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Details of freshwater fish anglers might come across when fishing the waters of the UK and Ireland



Barbel  latin name: Barbus barbus



Bleak Alburnus alburnas fish species



bream  - latin name - Abramis Brama



Carp Cyprinidae  Cyprinus carpio



crucian carp

Crucian Carp


chub -  Leuciscus_cephalus



Dace - latin name - Leuciscus leuciscus



eel - latin name - Anguilla anguilla



grayling Latin name thymallus thymallus



Gudgeon Latin name Gobio gobio






pike latin name: esox lucius



Roach latin name: Rutilus Rutilus



Rudd - latin name- Scardinius erythrophthalmus






sliver bream

Silver Bream


Tench latin name: Tinca Tinca




Wels Catfish


Zander - latin name - Stizostedion lucioperca



Species of UK Coarse Fish



Description, baits and methods for fishing and catching Tench


Common name:  Tench
Latin name:  Tinca Tinca
Family:  Cyprinidae


tench  Latin name:- Tinca Tinca


Current UK Rod Caught Coarse Fish Record

TENCH (Tinca tinca) 15lb 3oz 6dr - 2001 - D Ward


Description and habitat of Tench:
Tench are easily identified by their thick set, well rounded, dark olive green coloured body. The scales are very tiny which give them the appearance of actually being scale-less. The fins are rounded and the caudal fin is large almost unforked. The sexes can be distinguish by the shape of the pelvic fins on the underside of the body. Male tench have very large round shaped fins and those of the female are more triangular in shape and longer. An average fish will be 12 - 16ins. Grows to 15+lb and a fish over 5lb considered a good fish. There are also golden, yellow and orange tench but these are mainly found in ornamental ponds. The tench used to be called the 'doctor fish' because other fish would deliberately rub against them and be cured of their ailments with the slime from the tench which was thought to have healing properties. Found in lakes, ponds, slow running rivers and canals but more often found in still waters.


Fishing for Tench:
The first thing to consider when going tench fishing is where you are going to fish. Most lakes, ponds and canals have tench in them but choosing a water known to hold a good head of tench puts the odds of you catching one in your favour. Make enquiries about venues in your local tackle shop or with local anglers. When you have chosen a venue ask the fishery owner or the bailiff which is the favoured peg, best method and baits for catching tench from your chosen water. If you haven't got any information for whatever reason have a walk round and look for signs of tench or a likely place to fish for them, Tench are known to feed in the margins, among reeds, lily beds and other features.


The best time to catch tench is either early dawn or at dusk and through the night. Tench feed almost exclusively on the bottom and like to root about in the mud and weeds looking for snails, grubs and anything else they can eat. You can spot tench feeding by the stream of tiny bubbles that can be seen bubbling on the waters surface and / or the muddy area of water discoloured by the tench rooting in the mud for food.


fishing rake raking for tenchRaking. A tench rake can be purchased from tackle stores or made by tying two garden rake heads back to back and attaching a strong rope.

Ask the fishery owner first if you are allowed to use a rake;

Before you set up your rods or do anything else rake around the bottom of your swim. This will stir the bottom of the pond which will expose invertebrates and other natural foods. Tench are attracted to this and they love searching the murky water of a freshly raked swim for unearthed snails, worms and other food.

Some anglers say it is better to rake the night before and others say an hour before fishing. I prefer to rake just prior to my fishing. The water is still cloudy and insects and unearthed worms etc have not had time to re-bury themselves.


Tip:  While raking your swim have you ever got your rake stuck in the reeds or worse still lost a rake?
Here is a tip that may help avoid this.

Don't tie the main rope to the centre of the rake as is usual, tie it to the rake head between the last two tines as shown in the diagram. Using a strong rope but of a slightly lesser strength than the main rope, tie the main rope to the outside of the ring as shown in the diagram.
This setup will still let you use the rake as normal but if it does get stuck, instead of the main rope snapping and you losing the rake the weaker rope will break; this will have the effect of pulling on the end of the rake, thus turning it and pulling it out sideways.


General fishing methods for catching Tench:

Tench respond very well to groundbaiting so if you can, pre-baiting the area you are going to fish beforehand could give you a better chance of catching. Start by laying down a bed of groundbait using brown crumb or continental groundbait with sweetcorn, casters, chopped up worms and some of your hook bait mixed in. Other combinations can also be used for groundbait; hemp, particles and small pellets are a good choice. Tench seem to prefer a sweet bait and some anglers add molasses, a sweet syrup, to their groundbait or other sweet tasting additives. This is not a hard and fast rule though; if you want to try savoury or spicy baits there is nothing stopping you.




If using maggots mixed in with your groundbait try adding some dead ones as well. These will not bury themselves in the mud.


Once I have laid a bed of groundbait, adding more feed into the water depends if I am float fishing or feeder fishing. If I am float fishing I prefer to loose feed little and often depending how often I am getting bites and if bites are few I slow down or hold back on loose feeding. If I am using a feeder I rarely add loose feed but sometimes at the beginning of a session I may throw or catapult some loose sweetcorn into the area I will be fishing and after that introduce feed via the feeder.


Tench can be caught using any method of fishing. Some anglers prefer using a maggot feeder or method feeder and sit waiting for that slow pull round of the rod tip to say there is a fish on. Other anglers prefer to float fish with either a rod or pole.


As mentioned, Tench love patrolling the margins and around lily beds and reeds so float fishing with a waggler, set slightly over depth, close to reeds is a good proven tactic.


Tench bites are usually a couple of knocks or small lifts on the float then it slides away slowly under the water. Don't strike too soon, wait for the bite to develop properly. Wait for the float to disappear completely before striking. Tench are hard-fighting fish and strong tackle is advised.


Baits for catching Tench:
The list of baits is endless but ones known to catch tench are worms, lob worms, redworms sweetcorn, bread (large piece of flake seems best but can be caught on either punch, flake or paste), maggots (Red seems best), casters, pinkies, mini-boilies, pellets, prawns, cockles and mussels (not pickled in vinegar).


As with all fishing, if you are not catching using one method or bait try another. Do not be afraid to try something different.


Note: When you have caught a tench, as with all fish, handle it carefully. DO NOT use a towel, cloth or anything similar to hold it in. Doing this will remove the protective mucus from the fishes body and can seriously harm it.  Also I have seen pictures on the internet, especially facebook, of tench laid on hard and stony ground where they can be harmed;  DO NOT do this. Doing either of the above can SERIOUSLY harm the fish and will get you a lifetime ban from most fisheries.





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