With hard frost following hard frost, many recent matches have become as exciting as betting on two flies crawling up a window pane...
And Sunday’s Abington AC sweep, in the basin below Stoke bottom lock, just about took that to the giddy limit!
Come the halfway stage most had given up and gone home – and of the four remaining... three had resorted, for light relief, to betting a quid each on what weight the ONLY guy catching would end up with!
That man was Russ Coleman – pegged opposite where the marina arm comes in – who ended up with 15 skimmers and two roach for 11-12...with Vince Battams runner-up on four ounces.
Oh yes: Richard Hawkes was nearest to guessing the winner’s weight, pocketing the £3.
THINGS were marginally better for Nene and Towcester on long pound at the other end of the lock flight.
There Dave Gibbins won with 18-7 of skimmers followed by Bas Eaton on 11lb and Mick Goodridge 7-8.
But, despite CRT having moved several hundred pounds of rescued fish into that pound, there were still plenty of dry nets.
BREAKS ice-free patches on Drayton saw a 15 man get-together manage 12 fish to 21lb in 48 hours.
MEADOWLANDS 14 teams-of-three third (of six) round: Wayne Sharman (Lanes) 32-10, Andy Kinder (Garbolino) 29-4, Neil Russell (Tornados and Geoff Ringer (Guru) both 28-8.
Tornados were top dogs on the day but Captain Jacks lead the league ahead of Lanes and Guru.
CASTLE Ashby, Sunday: Grendon, Richard Dunkley 53-2, Martin Harrington 20-6, Chris Camplin 15-6; Brickyard, Mick Wadham 19-4, John Bazley 18-8, Courtney Hewlett 16-3; Scotland, Mark Tottenham 11-3, Roger Clutton 9-1, Pete Patton 6-11.
WHITE Hart Flore, Dog Lane: Dave Chapman 43-9, Steve Johnson 27-8, Vinny Atkinson 21lb.
FLORE & Brockhall, Barby Marshes teams-of-three second round: Steve Barratt (Biltons) 6-9, Mark Baker and Tony Ward (both Tony’s Trio) 5-7 and 5-2. Biltons lead with four rounds to go, three points clear of Tony’s.
TOWCESTER Vets, Stoke canal: Chris Howard 5-7, Graham Martin 5-2, Kevin Nightingale 4-2. Three anglers had over 200 tiny roach between them, which has to be a good sign?
OLNEY, Ouse: Pete Hawley won with just 0-4...with Ron Bull on 0-0-8.
WORK on Stoke bottom locks continues and several hundred pounds of fish have now been transferred to the long pound and the boat basin.
CRT fisheries boss John Ellis has used the opportunity to give more than 100 schoolchildren bankside-ecology lessons and – most popular – ‘eyeball’ contact with some of the rescued fish!