I was busy on Wednesday and couldn’t make the White Acres mid week match, by Sunday I was chomping at
Tench – Basic Knowledge
The tench has got to be one of the most satisfying fish to catch in fresh water. It offers everything, from a really hard scrap to beautiful colours, and even comes in gold! The tench is a really muscular fish, very sturdily built, and has really tiny scales which are embedded in its skin to give the fish a smooth finish. The colour of a tench is a lovely olive green colour along the back, which fades to a golden flank with a yellow and sometimes orange belly. The fins of the tench are purely for power, and consist of large rounded paddles that are very dark in colour. Either side of the thick lipped mouth is a single barbel which is used to root around for food with. A key feature of a tench is the eyes, which are tiny perfectly rounded and orange/red in colour. Tench which live is clear weedy waters appear very dark in colour, almost black, whereas those in coloured weed less water are much paler.
The tench also has a separate colour altogether, seen as a separate ornamental species, and appears in a golden colour, arrange, sometimes with black spots along the back and head. This species are commonly kept in ornamental ponds, although waters do hold them.
The tench is distributed throughout Europe, with the exception of the north tips of Scotland, Scandinavia and Denmark. The tench can grow to large sizes, into double figures, but the average size around the UK is between 1lb and 4lb. Tench are one of the only fish that can clearly be sexed out of breeding. The male fish have distinctly larger and thicker ventral and pectoral fins, and its anal muscles appear much larger and almost stick out.
The tench can be caught in virtually every kind of water in the UK. They can be caught in small village ponds, to commercial fisheries, canals, and even in the countries large rivers. Naturally, the tench tolerates thick, dense weed-beds, and can survive in thick algey and almost stagnant water! The natural diet consists of any bottom dwelling organisms, bloodworms, daphnia etc. Tench have very similar taste to carp however, and will hoover up just about anything, especially in the summer months. Bread flake, sweet corn and worms are old classics, but pellets and boilies have taken over, and many of the specimens are being taken on these baits.
Spawning takes place in May and June, similar to carp, in thick week and shallow water, but the tench eggs need a warm climate to develop and hatch. In some eastern European countries the tench is kept for eating, especially places such as Germany and Serbia!!!
In terms of match fishing, tench are usually good bonus fish, especially on natural venues. They have also formed a large part of many commercial catches, and are now high-up on a fisheries stocking lists. Although they feed more vigorously in the warmer months, they still get caught all year round. As mentioned before, these are really powerful fish, so don’t be scared to use heavy gear to get them out. Tactics wise, a pellet approach can be effective, using expanders or even paste on the hook, and loose feeding smaller free offerings, and a chopped worm and caster approach is also renowned for catching tench on all venues. In large natural venues, the larger tench tend to feed at dawn and dusk, and a stalking approach, with a small dumpy waggler on the bottom (John Wilson Peacock float lift style) should work. Don’t miss out on catching the tench, get on the banks and have a go for some!!!