Three miles out of Stourport on the B4196 off the A452 and Maver boss Phil Briscoe relishes a winter challenge on his two lakes that are teeming with quality fish. Some challenge … they throw themselves at the hookbait! The Match Lake (85 pegs) is a real softie when it comes to winter baits, so think dead maggots, very, very soft paste, bread and expander pellets. Leave the crunchy stuff at home as it makes too much noise! Pole fishing is the norm but I’d set up a waggler rod to have a chuck about and find the fish if they won’t come to you. Over to the big Specimen Lake (105 pegs) and I would be looking at both the Chalet and Burr bank for those biggies, be it carp, bream or roach that could give you a PB. Phil’s advice is to take a mixture of baits with you; baits that can go back into the fridge or freezer if not used on the day, and ask one of the bailiffs for info, as they virtually live at Larford and know its mood swings, where to fish and what to use (both methods and baits). Take that advice and you will catch. Day tickets are £6 (£4 juniors and concessions) and a £15 charge is made for a 3-rod dawn to dusk raid for big fish hunters or £30 for a 24-hour stay-over. The office number for general enquiries and bookings is 01299 829373 or you can get on-the-spot info from bailiffs by contacting 07774 703067. It’s terrific fishing, be it bagging-up, specimen hunting or even popping down to the River Severn for some running water sport with big roach, chub, barbel and pike. Phil has taken me to task for my comments last month as he refutes any accusations that he might try and sell you a pole while you’re fishing … apparently, Maver tackle boxes are in his ‘January sale’!

Midland Angler