The overshotted float, Thames style.

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Vole
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The overshotted float, Thames style.

Post by Vole » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:46 am

Not quite stret-pegging, because the bulk shot is kept off the bottom, not quite laying-on, 'cos it can move: I posted my memories of this old method , which I saw matchmen using on the Tidal Thames in the early seventies, elsewhere; but thought it might deserve a thread of its own:




The Overshotted Float

An attempt to write down what we used to do before I completely forget it.

When the Thames is nearly in flood, and the tide is ebbing, it moves through Richmond a bit quickish.
This pushes the fish into the slower water near the bank, and the “Overshotted Float” used to be a favourite method of trying for them.
The first job was to find out how much shot was needed to keep the line within about ten degrees of vertical*, with the weight just off the bottom.

No, it wasn’t. the first job was to thread a couple of float rubbers on the line. Then you find out how much shot is needed to keep the line within about ten degrees of vertical, with the weight just off the bottom.

Next, take a ludicrously small float, and attach it at dead depth minus two inches . Lower it in, and hold it still. If it sinks, try a bigger one. The push of the fast, surface water against the float will enable it to carry far more shot than it’s usual capacity. In fast (a la Tidal) water, we often only needed a 3BB porcupine to hold up 3 swan shot.

Now try holding it in the fishing position, just downstream of the rod top. If it bends round like a quiver-tip, any fish biting is going to feel a thump as soon as it touches the bait, so to put a shock-absorbing angle in the line, add a shot above the float - this should stay out of the water. A swan-shot isn’t too big in really hard flows.

Now add the hook length, with a couple of no. 8’s on it, dropper in a couple of loads of feed, bait up and start fishing. Lower away, hold static, rod laying on leg; if no offers, lift the rod by going on tip-toe with that leg, and pay out a bit of line…

Once you get the geometry sorted, you can use a rod rest.



* Why Ten degrees? Because, at ten degrees off vertical, in fourteen feet of water, the vertical displacement of the lead will be less than an inch, i.e., negligible. At shallower angles, you need to start doing trig, which is not everyone’s cup of tea when trying to relax…

If anyone remembers it differently, or has details to add, I'd be very grateful to hear!
"Write drunk, edit sober" - Hemingway.
Hemingway didn't have to worry about accidentally hitting "submit" before he edited.

GloucesterOldSpot

Re: The overshotted float, Thames style.

Post by GloucesterOldSpot » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:55 am

I don't recall it as a specific Thames tactic, but I was taught a similar method years ago by one of the local match experts (where are they all now?) back when match fishing meant more than just hanging onto a pole and baggin' up on small carp. Used to use a very scaled down version on the Grand Union - a BB shot and a tiny float - when the canal was pulling hard, as it did whenever the lock downstream was opened.

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Re: The overshotted float, Thames style.

Post by Vole » Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:40 pm

I just knew I should have put a "(?)" in the title! I'm expecting hordes of chaps to say they saw it earlier and on other rivers,and a good thing, too; it's how we re-learn our history before it vanishes; but I would never have guessed at it coming into play as a canal tactic!
What did you do when the canal stopped pulling? A bigger float, that would carry the weight as normal, or a whole other set-up, perhaps?
"Write drunk, edit sober" - Hemingway.
Hemingway didn't have to worry about accidentally hitting "submit" before he edited.

GloucesterOldSpot

Re: The overshotted float, Thames style.

Post by GloucesterOldSpot » Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:53 pm

Vole wrote:What did you do when the canal stopped pulling? A bigger float, that would carry the weight as normal, or a whole other set-up, perhaps?
I don't know about anyone else, but I just took the BB off! I already had two or three no 8 shot on the line with the float set dead-depth, but when it began to pull I just pinched a BB on mid-depth and held back - no other adjustment was made. It was a very effective tactic for catching perch, because when the draw had pulled the float downstream as far as the roach pole would allow, you pulled it back to the start and eased it through again. I found the momentum of the falling BB would initially pull the float under before the draw on the flow (working against the resistance of the line) would bring it back up. I suspect it was the action this sinking and rising gave to the bait (usually a maggot or a little redworm) but often the float did not re-appear on schedule. You could see it some inches below surface, and it would simply stop. A lift of the pole and a perch would be on.

The method only worked when the canal was pulling, but as one could fish conventionally the rest of the time it didn't matter too much. However, I had found a way of continuing to fish effectively whilst others were cursing the boat traffic!

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Re: The overshotted float, Thames style.

Post by Moley » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:06 pm

I remember this style of lurching the swim too, Vole. Richmond and Kingston were the places I saw this most used and on the Lower Thames beyond THE lock, in the deep water for roach and bream, if memory serves. My Dad used to take a stroll down this way with his No.1 son.....me. We used to chat to some of the 'ole boys who were mostly happy to show what they were doing, to a young tyro. Many used peacock quill and used to break bits off to get the exact presentation they wanted, and a bb shot about 18'' above the float for control.

I was told you knew when you had 'got it right lad, when the fish bit!' A principle I still use today, funnily enough.

If I was a good Moley, I'd get a 'drippin'' sandwich and a bit of cake whilst we watched the fisherman....funny how nearly fifty eight years later I still like sandwiches and cake with tea whilst fishing? It all just seems a necessary part of the day out when I go fishing nowadays. To go without tea and cake and perhaps a sandwich, would be like fishing without a rod, reel, float and hook!

Today the Cralusso float and pole can perform a very similar function and the angles you mention seem to have a very familiar ring to them as well....oh yes they are the same!

Well remembered Vole....in fact that reminds me, it is time for tea and cake, so I'm off!

Mole Power!!!
Say aye tae'a pie!

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