Patton’s pike is a winner

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The sun may have shone Sunday, but after a week of frost on frost it came out too late to save the weekend for most.

And the only man smiling in the national pike champs Willen heat was the only one to catch – Tom Patton who 
swept the board with a 15-4 snapper...leaving 13 other entrants equal second with nowt!

And there were plenty of blanks in MKAA’s winter league third round, on the Stony Ouse, where Ampthill’s John Stutely defied conditions to win with a 4lb bream plus skimmers for an outstanding 15-4.

One peg upstream from him Ernie Sattler (Tackle Hub) had perch to 2-8 for 6-3 as Olney’s Paul Abbott, pegged next to Ernie, had 3-11. ‘Hub’s Roger Terle needed just 1-5 for fourth. ‘Hub had a runaway win on the day and go into the final round 10 points clear of Ampthill.

Towcester’s ‘experimental’ sweep on the Shutlanger Tove was another one-man showcase as veteran Tosh Saunders stormed home with four chub and a rake of dace for 9-8. Graham Martin had 1-12, Harry Harris 0-4...and the rest did not weigh.

Saturday saw bite-less anglers, including Dave Partridge, walking away from Olney’s Ouse, but next day he tried the ‘pensioners pegs’ on the Goosey and bagged 72 maggot roach for 5-11.

A match ‘topside’ of Blisworth tunnel saw Towcester vets’ midweek do falling to Chris Howard with just 2lb. Graham Martin had 1-8 and the rest...well, least said soonest mended. MK vets called their match off.

Calvert tried the ‘university’ section Ouse in Buckingham where Charlie Green won with 3-14 as Dave Lewis had 2-12 and Dawn Green 0-9.

The continuing saga of the Willards Tackle weekly staff outing: this time they all blanked on the cut... and then blanked again on the river. Persistent bunch, those lads.

Bletchley Tackle Hub’s ‘party day’ celebrating the shop’s first full year in business, Saturday, went with a real bang. It attracted more than 150 people and the kettle, unable to stand the strain – blew up part way through. “We 
had to dash out and buy another one, still, everyone enjoyed themselves,” said Pete.

Yet another awful winter is making tough times even tougher for the tackle trade. Leslies of Luton – a long-time big-name player complete with established mail order and internet sales arms to its bow – has gone into liquidation.

Trout: Elinor is, as usual, making an early start to the season, opening 7am on Saturday.

Fixtures: Sun, Olney Ouse open 01234 240061; Wed, Pulman AGM 8.30pm, Con Club, Bletchley. Mar 7, MKAA Grand Slam, Stony Ouse, 07703 556788.