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catching tench

Cliff Turner

Senior Member
Ok chaps, lets hear your favourite most successful methods for catching tincas ? Im planning on a few sessions when we open up again and the lakes I will be fishing (in Essex) all have a good head of other species (silvers and carp). So how do I target the tench specifically ? Last season I caught a few on method feeder using short hook lengths and a mixture of pellets and mini boils but roach were still a problem when using pellets. Obviously corn and maggot would be worthy baits but again Im worried about the silvers. I did see a rig on this forum last year using red rig foam to pop up the maggots on a maggot feeder rig and I do plan on trying that. I also want to do some basic waggler fishing close in using the usual baits. So what should I be doing differently ?
 

Edward Adcock

Senior Member
When float fishing and there are no lilly pads around I rake the swim and create a landing strip two rod lengths out to the rod tip. I use ground bait with a blood additive and catapult in micro pellets and hemp with bread, corn, or little cubes of meat on the hook. If I succeed in luring them close in I will use the lift method purely for the joy of doing so. This is just my preferred way of fishing for tench which was shown to me a long, long time ago and tends to work on the few tench lakes I have access to. Seeing the fizzing appearing closer and closer to the float gives me a huge rush.
 

Mark Swaby

Senior Member
Cliff, Plastic maggots tend to avoid roach and Tench take them well. I use an inline feeder, dead maggot, hemp and as little groundbait as possible, short hooklength and two plastic maggot super glued butt to butt in a vee, on the hair. But they do learn quickly and plastic corn can be a change hookbait
 

Richard Turner

Active Member
@
+1 for the lift method especially on shallow swims. I like to rake the swim, put in lots of groundbait and sit waiting for the telltale bubbkes to appear. Red maggot is good as is sweet corn and bread flake. The only time that i have ever entered a coarse fishing match, i drew one of the highest number and ended up in a very shallow corner swim (12-18 inches) on a hot sunny day and incredibly managed to extract 3 tench to win thd match! Happy days!
 

Richard Turner

Active Member
As a ps, i have just found the peacock quill float that i used in that match. In deeper water, i prefer to use the layon method with some 18-20 inches between shot and hook. Roll on summer!
 

Peter Brownbill

Senior Member
Over the years I’ve used the esp large method feeder ,with a sweet groundbait of pellet , hookbaits I like small boilie and pellet on a short rig with a supple braid . My Tench PB 8.10 fell to a Maggot corn rig , I used this rig because there was no nuisance fish with it being a large Pit, my mate said he liked the rig but doubted I’d catch on it. I do like the lift method with a pin. Not targeted them for a few years now, but if we get out of this crisis I’ll be on em .
 

Alex Warren

Senior Member
I’ve had a lot of success over the last few years using maggot feeder on a heli rig & short hook link, as others have stated. No nuisance fish on my water, so just fished straight maggots on a side 14, with enough red foam to pop the bait up the length of the hooklink. Many good anglers swear by artificial maggots, so they must work where they’re required, I’ve always just felt more confident with the real thing. I use red maggots exclusively, but I don’t think it really matters.

Another good method is a worm ‘kebab’ - inch long sections of lob on a hair, topped with an artificial grub, small rubber bit of corn or rig foam. I normally fish this with an in-line lead or method feeder. Again on a short hooklink, fished safe bolt style.

Finally, I begrudgingly took a leaf out of the carp boy’s books and use a Ronnie rig with a fluorescent pop up (pineapple works for me). Initially, I had to ask what a Ronnie rig was in the tackle shop and bought a few ready tied. I make my own now. Like the worm rig, fished with an in-line lead or method feeder. Most of the tench in my water of choice are unwanted captures from the syndicate carp water next door, so they’ve seen a boilie or two...

When conditions and swim choice allow, I’ll rig up a lob on the lift method, with a centrepin. It’s great to catch them like that... I usually only get a few sessions on the float in before the rivers open again, they seem to be further out until early June...

A few key things to consider, in my opinion:

- Try to fish on the last few feet of a shelf, where possible. Take the time to plumb, it’ll pay off.
- Don’t be afraid to crash around with a rake, Spod/Spomb or big balls of groundbait (my preferred option), I think tench are naturally inquisitive and you really can ‘ring the dinner bell’.
- Ring the changes and adapt your methods - this could be specific to my water, but probably not... On more than one occasion, what worked the previous evening won’t get a sniff the following session, even in perfectly matching conditions. I’ve always found one of the above to work though. If they’re loving the red grubs, put them on both rods!
- I think it’s important to use a popped up bait too, I think tench grub about and use their pecs to stir up the bottom when feeding confidently. Most baits are intercepted a few inches off the bottom.

* Sorry for the essay, but what else is there to do on lockdown?

Hope you’re all well!
 
Worms have been my most successful method the last few years, I use a quick stop and cut large dendras in half and put four to six half’s on and then use a maggot feeder stuffed with chopped worm and some maggots; either inline or heli style.

On one water I fished it was all I caught on.

Fake maggots and a maggot feeder are another great option, as is fake castors and a small pva bag of castors.

I’ll spod out a mix of hemp, buckwheat, and molasses meal. Sometimes dead maggots too. Though this year had planned on trying a bit more of a groundbait mix with blitzed vitalin and worm casts.

i Like to find a ‘wall’ to fish up too, either the bottom of a marginal shelf, bottom of a bar or a weed bed. Tops of bars can be good too, but I still like to find the edges of these and fish in light weed or near thick weed.

Deepest I’ve caught from is 13ft, I suppose depths are very specific to lakes but I don’t feel particularly confident fishing very deep areas. Ideally would go for 8-11ft depths. Any of you fellas caught well in deeper water?
 

Terry Simner

Senior Member
A great thread, full of useful information re. baits and methods. I can't really add much to it but my few 'takeaways' from what you've asked for, what's been supplied, and from my experience is ...
  1. Catching via float is a much nicer way of catching tench, but method/feeder fishing will almost certainly produce more fish.
  2. Using 2 or 3 rods & buzzers when silvers and small perch are present can do your head in, but plastic baits can help with this.
  3. If using float then laying on/lift method is the way to go, especially for the sheer pleasure of using this style of fishing. But if you need to fish more than 2+ rod lengths out, or depth is over 7-8ft, then using a Polaris can be good fun.
  4. Virtually any bait will work when they're fizzing, but line bites (esp via float fishing) can be a wind up.
  5. Can't really argue with anything said in earlier posts on this thread. Tench are my 2nd fave fish ...wonderful to look at, and fantastic (weed loving!) scrappers. 'Best' method will be pool/lake/swim dependent.
 

Alex Warren

Senior Member
Virtually any bait will work when they're fizzing
Unless they’re on ‘the naturals’...

I can’t upload the video direct, but I’ve put it on my Twitter - hope you can see it...


I tried a freelined lob, a bunch of maggots and a bit of flake (from my sarnie) in these bubbles for 30-45 minutes a piece. The line twitched once or twice, but that was it.

For a good two hours up until dusk, there weren’t many spots on the lake that weren’t fizzing. There’s only a couple of Carp in the lake, so I knew they were Tincas. Went back to the aforementioned tactics and not a bite did I have in... Daphnia explosion or bloodworm party, I don’t know...

The ultimate in fishing frustration.

Wouldn’t wish it on anyone...
 

Jon Frisby

Senior Member
Just musing a thought here, very tempted, with using the waggler at about 20yd, thick topped peacock, straight through 6 or 8lb line, bait of choice. Heres the twist, I fancy swapping the bulk for an olivette of around 8gram and using a Guru line stop as the olivette stopper. With another line stop 2 inch above, working as something for the fish to bolt against.
I used this a few times on the Tidal Trent over the years, minus the float, when fishing maggot.
 

Graham Elliott

Senior Member
Like a float ledger Jon?

Alex is spot on regards fizzing tench.

They can be very selective, especially when on bloodworms
I remember a day 2 years ago. Incredible activity in the swim.
Bread and corn totally ignored, in fact foul hooked three fish.

The only thing that sometimes seems to work in those conditions are small redworms or brandlings. None with us that day and ground dry as a bone.
 

Jon Frisby

Senior Member
Like a float ledger Jon?

Alex is spot on regards fizzing tench.

They can be very selective, especially when on bloodworms
I remember a day 2 years ago. Incredible activity in the swim.
Bread and corn totally ignored, in fact foul hooked three fish.

The only thing that sometimes seems to work in those conditions are small redworms or brandlings. None with us that day and ground dry as a bone.
Yes Graham, very tempted.
I first saw this fizzing and bubbling on a lake outside of Fareham Hampshire, Funtley lake. I was fishing 18yd out, on a slider in maybe 14ft of water, I had maggots casters and corn, not a fish. The float was bobbing all over the place. I ended up catching on worms that I had to dig out of the bank with a bank stick.
Wonder if it's still there.
 

Terry Simner

Senior Member
Aah but there's a huge difference between casting to fizz, and getting them fizzing in your swim. If they're fizzing without any bait going in then they're 'on the blood', but if you get them fizzing with, say, corn, hemp & casters, you can catch half a dozen on a sucked maggot :D But then, with their heads down and their wallop-brush tails up, line bite bib 'n bobs can give you the jitters :)
 

Alex Dalton

Senior Member
Always liked early morning tench sessions whether pond or canal, a few pre dawn freebies , in senses tanches ground bait. Float fishing does it for me , cocktails of compost heap red worms, caster , red maggot , with a bit of usually squeezed sweetcorn. That thump thump near the weeds when hooked and pack up for about 9.30 am, what,s not to like !
 

Graham Elliott

Senior Member
I had one session last season that gave me 35+ tench.

Nothing bigger than 6lb and most 4-5lb.

Great fun on the match float rod. Red mags and caster

They loved the hemp and hali groundbait that had been mixed with the hookbaits.
I pulled them in from some distance to 3 rod lengths out.
 
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