How early is too early for Tench?

Zerkalo

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I'm really looking forward to fishing Napton Reservoir next year for Tench. Can't wait for the weather to get warmer again. It's just over an hours drive from my house but should be worth it as the closest available Tench water.

What do you reckon, March is too early and May is probably a safer bet?

Roll on spring :) (not the Chinese food either)
 

david white

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Those hardy soles out on a local pond are still picking up the odd tench amongst nets of roach and skimmers, but in general I’d have thought early spring and settled frost free weather would be beneficial
 

Zerkalo

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Interesting there is still a chance in Winter. I suppose they're quite hardy fish!

I had a couple of small Tench from a local commercial the other day. I've always felt that if you have Tench in with a load of F1s that maybe it effects their behaviour. Not sure if there's any truth in that but it would take a braver man than me to tackle a big water like Napton specifically for Tench until, like you say, it warms up a bit.

I'm hoping that around late March we'll have a warm spell as I can't wait! It's definitely going to be my water come May.
 

david white

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As you it’d take a brave man .........
I think that tench caught in winter are fooled by the lighter tackle and thus better presentation of the ‘ silver ‘ fish tactics used and coupled with such cold water they are slightly easier to land on relatively unsuitable setups, always a welcome bonus to land one in my book
 

Tinca Steve

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Believe it or not but when the water is colder than the air it's going to be hard but not impossible. But when the water is warmer than the air, usually as darkness has well fallen then its much better. So fish into darkness if you want an early year tench.
 

MarkW

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When I used to fish one of the bigger Ringwood pits (20 acres) for good-sized (up to 6lb+) tench they started showing well in late Feb and early March; of course we stopped fishing come 14th March due to the local rules. Best conditions were mild and strong SW winds. It helped if a few people were fishing the same way - big waggler well out in 10ft of water, double red maggot on a 20 - as the bait going in and a strong undertow got them active and looking for food. Try the same tactics come June on that lake and you'd get plagued with little roach. I've had tench twice in the last week on ultra fine roach tactics on a small commercial.
 

Sam Vimes

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Much depends on the water in question and the part of the country it's located. In my neck of the woods, I consider October, November and December too late and January, February and March too early. If it's unusually warm March and/or October might be unusually productive. If it's unusually cold, September and/or April might be a big disappointment. I've caught tench in the colder months, but only on heavily stocked commies, the kind that the tench tend to get bullied out in summer. I don't deliberately target winter tench, even on these commies, it's just not worth it.
 
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