Raking Brings Double Figure Tench

The classic method of raking a swim for tench paid off for Drennan’s Ian Brooker on a very weedy local gravel pit.


Popping down the lake the evening before his planned session he set about re-raking a swim he had fished the previous week. Despite having cleared the area only 7 days ago, it still took over an hour to clear a channel 20 yards out by roughly 3 yards wide, which he then baited with a mixture of hemp, pellets, dead maggots and casters.

Due to the very soft silt he selected to fish simple helicopter rigs with a 60g Oval Groundbait Feeders, short 10oz 7oz Supplex hooklength and Size 12 Super Specialist Barbel hooks. Starting with one rod on a large hair rigged worm and the other with artificial corn. This produced 2 fish that evening followed by another two the following morning with best going 8lb 4oz.

However, the next couple of hours proved very frustrating with fish continually rolling, fizzing and bumping into the lines so a change down to a lighter and less visible 8lb Supplex Fluorocarbon hooklength, smaller Size 14 Super Specialist Barbel hook and just two live red maggots was once again swung out just a couple of rod lengths out. This small change seemed to have made a big difference in the crystal clear water and his next bite produced a huge tench of 10lb 7oz, followed shortly after by a lovely plump fish of exactly 9lb which concluded the morning’s activity.