Chub or bust! That was Neil Richardson's assessment of his Ouse match prospects in Sunday morning's deep-freeze conditions. And he was bang on the button.
Stick-floating single bronze maggot through a really deep undercut swim – and loose feeding three pints more – he hooked just three fish.
One was a fin-perfect 6-2 which, together with a 3-6, gave him a clear win in Kingfisher's sweep on an MKAA section...
And then he lost the fish of lifetime!
Another bite on single bronze had connected him to a monster which steamed up and down his swim before surging across the narrow river and breaking him under a bankside bush.
It dwarfed the 6-2 already in his net, and he said: "I got a good look at it as it came almost within netting distance. I'd never seen a chub like it before in my life."
Paul Hack made second with two chub, one a 5-8, for 8-8 and missed the golden peg payout as Dean Warren – one bite one fish – was third on 4-6.
SATURDAY's MKAA 'fur and feather' on Toombes and Brush Mill had been hard-going for the 24 entrants, too. Top Spot went to Andy Skelton with 9-3 (mostly perch) as Ernie Sattler found 6-14 of perch and roach. Alan Ford had a 4-15 chub, Myles Phillips 4-11-8 of silvers and Kevin Osborne 4-1 (inc a 3-8 bream).
TOWCESTER Vets' Cosgrove cut sweep went to Dave Prodger, after breaking the ice, with 8lb of perch to 2lb. Graham Martin had 6-7 and Les Goodridge 6lb. Some nice roach showed.
AN all-roach 6-1 saw Goodridge top Towcester's Tove do, Sunday as bro Mick had 5lb and John Balhatchett 2-6-8.
MK Vets' Brushmill Ouse midweeker fell to Paul Chapman on 4-12 ahead of Kevin Osborne – one 3-15 bream – and Dave Lewis 3-10. Twenty fished despite the bitter cold.
WHITE Hart also had a grueller on the local Ouse with Denis Walden on 4-7 followed by Ray Golding 4-5 and Jeff Byron 2-12.
LINFORD's Giffard Park ice-breaker saw Pete Whatley win with 5-8 as Mick Hefferon netted 2-6 and John Hough 2-4.
FIXTURES: Sat: British Carp Study Group night at bar next to Waters Edge Tackle, Linford, with Peter Springate and Robin Dix; Dec 17 Free Spirit tackle company ace Mark Hutchinson casting demos from 9am onwards – inquire on 01908 690969 for both.
Dec 18 DATS Xmas match, Ouse, 01908 227307; Jan 1, MKAA 'hangover' open, Ouse, 01234 713144; Newport pits AT pike matches, Jan 15 & 29, 07896 782715.