Picture the scene, a clear summer morning at first light, mist rising from the mirror still surface and your rod bending double as you play the quintessential of British summertime course fish a tench. It’s what angling dreams are made of. Here are a few tips to helps these dreams become your reality
As with most fishing the spot you choose to fish can often be the difference between success and failure. In terms of location make sure you look out for the tell-tale Jacuzzi bubbling of tench feeding especially at first light. Make sure you plum your swim and look for silty spots and clear spot in amongst weed and need structure such as reeds. These are all key areas that tench like to both inhabit and feed. Another grate tip if the water is particularly weedy is to use a rake and clear your own spot, this will not only stir up naturals in the bottom and weed but give you a clear area to help your presentation.
There are many methods to catch tench and your choice is personal preference and which is more practical depend on the spot you have chosen. Float fishing, Method feeder fishing and scaled down carp fishing tactics with bolt rigs are the most popular three. Have a go at them all so that you have an assortment of tactics to out-smart Mr tinca.
Through my own experience I have noticed that early season March-May tench are usually caught on smaller hookbaits baits such as red maggots, during June to August mini boilies and larger baits work well and then inn September- November back to the more natural smaller baits such as worm and sweetcorn work well. This is very general and can be changeable depending on the venue but it’s a good starting point.
I have never caught a tench off the surface or mid water. The basic tactic whether your float fishing or ledgering is to put down a carpet of bait on the bottom. This can consist of groundbait (balled in or via a feeder) and numerous particles like hemp, pellets and boilies and then fish on the bottom over the top of this. Keep bait regular and slowly build the swim. More tench will visit and you need to ensure they stay on your spot snuffling around feeding to take your hookbait. Keep your hookbait static on the bottom in this area and sure enough if the tench are present and feeding you are in for some action.
A deadly tactic is too head to the venue to plan to fish for tench and bait up ahead of you fishing. This can be 24hours before or up to three times in the week before you fish on the Saturday. This will mean that you can fish the spot and catch quicker at the tench are already present due to your prebaiting. Make sure you keep this a little stealthy as you don’t want people to be reaping the rewards of your hard work and jumping in your swim before you do.