Valley Canal, the Worcester and Birmingham Canal, the Walsall Canal and the Wyrely and Essington Canal.
There are numerous fishing rivers in the Midlands
There are numerous rivers that pass through the county, including the River Tame, once heavily polluted but now sufficiently clean enough to support a growing fish population despite being the most heavily built up river basin in the United Kingdom.
The River Tame is fed by the River Rea and the River Anker which now holds some large chub and pike as well as a growing population of barbel. Another tributary is the River Blythe between Birmingham and Coventry which supports a good head of coarse fish and some trout. To the west of the county is the River Stour which is a major tributary of the River Severn.
Trout fisheries in the Midlands
With the exception of sections of the River Blythe and parts of the River Cole, described by one angler as flowing through a “less than desirable part of the country”, there is little trout fishing for rivers in the West Midlands. The Midlands Fly Fishers has some 12 miles of beats on rivers in the Severn and Wye catchment areas, including the smaller, more intimate Lugg and Onny, and also on the Welsh Dee.
Coarse fisheries in the Midlands
Unlike trout fisheries there are scores of coarse fisheries in the Midlands ranging from multi-lake out-and-out commercial complexes to smaller farm-run pools. Whilst they are too numerous to mention, here are a few. Millride Fishery at Essington comprises five coarse pools and two trout pools in a picturesque location. Although its specimen pool is 1.5 acres in size it has only four pegs and is stocked with a mix of mirror, common and crucian carp as well as a few leather carp. The other pools hold a mix of coarse fish including carp to 15lbs.
Alvechurch Fisheries at Alvechurch to the south of Birmingham has four pools one of which, House Pool, was completely rebuilt and quadrupled in size to about two acres a few years ago. There is also an on-site cafe and tackle shop.
Bells Mill is a purpose built six acre carp, pleasure and match fishery near Stourbridge with toilet facilities, a cafe and small tackle shop. The carp lake is stocked with more than 100 common, mirror, ghost and a few large koi carp from between 8lbs and 33lbs whilst some of the other pools hold fish to a similar size.
Three popular fisheries east of Solihull
In the area to the east of Solihull are three successful coarse fisheries. Lavender Hall Fishery at Balsall Common has been a popular venue since it opened in 1998 with five lakes, a cafe and tackle shop. In addition to a specimen lake with fish to 31lbs it has an intermediate pleasure/carp lake with fish to 20lbs and three match pools.
Nearby is Barston Lakes, part of the West Midlands Golf Club at Barston a couple of miles from Lavender Hall. Its 125-peg main Barston Lake holds carp to 37lb whilst the other four smaller waters hold a mix of fish. The stretch of the River Blythe which runs along the edge of the fishery is also worth a try.
About two miles from Barston Lake is Packington Fisheries at Meriden. In addition to it’s fly fishing syndicate on the main estate, Packington Somers Fisheries at Meriden between Birmingham and Coventry has to be one of the most successful and varied commercial coarse fisheries in the Midlands offering a mix of fishing on eight main lakes, four smaller pools and a one mile stretch of the River Blythe. A popular match venue it’s fishing lodge is manned during daylight hours.
Two popular fisheries at Halesowen are Day House Farm and Campsite which has two lakes with carp to 30lbs and Hunnington Fishery with five lakes. Further north at Wolverhampton is Leighton Pools with two lakes and carp to 30lbs whilst Wassell Grove Fishery at Hagley has three lakes and carp to 30lbs.
Fishing tackle shops in the Midlands
Being a heavily populated area where fishing is a popular hobby, you don’t have to travel far in the Midlands to find a fishing tackle shop with outlets in all the major conurbations including Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Coventry, Sutton Coldfield, Solihull, Stourbridge, Oldbury, Willenhall, Tipton, Brierley Hill, Dudley, Halesowen, Wednesbury and Bilston.