Chance of a Double?
With many members now fishing for barbel, chub and predators, we are all necessarily distracted from our favourite species – the tench.
Of course, they can still be captured at this time of year, but for many now tench fishing has become a Spring to of early Summer activity. undoubtedly if you have the biggest tench in mind then this is the time to start your campaign.
Considering the overall size of tench, there is no doubt that the last decade has seen an increase in weights across the board. The Tenchfishers have catch records extending back many years. Members are asked to submit an annual return which is collated and forms the basis of a season analysis. Contributing members will receive a very detailed summary detailing venue performance, weights and successful baits.
If we look across the last decade (2010-20), we can see the number of tench over 8lb has increased quite dramatically. Fish over 9lb to “doubles” (10lb+) are of course still pretty rare and really are a catch of a lifetime for many anglers.
If you fish outside of Berks/Hants/Surrey, Kent or Norfolk for example then you might wish to set your sights a little lower! So ultimately what is termed a specimen is very much based on the lakes and locations you fish. In the rich waters of the SE then I think 8lb makes the mark as a specimen and male fish over 7lb. If your favourite tench lake is located in the Midlands, then you need to downscale your expectations! But at the end of the day every tench landed is a prize.
Looking at our statistics for the last decade fish over 9lb to doubles represent just 3.5% of all captures. 10lb+ tench landed represent 1.2% of all tench recorded over that decade.
This figure is derived from around 14,000 recorded tench. So quite a decent sample.
In 2020 report “doubles” were 0.7% all fish recorded for that year
Conversely fish under 5lb to 6lb represent around 48% of tench netted. So unless you are on a very exceptional venue then you can see that you will see quite a few tench in this size bracket while you wait for the mega tench.
However this assumes you’ve done your research and they are in the venue to begin with.
You would need a tench over 14lb to get into the Top 10 today and the entry point to the Top 50 is currently 12lb 13oz! But don’t allow statistics to overwhelm the simple pleasures of tench fishing.
However it is quite interesting to quantify the chances of hooking a “giant” and I guess we all think about this from time to time!
Some more than others….
Gravel pits are the mainstay for the biggest tench and many of these are thriving carp venues. This is the likeliest venue for a red letter day capture. Do visit our venues page here for some top tench fisheries. Linear Fisheries is my pick of the 2022 season.
Words: Steve Innes
Catch Data: John McAngus (Records Officer 2015 – 2020)
Images: Our Members