Angler's Mail features editor Richard Howard highlights some some top tench baits to ensure you stand the best chance of bagging a specimen.

TENCH are waking up, and they’re often a bit more gullible and willing to take an angler’s hook bait in the spring.

If you want to have a crack for them on your local water, here are five top hook baits to consider…



Hair rig a bunch of red maggots on a size 12 or 14 hook with a big block-end feeder of red and white grubs.

You can offset the weight of the hook with a buoyant Enterprise Tackle rubber grub with the real maggots to give a more natural presentation. Tench love ‘dead reds’ too.



Tench love ’em. Being costly though you might want to bulk them out with other particle baits like hemp, maggot, mini pellet and a bit of corn.

Fish them in an open-end feeder plugged with groundbait and a couple of rubber casters glued to a hair on a size 12 or 14 hook fished helicopter style. Or combine real and artificial baits.



Or better still…. 8 or 10 mm mini boilies. Yes, carpers do catch on the larger offerings, but a pair of hair-rigged minis to a size 10 can be hard to beat.

Fish them on a feeder-rig, or a straight lead and PVA bag set-up over matching boilies, boilie crumb, hemp, small pellet and dead maggot. Tutti Frutti, and Strawberry are two great boilie flavours to go in with.



Colourful, sweet, settling lightly on the bottom where it’s easy to find. Tench have a sweet tooth and have a real soft spot for corn.

Whether you fish it straight out of a supermarket tin or opt for a fruit flavoured coloured variation. It lends itself well to float fishing it lift style beneath a waggler with a couple if grains on a size 12 hook close in around marginal lily pads.

Don’t forget buoyant artificial corn either, legered over a bed of small pellets, dead maggot, hemp and a smattering of real corn. It cleverly counterbalances the weight of a hook, which does catch ‘riggy’ tench out.



So effective for many species including tench. Fish a big lobworm or half a lob under a float, just on the bottom, on a size 8 or 10 hook.

Fishing over some chopped worm and dead red maggot with a little bit of small pellet and hemp. This is an ideal close-range tactic for those classic  Crabtree lily pad swims where you know tench are resident.

There’s lots of other great baits like bread flake, pellet itself, even cockles. And don’t be scared of using sweet flavours and glugs on your feed and hook baits, tench do like them.

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