Piking On The The Drift

GrahamM

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I've had some magic days fishing the driftfloat.

Once, when my drifter approached an island some 150yds from the bank where I fished, a pike of 26lb-odd leapt about 3ft from the water with the roach in its mouth and taking the driftfloat along with it. It must have really attacked the roach at some speed from the bottom, the momentum carrying it into the drifter and through the surface. I landed the fish with the roach and driftfloat still in its jaws!

What are your stories of fishing with the drifter?
 
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Andrew Miller

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Great article. This and the tackle workshop have really impressed me. Can this method be used on a River or is it mainly a stillwater method.
 

GrahamM

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Andrew, You could use it on a very slow-flowing river, otherwise the current will have more effect than the wind on the drifter and carry the lot away.
 
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Chris Bishop

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I just love watching the vane sail off into the distance - it catches some good fish as well, although I seem to pick them up close in as often as 150 yards or more away.

Locking it down and leaving it to fish a spot every now and then, rather than just skating through at 15mph, is sound advice. So is zig zagging it. The more water you can cover, the more chance you'll find the fish.

I've had five fish on it this season - three doubles and two twenties, best 27:14 so it definitely sorts out the bigger fish that get driven away from the banks or hug far-off features.

Here's a couple of little wrinkles:

- Use one of thos big dayglo sea beads between the stop knot/rig stop and controller. That way you can see straight away whether the rig is tangle-free and fishing at the right depth with a quick scan of the binos: If you can't see the bead up against the boom, you know there's a problem somewhere or the float's taken a turn or two of line around the stem...

- Don't glue the vanes on or fix them on too rigidly. If a fish weeds you on the way in, it catches round the vane leaving you playing 10lb of pike and 20lbs of weed...

- Budgie's float/tube is spot-on. Avoid these complicated rigs with bits of tube below the float and a free-running controller with float riding above it. You're asking for a tangle which could mask a take until it's too late...

- Don't be afraid to fish it shallow. I've had some of my best fish this season fishing five or six feet deep over 15ft of water...

- Bending the vanes slightly helps to stop them spinning in the wind, which is one of the major causes of tangles where the line wraps round the float...

- So does keeping the line under control so it doesn't overtake the float, which is a major cause of tangles. Some people advocate allowing a big bow to develop, to help drag the float into the wind lane, but you're asking for tangles if you let it travel too far ahead of the float.
 
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Paul Williams

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I enjoyed reading this article Budgie, although i have pike fished for a long time i have only ever dabbled with float drifting, i have been trying to decide if this is down to the water types i have concentrated on or just my short sightedness!!! in the past i have done a fair bit of greased line "freeroaming" but it ain't the same thing! I am now sourcing a water to really give it a go!
Graham i have had a similar thing happen on the Severn with a very big pike the late Pete Rayment was there and he couldn't believe the sight we both witnessed, the way that pike left the water was unbelievable!....i lost mine!!!!
 

GrahamM

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Paul, I have a better story to tell about a big pike, but this time not on a driftfloat but more conventional tackle. Again though, the fish was landed and weighed at 32.5lb. Not my fish, but I had the privelege of witnessing the events and netting the fish. It's too good a story to tell in a few words on the forum but I'll write it up as an article and put some pictures with it just as soon as I get time.
 
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BUDGIE BURGESS

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Chris, great tip about the Day-Glo bead! I will definitely incorporate this in future. Simple but so effective. Thanks.
 
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Philip Inzani

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Really liked the article. I think the drifting is a fantastic method and I am always trying to learn any tips and tricks which both Budgie and Chris's comments offered.
Just to add one thing, I dont think it this method of fishing always requires the use of a drift float. I think Chris is spot on when he says that fishing it at a supersonic speed is not always the best way. In a really good wind I have sometimes changed to a standard dumpy pike float to slow it down a bit, only disadvantage was that obviously it is not as visible a long way out so you may need to restrict the distance a little.

Great stuff chaps.
 

GrahamM

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The beauty of the true driftfloat, with its sail-like vane, is that with practise you can steer the bait very effectively. Good, floating braids, have made all the difference.
 
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