June is the perfect time to get out and catch some beautiful tench, so here are our Top Ten Tips for tench fishing from our National Regions Manager, John Cheyne.
- Find the right venue. It might seem like an obvious one, but you can’t catch tench if they aren’t there! If you are relatively new to tench fishing then it’s probably better to find a water that contains a good head of small to medium sized tench, rather than heading for a rock-hard big fish venue.
- Use your eyes for signs of fish. This is probably the best bit of advice we can give. So rather than picking a swim because it’s near the car park, or looks pretty, have a good walk around the venue, ideally with binoculars, so that you can look for tench rolling on the surface or signs of those tell-tale pinhead bubbles sent up by feeding fish.
- Tench love weed. If you can’t see signs of feeding fish then find somewhere you can present a bait next to weed and you won’t go far wrong. Tench love to feed in weedbeds and use them for cover, so a clear patch near a weedbed is a likely spot to start fishing. Failing that try up close to lily beds.
- Rake things up! If you have the time, then raking a swim can be a deadly method. Tench love browsing on natural foodstuff like bloodworm, insects and snails. Raking a swim will not only clear an area of weed so you can fish more effectively, but will also uncover lots and lots of juicy titbits to encourage the tench to feed in your swim.
- Check your nets and boots. Invasive plants like floating pennywort can ruin a healthy fishery and it’s all too easy to accidentally introduce these sorts of plants to new waters via nets and boots, so always Check, Clean & Dry your nets, stinkbags and clothes between fishing sessions.
- Lob one out there ! many top Tench anglers including current Drennan Cup holder Dai Gribble swear by lobworms as a hookbait and amongst your loose offerings. Keeping a big lobworm on the hook can be tricky, though, so try tipping with a caster or chopping your worm baits into short sections and mounting these on a hair rig using a quickstop.
- Corn is a sweet bait. Don’t ignore sweetcorn, it can be a deadly bait for tench. Try fishing two grains on the hook when float fishing, or for fishing at distance, use a floating piece of artificial corn popped up as part of a method feeder rig.
- Keep ’em feeding. Once they start feeding it’s important to keep the fish in your swim if you want to catch throughout your session, so keeping feed going in regularly can be important. However if you are using sweetcorn, make sure you don’t overfeed, half a dozen grains after every bite is more than enough. Personally, I love micro pellets as feed, it’s impossible for the fish to hoover them all up quickly so they tend to keep the fish in the swim, rooting about for ages.
- Go Classic. At least once in your life you need to spend a dawn session, float fishing the lift method on a lily fringed lake for tench. It might not be the most effective method for targeting big fish, but once the bubbles start fizzing around your float as the early morning sun streams through the trees you will experience a little bit of fishing heaven.
- Size isn’t everything. Sometimes the angling press and pictures on facebook can give you an unrealistic expectation when it comes to the size of tench you are likely to catch. So try to ignore thoughts of big fish and instead see if you can beat your personal best number of tench caught in a session. Fishing effectively and efficiently on a local water with small to medium tench, will teach you a huge amount and will improve you as an angler. It will also often bring more enjoyment that long car journeys, days spent blanking and hours of shovelling bait into far away “big fish” venues.
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