Getting Started

Starting Tench fishing, a Beginners guide. By Kev Durman

So, you want to catch some tench, hopefully over the next few pages you’ll pick up some tips to help you on your way.

Tench are often voted Britain’s favourite coarse fish and its easy to see why. There’s something just that bit different about them what with the green flanks and beady red eyes, they fight hard for their size too.

The obvious place to start is to look at venues. Slow moving rivers, canals, farm ponds, old estate lakes through to huge gravel pits will all have tench. In fact, the only water they do not particularly take to is fast moving rivers. Canals always seem to be a haven as my local Royal Military Canal proves, I must have caught hundreds from there over the years. For the big fish hunter gravel pits always produce the better specimens. Just about every day ticket or club water will have tench, a quick look at a club or day ticket fishery website will point you to the right water. Many Fisheries have dedicated Tench and Crucian waters, the Marsh farm complex at Godalming is a fine example.

Equipment needed can be as basic or complicated as you want to make it. For smaller tench of 2 to 3lb a simple elasticated whip or short pole will hook and land tench. Float rods and reels and feeder fishing are both great methods. Tench are predominantly bottom feeders, this makes them easier to target as we know where we want to be fishing.

When fishing a float, the use of a plummet is essential, as your hook bait wants to be touching or laying on the bottom. The most versatile float to go for would be an unweighted straight Peacock waggler. With this float you have options of bulk shotting around the float or with a heavy shot near the hook to fish a lift method style. Line breaking stains need to be around 6lb for general float fishing, there is no need to fish overly fine. Always use a hook length that is weaker than your main line. Hook size depends on bait, say a 16 for double maggot 14 for single piece of corn or a 12 for double corn, hookable pellets, worms and bigger baits. Float fishing methods can be found our rigs and methods section.

Feeder rods come in many shapes and sizes, just about any carp type feeder rod is suitable for Tench, tench can fight hard so a rod with a bit of strength is required, many carp feeder rods have a lovely through action. Keep away from powerful rods designed for punching feeders great distances. The most effective type of feeder when feeder fishing is the inline method feeder. Fishmeal method mixes are excellent, used with small 6/8mm method boilies. Terminal tackle would be 8lb mainline. The size of feeder depends on the casting distance required, 30/45g is a good starting point. Short 4-inch method hook link or around 6/7lb with either a bait Spike, band or quickstop for attaching the hook bait.

As with all fishing make sure you carry an ready assembled landing net and use an unhooking mat at all time.

Browse our website for more great tips on rigs and Fisheries advice.