ON top of the world. That's Stony Stratford man Bob Goodwin – newly crowned Angling Trust national pike champion!
And he won Saturday's Whittlesea final with just one fish...a 25-8 hooked on sardine fished against the opposite bank on the Twenty Foot drain.
He'd been far from hopeful on arrival at his rain-lashed peg. "Last year I'd drawn four pegs away and finished without a touch," said the retired heating engineer, whose previous best result had been third place four years earlier.
"I knew it was a big 'un and when it did come close I could see the hooks were in the edge of its mouth, so I just had to hope it didn't come off."
Having qualified on Hyde Lane, the MKAA, Newport and Buckingham PAC member won £600 with a 50-1 each-way bet with the bookie, Saturday, and is due a big pools pay-out, too.
MUCH nearer home Towcester's Jason Fleming had two Big Pit pike in successive trips, both top-side of 16lb. Had he caught either in Newport's roving lure match he would have walked it, but that was won by Richard Harvey's 9-pounder.
STALKING the Ouse Matt Copping banked 5-1 barbel, while Chris Sawbridge had chub of 5-9 and 4lb as Alan Rowlands had three to 4-8 on Stone Park.
LODGE saw Drew Bostic land a 6lb bream while Lou Smith completed an 'epic' personal season on that water by netting 'three scale'. Browns Angling's Harry Burr had two 15s in a quick Furzton session, and Mike Winning a 4-15 Abbeys tench.
MK's Pete Patton won Castle Ashby's midweeker with 66-4.
OSPREY, Arrans: Brian Ritchie 101-15, Pete Archer 99-14, Gareth Price 98-04.
BLACK Horse open: Nigel Baker 88-13, Nuala Gray 39-1, Geoff Ringer 29-2.
MK Vets, Canons Ashby: Ernie Sattler 48-1 (inc a 23-4 carp on pole), Richard Lattimer 22-7, Dave Cantrell 17-1.
CALVERT, Potash Farm, Beachampton: Dave Lewis 20-7, Austin Maddock 17-1, Ken Mott 12-12.
TOWCESTER, town Tove: Graham Martin 19-8 (dace!) Les Goodridge 13lb (roach) Tony Hirst 11lb.
KINGS Arms, Stone Park: Steve Cable 7-9 (inc 2-2 perch), Brian Harmer 4lb, Leanne Keyhoe 3lb.
RADWELL Ouse open: Paul Caton 12-9, Nigel Bass 7-1, Graham Cakebread 6-1.
FIXTURES: Sat, Olney Ouse RBL charity open 01234 240061; Dec 19 Black Horse Lake pike match, 01908 690969 (Waters Edge); Dec 2 MKAA Xmas match Stony-Bradwell Ouse tickets £10 local tackle shops or 01234 713144.