Tinca, Tailor

Fri 07 November 14


Shunned by many a carp angler, but to others they are a thing of beauty.

A stunning tinca catch from Andy

A Tench session to remember…

I spent last year honing my Tench fishing tactics in preparation for this May to June, where my target is to bank a magical fish of over 10lb!
I had a great deal of success last year managing to single out the Tench from the Carp and Bream with captures of 10 plus Tench in a session and individual fish to just over 8lb. I used a few different methods and found I was catching consistently on all of then on a number of different venues.
I mainly fished solid bags using CC Moores ‘Oily Bag Mix’ combined with the matching pop ups. This was ideal for fishing at range to clear spots and weedy areas alike providing great presentation in both.

The Tench is synonymous with late spring and early summer when the warmer weather arrives raising the water temperatures and increasing the activity of the Tench. Sadly over the past two years we have had very long winters which have meant the Tench have taken slightly longer to wake up. Things finally kicked off for me this year a few weeks ago on a lake on the Hampshire/Sussex boarder during our short but much needed mini heat wave.

I only did from 6pm – 10pm on the Sunday and the fished from 5.30am – 11.30am on the Monday, I always seem to get plagued by eels in this particular water over night so reel in and get a decent night’s sleep.

The lake itself is only small with an abundance of features, including bushes, over hanging trees, reed lines and clear spots in amongst the thick weed. The water was gin clear which gave me an opportunity to see moving fish not just in the margins but also at range. There is a good head of fish in the lake between the 5-8lb bracket with the opportunity of one of the slight larger double figure specimens.

On arrival to the lake the sun was out in all its glory with clear blue skies, a thing of rarity these days. I could see Tench in the shallows basking in the heat, mimicking the behaviour of carp. It was exciting to see this as well as fizzy patches of bubbles dotted around the lake obviously from feeding fish. I was very keen to get the marker rod out and locate a few areas to begin putting in some bait.

Don’t Get Caught Out!

The lake allows you to fish up to 3 rods however, I stuck to using 2 as I only had one valid EA Rod Licence allowing me only to fish 2 rods. (Something to bear in mind so you don’t ever get caught out!)

My chosen swim gave me a comfortable approach to the 10 hour session with ample space for casting, bivvy and plenty of room for playing fish without any tangles. I had been informed the Tench fishing on this lake can be frantic at times so having plenty of room was a must.

In front of me I found two ideal spots where I had watched fish role and seen plenty of bubbling. I checked each spot with the marker so I had a much better understanding on what was happening below the surface.

My right hand rod was to be cast at approximately 30 yards to 4ft of water with a slightly thinner green weed covering the bottom. The other spot was much closer in at 10 yards to the side of a very dense patch of weed. It was just at the bottom of the marginal shelf into about 6ft of water.

For my approach I used two Greys 1.75lb test curve rods armed with Shimano Ultegra 5500 XTCs using a static carp like approach with Fox Bite Alarms and light indicators.
The Greys Rods have a fantastic fun action for playing fish of all sizes but have the power behind then for casting larger feeders, as well as coping with the odd carp that may come along.

Loaded onto the reels was Ultima’s 12lb Power Carp Ultra, a flurocarbon coated line with minimal stretch and high abrasion resisitance. Should a fish decide to plough through the weed or head towards any snags I trust the line to not let me down.
I was not needing to cast quite so far on this lake and it would not require the heavy approach of solid bags.
I wanted to ensure my baits sat on the top of the thin weed making sure they were as visible to the fish as possible and making sure the hooks didn’t end up masked by the weed. To do this I converted a couple of Drennan Flat Based Blockend Feeders fishing them in conjunction with a helicopter rig. The Flat Based Feeders I find sit better on top of weed than a lead or cylindrical feeder. They were attached to Ultima’s 25lb Power Core (lead core) ensuring everything was tight to the bottom.

I used two different rigs, both of which have worked in the past but it also allowed me to see which was working better on the day.

I prebaited the swim with 10 Spombs of a creative mix of baits, glugs and oils. I like to draw the fish in and keep them in the swim grubbing around for a good while, so I make sure there is plenty of small bits and pieces for them to feast on.

The mix consisted of Hinders Bloodworm Pellet, Little Gemz Pellets, Krill and Shrimp Meal, and Bloodworm Glug along with a number of CC Moore’s baits including their frozen snails, Asian Spice Meal, Oily Bag Mix, and Chili Hemp Oil. I also introduced plenty of turmeric to the maggots and plenty of Hinders Hempseed and Maize.

The runs were frantic, and sometimes it was difficult to keep both rods in the water at the same time. When things slowed down I made sure I was topping up the swim with bait to hold the fish and also recast very regularly to make sure the bait was constantly trickling in. Tench really do seem to respond to the disturbance of bait being regularly introduced.

Once the Tench switch onto the bait you are putting in they can really get through it, so it is worth going prepared with more bait than you think you will need. You can always take some home with you.
It turned out I was the first angler this year to have a decent haul from the lake I was on, and had 16 Tench in all. This included five fish over 7lb with 7.6lb being the biggest. I had numerous 6s and the smallest was a male fish of 4.14lb.

I was absolutely made up!

I have just moved to a new location and looking at some new big pits to have a go at for some really big Tench. I will need to be doing some serious pre baiting and will be making sure I go armed with plenty of bait.

I am extremely excited about fishing the new waters and hope to continue if not improve on my first Tench session this year.

I hope you too are out having a go for some monster Tench.

Tight Lines

Andy Loble


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