Perch prize in the Ouse

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Just how big can local Ouse perch grow – because one man has just landed a stripey taking his scales down to exactly 5lb!

Admittedly Olley Hulston was using fairly ancient ‘spring balance’ type scales, but they can’t have been too far out...and could even have been UNDER-weighing, rather than over-reading.

The club bailiff – who has fished Olney’s river for more than 40 years – said: “I’ve had them to 4-8 in the past, but this was the biggest I’ve seen in a life-time’s fishing.”

Picking a deep swim, he legered a lobworm on a size 10 and didn’t have to wait long for a take.

Over the past couple of decades local Ouse perch weights have seemingly run in cycles, their growth probably fuelled by an abundance of small red signal crays. Over three to four years fish of 2lb, then 3 and then early 4s are caught until, suddenly, it is back to 2s again – presumably as the big ones die of old age.

But genuine 5s have rarely – if ever – been reported, and such a specimen would be a real ‘river monster’ worthy of national note.

MK vets pairs, Alders Farm: Charlie Lancaster & Nigel Steel 273-1, Ian Greenhood & Barry Witteridge 200-4, Ernie Sattler & Dave Catterell 198-9.

Osprey, Rolfes Lake: Geoff Edwards 208-8, Brian Ritchie 142-10, Chris Lovelock 127-6.

Towcester, Flecknoe: Bob Eales 31-5, Graham Martin 22-8, Kev Elliott 20-8.

DATS, Ouse, Stony Main: Steve Chilton 6-8, Chris Malia 4-10-12, Lee Jones 4-9-4.

Calvert, Itters Pit: Derek Bishop 6-4, John Weatherall 3-10, Barry Witteridge 2-4.

Linford, Wilderness, canal: Ron Dorrill 4-3, John Hough 3-7-8, Chris Spearman 2-11.

Last week’s Towcester open raised £180 for Macmillan Nurses thanks in part to a farmer donating money from match-day parking in his field back to the charity. Well done that man.

Some Willards customers report Bradwell Lake fishing a storm for roach, with Brian Brookes getting more than 70 to 12 ounces in a sitting.

Phil Oxley, Mike Sando and myself (all in the ‘vets’ age-bracket) joined Environment Agency fishery team good guys IN the Ouse at Adams Mill last week, regenerating a spawning bed (pictured) by clearing silt out of the gravel with high-pressure water jets, and removing tough weed roots.

Work included installing two tree trunks to create fast flows over the gravels to help keep them clear and oxygen-rich; plus staking brushwood bundles in to reinforce a 40 yard length of bank badly damaged by crayfish tunnelling.

DATS and MK vets all-rounder Gordon Metcalfe’s funeral, Monday, saw a jazz band leading his cortege. Some 70 people, including many of his angling friends, attended.