Raked a gravel pit

Robbie C

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Hi I need some advice please.
I have been raking different swims in a rarely fished pit. My target is tench, it’s not a prolific venue, but there are a few tench worth pursuing.There are also bream(some are caught close in)small carp(would be a bonus) and silvers.
The venue is surrounded by trees, but most of the swims have a mainly hard gravel bottom with very little silt and no or little weed.
However one swim I like the look of has a large tree lying horizontally in it. I raked alongside it about 20 times and brought in lots of a black mud/silt On every rake . The mud didn’t seem too smell bad.The next swim along is mainly gravel, but doesn’t have any features.
My research indicates that it is generally better to fish on clear gravel rather than mud.
I will be float fishing in about 5 feet of water 1-5 rod lengths out.
My question is am I at a disadvantage fishing on black mud when there are many gravelly swims nearby ? Or any general tips and advice?
 

sam vimes

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As long as you avoid methods that might leave your hook bait buried in the muck, you shouldn't have too many problems in the silty areas. You are also far more likely to see the tench bubbling in such areas if, or when, they are feeding there. The gravelly areas are likely to be easier to fish, but you may struggle to see signs of the fish unless they roll in front of you.

In addition to your raking campaign, I'd also suggest that you feed the spots and watch for signs of fish feeding. I use stewed wheat as a bulk to keep the costs as low as possible. A tin or two of corn at times is also unlikely to break the bank. However, I generally feed and fish maggots. Usually, it takes less than two pints. More stewed wheat is fed at the end of a session. If I've taken a tin of corn as a change bait, that usually goes in too.
 

Keith M

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Robbie when you raked the silt did you notice any bloodworm or other creepy crawlies in it? And did you see any pin bubble clouds?

I fish another similar bottomed lake in Hertfordshire with Tench in it and in the warmer months the Tench tend to throw up clouds of silt and pin bubbles looking for the bloodworm amongst the silt in the mornings and later on in the day, but as the weed starts to grow a bit more on the shallow gravel bars they start to appear more on top of the gravel bars, in the evenings and early mornings.

On bright sunny days they tend to either move out into deeper water or stay amongst the weedy areas or deep silty areas.
Of course each water can be different but generally I’ve found that they don’t seem to like the bright sun in their little sensitive red eyes.

Keith
 
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Robbie C

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Robbie when you raked the silt did you notice any bloodworm or other creepy crawlies in it? And did you see any pin bubble clouds?

I fish another similar bottomed lake in Hertfordshire with Tench in it and in the warmer months the Tench tend to throw up clouds of silt and pin bubbles looking for the bloodworm amongst the silt in the mornings and later on in the day, but as the weed starts to grow a bit more on the shallow gravel bars they start to appear more on top of the gravel bars, in the evenings and early mornings.

On bright sunny days they tend to either move out into deeper water or stay amongst the weedy areas or deep silty areas.
Of course each water can be different but generally I’ve found that they don’t seem to like the bright sun in their little sensitive red eyes.

Keith
I didn’t notice any bloodworms. A few insects that looked like weevils. Also Plenty of mussels, some alive but mostly empty, some with tiny snails inside.The surface did fizz like tench bubbles as I raked.
Will give swim a try this week, hopefully a dawn start. Just hate that 4 am alarm !
 

Robbie C

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As long as you avoid methods that might leave your hook bait buried in the muck, you shouldn't have too many problems in the silty areas. You are also far more likely to see the tench bubbling in such areas if, or when, they are feeding there. The gravelly areas are likely to be easier to fish, but you may struggle to see signs of the fish unless they roll in front of you.

In addition to your raking campaign, I'd also suggest that you feed the spots and watch for signs of fish feeding. I use stewed wheat as a bulk to keep the costs as low as possible. A tin or two of corn at times is also unlikely to break the bank. However, I generally feed and fish maggots. Usually, it takes less than two pints. More stewed wheat is fed at the end of a session. If I've taken a tin of corn as a change bait, that usually goes in too.
I’ve actually been baiting with maize and groats which are similar cheap particles.Groats look like dead maggots to me.
 
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Tree123

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I didn’t notice any bloodworms. A few insects that looked like weevils. Also Plenty of mussels, some alive but mostly empty, some with tiny snails inside.The surface did fizz like tench bubbles as I raked.
Will give swim a try this week, hopefully a dawn start. Just hate that 4 am alarm !
The tiny bubbles will be gas. If they appear as you rake
 

markg

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This is probably not relevant except in maybe one sense. I caught a Mullet once that I took home to eat. It was full of a black slimy mud that smelt awful so I did not eat it. I caught this in a river but not far from the harbour area where I think it may have been feeding in this type of mud.However, it showed that these fish did not mind sucking it in when looking for food. Whether that would be the same for Tench I wouldn't know but the Mullet was a healthy fish and showed no signs of distressed when I caught it.
 

chipbuttee

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I rake a particular shallow swim on a small weedy gravel bottomed pit and in a shortish time in come the tench go to another pit very similar to the first and rake that swim it will be the next day before I see tench bubbling away. And yes i have gone over the reasons why one is different from the other including talking to the bailiff. Something else I seem to only catch tench on three Yellow maggots in the first pit go to the second and practically anything goes!!!.🤔🤔 ??.
 

Paste paul

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Normally I’d look for a weed free gravel bottom and avoid silt.......
Even when I’m pole fishing I try to plumb up in as clean an area as possible.....
But if you fancy fishing the swim go for it... as said avoid fishing in the silt maybe just of bottom and try not to use live baits as they riddle in.......
One problem you can encounter is fizzing when fish attack the bait in the silt and stir it up so maybe only feed enough to catch one fish and feed again after you’ve caught it.
If you have no luck at least you had ago and maybe you might learn something from the experience after all that’s what fishing is about.....
And remember there is no rule book in fishing just guide lines and the fish often surprise us ....
 
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