Tench (Tinca tinca)

Fact File: 
British Record 15lb (6.818kg)
Captor:    D. Ward
Location: Undisclosed Stillwater
Year:      2001



Grass C






The Tench
can be found in most stillwaters, canals and even rivers and can manage to survive in poorly oxygenated conditions where other fish would not. It is a bottom dwelling fish feeding on crustaceans, larvae and bloodworms and is generally found in small shoals. A feeding fish often releases a stream of tiny bubbles that can be seen on the surface. The Tench is a sturdily built fish with small scales embedded in it's olive green body. It's eyes are small and it has two barbules, one either side of it's mouth. The female of the species has larger ventral fins to that of the male. Colour variations of the Tench can often be found in ponds, usually gold in colour and with a variety of markings, where they have been stocked for ornamental purposes.

Click to enlargeA 15lb Tench was caught by Darren Ward from an undisclosed Southern stillwater, falling  to a 14mm pop-up boilie whilst fishing for Carp in a pre-baited swim beating the previous record of 14lb 7oz caught by Gordon Beavan in 1993. Click the picture to enlarge it.

Methods of Capture.
One of the best baits to use for Tench is small red-worm or red maggots. These can be fished with float methods ideally 'laying on'. The float needs to be set about 10cm over depth so that the bait is actually resting on the bottom. The bulk of the shot needs to be around the float, a waggler with a cane antennae, and a single number 4 positioned 8cm from the hook. Fish over loose fed maggots or chopped worm close to weed beds or the bank-side. Tench tend to be cautious feeders and often play with the bait before confidently taking it. This is reflected in the bite. The float will often bob a few times before lifting slightly and then gliding away. Many bites are missed by over anxious anglers striking too early and it is advisable to wait for the float to glide away before striking. Once the Tench looses it's inhibitions it will rise to intercept feed and bites can sometimes be had as the bait is falling through the water. If this is the case, replace the no.4 shot with a number 6 and move it further up the line so that the last 50cms falls freely.
A Tench once hooked can present the angler with a quite energetic fight, often diving for available cover and snags therefore tackle needs to be fairly strong.

An alternative bait is a Kidney Bean, presented on a size 10 or 12 hook and fished slightly over-depth with a waggler. The bean should be squashed at the very end to show white which in turn produces an attractive smell/taste.

Tench are a early morning species so try for them at the crack of dawn or at dusk. A simple cage feeder with sweetcorn as bait should be taken by a lump or two.


Recommended  Video

Tench Fishing with David & Kevin Maddocks



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