Tench Fishing Tips

10 Jan 19


Many anglers cannot wait for the spring to come round to indicate the start of the tench fishing season. 

In the following article, we are going to give you our top tench fishing tips so you are ready to catch more tench

Maybe you are even prepared to hunt for that elusive double figure tench of a lifetime.

Are you ready? Then let's get started.

Fishing for tench is best suited for the spring and summer months. Tench can still be caught all year round but are very difficult to find during the autumn and winter. 

Once spring has sprung, the temperatures start to increase and this is when the tench really start to feed heavily, hence why this time of year offers the best chances to catch tench.

tench fishing tips

Locating tench

The first of our tench fishing tip is focused around locating the fish. Tench feed on the bottom and when they are doing so, tiny bubbles will appear on the surface of the water. These bubbles are a perfect indicator to watch out for when deciding where to fish. These tiny bubbles are very distinctive and I am sure you will recognise them as soon as they appear.

I would recommend arriving at your tench fishing venue around dawn which is an ideal time when tench are feeding and these bubbles will be more apparent. If you are still fishing towards the end of the day, dusk is another perfect time when the tench seem to feed more heavily so hang around and you could catch a few more fish.

Features to keep an eye out for and where the tench will be located are weedy areas, lily pads and reed beds. All of these environments are loved by tench as they offer lots of natural food.

It is this natural food such as snail and worms that allow tench to grow to such large sizes with some over 10 lbs. Catching a double-figure tench is no easy feat and many anglers do not achieve this goal, but with time, effort and maybe even these tench fishing tips there is no reason you cannot land a big tench.

If you can locate gravel bars, shelves or clear spots these are excellent places to put your hook bait. These are areas that contain lots of natural food that tench will be feeding on. If you can find these features around the weed beds, then even better as the natural food will be even more abundant, with the likelihood of tench being present and feeding increasing dramatically.

Best Bait - Tench Fishing Tips

We can't have tench fishing tips without talking about the best baits to use. Tench can be caught using a variety of different bait, with the time of the year determining the baits I fish with.

During the start of the season around springtime, I like to use smaller baits such as maggots, sweetcorn, hemp or casters. When we reach the summer I would switch this to a carp style setup fishing with small 10mm boilies which always seem to work well.

If you are concerned about catching carp, remember during the hot weather carp tend to be in the middle layers and not feeding on the bottom so you should avoid them. Tench tend not to be in the middle or even upper layers of the water but pinned to the bottom of the lake.

I believe baits such as maggots and hemp work well as they mimic the natural baits tench feed on. If you can get your hands on some worms or even snails, they would be even better as these are naturally found in lakes and the tench will be familiar with feeding on them.

tench fishing tips best bait

Sweetcorn is an underrated bait for tench fishing in my opinion. I like to attach some real sweetcorn in combination with plastic sweetcorn to hold everything on the hook. The bright colour is very attractive to tench.

If I am float or method fishing I like to bait little and often in an attempt to lure shoals of tench to my swim. If you do draw in many fish, you can always increase the amount of bait you are putting in the lake. In fact, if you do have several tench feeding you will need a decent amount of food to keep them occupied. Just remember you can always add more but not take it out.

Ensure your hook bait matches your free offerings. Tench, like many fish, can spot a bait that stands out and will be wary. I like to also try and attach my hook bait in the most natural way, for example, ensure the maggots are still wriggling or cut up boilies that look as if they have been on the lakebed for some time.

Pre-baiting is an underused tactic that can pay off big time if you can put in that extra effort. Head down to the venue you plan on fishing a few times before your session and first of all try to find some features we mentioned earlier, you could use a marker rod for this and clip up ready for the session. 

Once you have found some interesting features get some bait on that spot that you will be using during your session. 

I like to add some particles to my bait mixes such as hemp, pellets, crushed boilies and groundbait to really attract the tench to the spot I am planning on fishing.

Also, look for those tiny bubbles that highlight the position of feeding tench. Again, place some bait on these spots. Once you have a few pre-baited spots, keep topping them up over the days before your session. When the day arrives that you are actually going to fish, you should find the tench have been feeding on these spots with the confidence of not being caught, and you should be able to get some quick bites and catch an extra tench or two.

Methods - Tench Fishing Tips

Tench are very hard fighting fish much like carp or barbel, which is a big reason behind the popularity of fishing for this species. Male tench have larger tales giving them even more power when fighting.

I like to scale down my tackle to provide an excellent fight when hooking a tench. I would recommend a tench float rod, medium size reel and 8 lb mono.

Many carp anglers, including myself, will simply use carp fishing equipment that is scaled down. Smaller reel, lighter breaking strain mainline, smaller rig components and bait.

I like to use 10mm pop-up boilies on a simple balanced KD rig, keep things as simple as possible. I will then either spod out a bed of bait where I am fishing or throw in several boilies as free offerings. I like to use bright boilies as these seem to grab the attention of the tench.

Weather - Tench Fishing Tips

We are more focused on the wind direction than the weather for this point. Tench are nomadic and I often find they move in the direction of the wind. This could be caused by the food the tench feed on, located on the lake bottom, being moved by the wind. 

I try to fish into the wind much like when carp fishing, which should put you in a good position to catch tench and is a very simple tactic to employ.

Hope you enjoyed reading this article and can put some of these tench fishing tips and advice into practice on your next tench fishing outing.

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