An inhabitant of shallow ponds and lakes, the hardy tench is one of the main reasons for summer angling.
Vital Statistics: Scientific Name: Tinca tinca
Maximum Weight: 15-16lb
Average Weight: 3lb
Maximum Length: 24-26inches
Life Span: 20 years
There is something very satisfying about the appearance of the deep bodied tench. It is a member of the carp family
and can vary in colour from almost black to pale yellow. The most usual colouring is a deep olive green back and flanks with a paler belly.
There is also an ornamental golden variety which sometimes has black patches on its back and sides.
The males have longer pelvic fins than females and this can be used to tell sexes apart. All the fins are large and rounded and the tail is very slightly concave.
Where to find Tench:
Tench live in lakes, reserviours and gravel pits. But they are not uncommon in canals and slow moving deep rivers.
Tench are almost exclusively bottom feeders and live mainly on the larvae of aquatic insects, on small swan mussels and on water snails.
Very occasionally, tench rise to the surface to suck down spent flies. At some gravel pits a number of tench have been caught on
artificial flies intended
There are endless tench baits but for consistent success the tench angler will be well advised to fish with worm or bread baits, both of which make first class tench lures.
Large pieces of chopped swan mussel flesh are popular and quite a successful tench bait.
Maggots have accounted for a great many large tench, but are best used in waters where there are no small fish.
Luncheon meat is a very popular tench bait, depending on the type of fishery. Lake tench seem to prefer luncheon meat, whereas gravel pit tench go well on sweetcorn and worms.
Authors preferred baits:
Princes Luncheon meat. Stays on the hook well. Seems irresistable to Tench.
How to catch Tench - Techniques at a glance:
Ledgering, swimfeeder, float fishing tight on the bottom, float ledgering, and freelining.