ANGLER’S MAIL is number one for tips and tricks, here’s another one. This time we show you how to catch tricky tench. 

Tench seem to do a vanishing act in the colder months, but as soon as the mercury levels start to climb they feed prolifically. They make their presence clear by tiny little pinprick bubbles produced as they grub around on the bottom.

Pound for pound Tench are up there with carp and barbel for their fighting prowess, and the males, with their large fins, can put up a real tussle.

Vast, clear pits festooned with weed offer the best chance of a really big tench, but decent-sized fish can readily be found in the tiniest of pools.

Carp fishermen regularly catch tench, but using a lighter set-up offers far better sport.

A softish Avon style rod is the perfect tool for dealing with lively tench, as match gear is often undergunned for a species that favours life among weedbeds, lilies and reedbeds.

Use balanced gear and you’ll appreciate scraps from lively tench far more than targeting them on carp tackle. Use an Avon rod balanced with a medium-sized reel loaded with 6 to 8 lb mono.


Locating tench can be easier than other species as those fizzing bubbles are a real giveaway.


They love margin shelves and foliage but locating shoals in larger venues can be harder.

A rule of thumb is that they follow favourable winds, so if the wind is blowing in your face you’re probably going to be among this nomadic species.

Tench are a popular summer target from all types of stillwaters. Huge 10 lb-plus specimens are often caught from large clear waters where dense weed beds promote rich, natural food larders. But even tiny ponds are capable of yielding substantial fish.

Tench patrol features such as bars, plateaux, islands and margins, where they feast on tiny snails and other tasty organisms. Tiny fizzing bubbles are a tell-tale sign that the tench are on the munch and nothing beats targeting them with stout float gear.

Although tench readily inhale large baits intended for carp, smaller baits that mimic their natural food menu can often yield more bites. Crunchy little casters are unbeatable tench tucker, as is hemp. They are also complete suckers for sweetcorn.


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