Tench fishing is very popular but not always easy.
Here we explain what you should pay attention to, which lures are the right ones and what kind of equipment you need.
We also explain the correct techniques (i.e. how to fish for tench (ground, pose, etc.), the waters (river, canal, lake) and the correct fishing equipment.
And of course we show you when to fish for tench (when is better: spring, summer, autumn or winter?).
If you follow the tips, there should be nothing to stop you from fishing for the big tench.
And now we hope you enjoy reading this really comprehensive article.
Tench (Tinca tinca)
First of all you will learn some information about the tench. Because only those who know their “enemy” exactly can outwit them. It is therefore important to us that you get as much information as possible about the tench as a fish.
The tench (Tinca tinca), also known as the tench, can reach a weight of up to 7.5 kg and is considered a peaceful fish. It lives in slowly flowing waters. But the fish also feels at home in still waters. These include ponds, ponds or lakes.
The distribution area of the tench lies in Europe and Asia. Tench live predominantly throughout Europe and are very popular for fishing there. Tench also prefer warmer ponds and lakes.
However, it also happens that they reproduce and thrive in flowing waters.
Tench prefer to feed at dusk. Then, when it just gets dark, their hunt for food begins. At this time they like to stay very close to the herb or reed banks.
Tench hunt for worms and insect larvae in mud and on water plants. But also water plants and dead plants are on the tench’s menu. Tench also keep hibernation. Therefore they are mainly found at this time of year on the bottom mud. However, they completely stop eating during the winter months. Therefore, winter is not exactly easy to outwit them.
Tench spawn in shallow water. After hatching, the larvae usually remain attached to the plants for several days until they detach from them. In addition, the small tench grow very slowly and the scales are protected by a dense layer of mucus.
This gives them some protection against smaller attackers. If you are looking for more information about the target fish tench, we recommend the book AnzeigeGrossfisch Angeln: Carp, barbel, tench & co.
Fishing equipment for tench fishing
xqThe majority of fishing is done with natural bait for pose or bottom fishing.
Once you have them on the hook they are usually very lively and fight until nothing works. Therefore they are also known as very good fighters. This is also the reason why you shouldn’t save on fishing equipment.
Because here you often pay twice if money is saved at the wrong end.
Choosing the right tench rod
Good tench rods usually have a length of 3.20 m to 3.90 m. You can usually not do much wrong with this.
Large rods over 4.20 m are especially suitable for trolling.
The casting weight is often between 10 and 150 g. On average the casting weight is about 30 to 90 g.
In addition, there are different types of rods. Because it depends on the technique you want to use to fish for the target fish, the tench.
No matter whether you fish for match, feeder, pose, spinning or bottom fishing. For each technique there are also different types of fishing. The following rods have therefore proved to be particularly suitable for trolling:
- Match rods
- Feeder rods
- Pose rods
- Lightly-ringed spinning rods
- Ground rods
Below is our table for comparing suitable trolling rods:
For us, the display daiwa Procaster Trout available at Amazon has proven to be particularly suitable. It has a total length of 3,60m.
With a transport length of 127 cm it is very suitable for tench fishing. Furthermore it is relatively light with a weight of 235 g. All in all this rod has 3 parts which can be connected very easily.
However, we can also recommend the DAM SUMO SENSOMAX METHOD FEEDER indicator for tench fishing.
It was designed for anglers who value quality.
Reels for tench fishing
We recommend a medium stationary reel. A particularly large reel is not necessary. A medium one is usually sufficient.
Nevertheless, make sure that the reels have a sufficiently large line capacity. A lot of line is very helpful, especially for long distances and long casts.
Sizes between 6000 and 8000 are usually completely sufficient. If you prefer to fish for target fish in small ponds or ponds, a stationary reel in the size 2500 to 6000 is also fine.
As tench also has a lot of power, a strong braking system is also important. This way the forces can be sufficiently “absorbed” by the tench.
The reels for tench are largely reminiscent of carp fishing reels. In the following you will find some stationary reels in direct comparison which are also suitable for tench:
Our favourite is the Shimano Exage 2500 RC fighter brake reel. It is light and not so expensive. Because it has a total of 4 ball bearings and a roller bearing.
It also runs with a ratio of 5.2:1, which means that you need 1 turn and wind the line 5.2 times.
We recommend you choose a braided fishing line with a diameter of 0.06mm – 0.08mm. In the following shop you will find a large selection of braided lines.
Alternatively, a monofilament fishing line with 0.18 to 0.22 mm is also possible.
You should only use a monofilament fishing line for the target fish tench in an emergency. This is because monofilament fishing lines usually have a very high elongation. If the tench then bites, in the worst case it can lead to line breakage.
Because of the elongation the tench also often takes the opportunity to “dive” and hide. For this they use stones, roots and other “shelters”.
If you want to play it safe, you should therefore choose a braided fishing line on tench.
Fishing hook & hook size
If you fish with natural lures, you should choose a hook size between 8 and 16. We recommend you put worms on the hook.
These are very catchy (we’ll go into this in more detail in a moment) and they don’t usually fly off the hook so quickly.
For example the display hooks from Cormoran have proven to be good.
There are different types of lures for target fishing for tench.
The best results when fishing for tench have been achieved with worms, corn, snails or even mosquito larvae.
But you can also get real “results” with boilies (especially mini boilies) and with spoons. It just depends on the right time.
Because in the natural environment the natural food increases especially in the summer months. That means in June, July and August. Then the chance of landing a capital tench is also higher.
The situation is different in spring and autumn. Here they are not so active anymore and reduce their activities a bit.
In the following we will go into more detail about the different lures. You will also find out what you should keep in mind during the different seasons.
Dewworms / earthworms / dung worms
Both dewworms and earthworms as well as dung worms usually work relatively quickly with the target fish tench and especially in the summer months. That’s why these worms are the favourite bait for many tench anglers.
If you choose worms, the worm should always be adapted to the season. If it’s particularly cold, the worm should be smaller. In the summer there may be several worms.
Straight worm bundles are a real blessing for tench. However, worms can also lead to by-catches. Then perch and whitefish are on the agenda.
Alternatively, you can also try it with dung worms.
Here you will find a really good offer on display fishing worms for tench fishing. It is about 120 roundworms in a styrofoam box.
This gives you a little peace and quiet.
Maize / hard maize as fishing bait
Tench also like to eat maize.
This is especially the case when, for example, bream or roach are frequently fished in these waters. These are often fished with maize and therefore the tench have become accustomed to it.
Corn is best bought in the supermarket from a can.
But there is a trick to protect yourself from roach and bream:
For this, the hard corn is grown by the hair and offered to the tench. This has the following advantage: Because the corn is harder and the presentation is made on the “hair”, the corn is usually not eaten prematurely by roaches and bream before they are ready.
But we always advise not to overdo it with the corn. Carps also like to eat the maize. Therefore there is a good chance that you will also get carp as by-catch.
Furthermore, the places where there is too much corn are often avoided by the tench.
But snails are also eaten by the tench.
Snails like to eat tench snails (Bithynia tentaculata) which are found in their habitat. But also algae growth is on their menu.
They search the ground with their proboscis. Especially in muddy soils, they usually find what they are looking for very quickly.
Larger specimens also strike slugs from time to time when the opportunity arises (e.g. when they are washed into the water by heavy rain).
So if a snail is held directly in front of their “nose”, there is a good chance that they will jump on it.
Snails are suitable as fishing bait
You can find snails in the surrounding meadows or in the water plants directly on the bank.
If you try it on a lake or pond, we recommend sugar mosquito larvae. Because especially in spring, they search here with their trunks for potential prey.
Sometimes they also give themselves away when gases rise from the turbulent earth. Then you can watch them rooting around. But sometimes it can also be a carp, which acts similarly.
But sometimes the mosquito larvae are directly on the surface as shown in the following picture:
Sooner or later sugar mosquitoes or other species develop from them.
If you want to be on the safe side you should use mosquito larvae. These have a particularly high potential.
Boilies also work very often when fishing with bait. Boilies have the advantage that they are available in different colours, shapes, tastes and weights. They can also be offered over longer distances.
Miniboilies are also best suited for fishing for tench. These are about 10 to 16 mm in size. Here two miniboilies are attached to each hair with a 6 to 10 mm fishing hook. The leader is then approx. 10 to 20 cm long.
If possible use one sinking and one floating Boilie. This way your food supply “stands” on the bottom and can be better drawn in by the tench. It is also accordingly conspicuous.
An alternative is to use half a sinking and half a PopUp Boilie. Thereby it “floats” in principle in the water. But if it reaches the bottom, there is the danger that it tips over and does not look so conspicuous.
Miniboilies are especially advantageous if there are many insect and mosquito larvae in the water. Then the tench are used to rather small food anyway.
Alternatively a food mixture is also a good choice. This serves as basic food for feeding. The following elements are part of this mixture:
- Canned maize
- Pellets of fish meal
- Miniboilies of 10
The complete mixture is offered at the method feeder and is then distributed over the ground.
In combination with the two miniboilies this is a very good method to get closer to the tench.
Alternatively, the boilies can be placed on the lake with a food spinner to feed the tench. In this case the boilies are placed about 50 to 70 m from the fishing place.
We can recommend the Mini Boilies from Balzer in 10 mm for the tench.
Tench fishing with indicator
You can also fish successfully on tench with spoons. These are usually not as catchy as natural bait, but it is still possible in principle.
Therefore you should be patient in any case. If you have the choice, you should use a natural bait (corn, thaw worm or mosquito larvae).
Other interesting and effective baits are maggots, pinkies, mealworms, wheat, hemp, mussel meat, tiger nuts, pop ups and liver.
However, the most common and best tench baits should be those described above. You can use the ones mentioned above especially if many people are fishing for tench on the lake and use the most common baits.
The lures mentioned above are a good alternative to offer the tench a little variety. Most of the time you are well advised to use a little variety (something the tench don’t see very often).
Schleienmontage – Montages for trolling
In the following we would like to introduce some of the Schleienmontagen and how you can best fish with them on tench. We explain the best techniques.
The lures are offered in different heights due to the different techniques and methods. Depending on the water, we recommend that you try several different lure sets.
So you know what works best for you personally.
Tench fishing with feed basket Mounting for fishing on ground
Below you will find one of our favourite tench mounts.
And that’s what you need:
- Feeding basket (40 g is usually sufficient, we recommend the one from AnzeigeFox Matrix)
- Carabiner swivel (for example AnzeigeFox Matrix)
For the complete angling assembly we used a feeding basket and equipped it with some baits (like corn). The feed basket was fastened with a snap hook swivel.
We also used 2 double surgeon knots to connect the second carabiner swivel to the leader.
The following diagram should better illustrate the rail assembly for rail fishing:
It is important that the leader with the corresponding hook contains an additional lure.
Pose mounting for trolling
Another very effective mounting is the pose mounting. You need the following utensils for the installation for target fishing on tench with pose:
- pose set (2 to 6 g are available here)
- large display swivel set
- rubber bead
- tench display hook size 10 from Cormoran
The rubber or rubber hook is the decisive factor. Stopper bead which prevents that the pose can slip. So the bait is always offered at a certain height.
The following graphic illustrates the structure of the complete assembly:
Of course you can vary the lure. We have had very good experience with (rope) worms in this pose mounting for tench.
Places & Waters
Here are a few tips on the places where you can fish tench very successfully. In principle it likes to be in lakes, in the river and in the canal.
We will therefore go into all 3 areas in more detail and show you what really matters in the respective waters.
Tench fishing on lake
Tench like to stay on the shore (2 m) between the water lilies. They also like to swim between the reeds.
In principle: the greener the better. Therefore, look out for strong plant growth if possible. This also includes places with herbaceous growth.
However, if there are a lot of carp in the water, the chance of tench is rather small. This is because they often push the tench back.
You like very dense vegetation and this is what makes tench fishing a little difficult at times. Tench are also very sensitive to noise.
Especially in the lake you can often locate them by rising air bubbles. This is because they like to rummage the ground for food with their mouths very often.
Especially in the shore area of the lake it is advisable to watch out for rising air bubbles. Often these are a strong indication that tench is in the water.
Another sign is when the plants move suddenly. For now it is possible that the tenons “weave” between the plants at this very moment.
Often the black tail fin can be observed on the water surface.
It is therefore highly recommended that a place on the lake is visited where the tench is undisturbed and has its peace and quiet. Places on roads or motorways (e.g. the Unterbacher See on the adjacent A 46 motorway) are better avoided for tench fishing.
Often you can also reach very good and remote weed fields by boat on the lake. Here they like to stay close to the ground.
Then there should not be much in the way of a successful hide!
Fishing for tench in the river
To be successful on tench in the river (whether in the Neckar or on the Rhine) we recommend using the feed basket (you will find the assembly of the appropriate fishing gear above) on the bottom.
Poses or pose mounts often make less sense due to the stronger current when river fishing.
But it does make sense to feed the tench beforehand. When feeding the tench with basic food you should also mix the bait that you want to feed later.
For feeding we recommend a mixture of the following ingredients for the basic feed:
- Worms (dung worms)
- Blood meal
- Carp food
For river fishing dung worms are particularly suitable as bait. Alternatively you can also use corn and hemp.
In the following video (7 minutes and 20 seconds) you can see again the fishing for tench on the river in autumn.
Here you fish with corn and maggots. It’s worth taking a look.
Fishing for tench in the channel
You should also feed the tench in the channel a few days in advance to “attract” them. Similar to river fishing, you should use bait-like food again.
In a canal you can usually use a pose mounting. As fishing bait we recommend (dung) worms. Using the pose you can offer the fishing bait approx. 40 to 70 cm above the bottom.
But where do you find tench in the channel?
Here you should orientate yourself mainly on sheet piling, bridges, stone packs and canal narrowings. In other words, everywhere where the tench can also find shelter.
But also water plants, (water) posts for ships and bays are very popular with tench in the canal.
When do tench start fishing: The best seasons
The best months for tench fishing are March and April. After that we have had good results in the months July to October. In these months the tench were especially catchy.
In the following we will go into more detail about the individual seasons (spring, summer, autumn and winter).
Tench fishing in spring / spring (March, April & May)
Spring (i.e. the months of March, April and May) are usually the best months for tench anglers. This is when they usually bite particularly well and frequently.
Because in the early months, tench fish go looking for food. Especially when the water temperature is more than 10 degrees.
Where should you fish in spring?
If you want to favour your “luck”, you should go fishing especially in lakes and shallow ponds / ponds. Here they are on the bottom looking for food. Mussels, worms and larvae are on their menu.
When they rummage the bottom, small “bubbles” often rise to the bottom and are released by the “clearing”. This often gives the tench away. The same applies to carp when fishing for carp.
To distinguish them you should look at the size of the bubbles. “Carp bubbles” often have a size of about 1 cm.
“Schleienblasen” are often much smaller. Carps often cause real carpets of bubbles which give them away very quickly.
Which equipment in spring?
In spring we recommend bottom fishing with a simple swinging tip. Special swing tip rods are used for this. These are between 2.70 m and 3.30 m long.
The special feature is the tip ring. Here is a thread for the swing tip to “screw it on”.
The advantage is that bites are better displayed. We recommend the Artini Powerise Multi display with a casting weight of 30 to 75 g. It is a feeder, picker, swingtip and match rod at the same time.
Make sure that you hold the rod horizontally and then place it on a rod pod. Keep the line under tension at all times so that the swing tip is at a 110 degree angle.
It does not matter where the tench comes from. As a rule, the swinging tip reacts to even the most sensitive bite.
The lead must lie on the ground. Above the lead a little silicone tube is also attached. This should have a diameter of about 1 mm. This prevents the waggoner from sliding forward to the lead.
If the tench swallows the bait and the waggler shoots upwards, the first shot should be made immediately. But you should be sure that the bite has really been taken. Otherwise it can happen that the tench moves away.
Feed mix & bait in spring
Especially in spring you should definitely feed the tench beforehand to increase your chances of success. The following feed mix has proven to be very good in the past:
- Fish meal
- Algae meal
- Maize (optional)
- Mosquito larvae (optional)
- Hemp (optional)
- Worms (optional)
- Maggots (optional)
Because the basic feed is relatively dark, it is less conspicuous under water. Another advantage to outwit the shy tench.
It is important that you do not scare away the tench by the food (and the impact on the water surface). Therefore, large balls of food should rather be avoided. Small balls usually also serve their purpose.
The following baits have proved to be the best baits to catch in spring:
- (dew) worms
You can also use an aroma spray to make the bait a bit tastier. We recommend an aroma spray which you also use for carp fishing.
We recommend the indicatorRyba stink bomb with Amino Fluo. The mixture is also very efficient with tench.
Tench fishing in summer (June, July & August)
Summer time is one of the most frequented times for tench fishing (besides spring). Many people swear by bottom fishing and pose fishing.
Even in summer, dense vegetation is one of the number one places to fish for one of the shy fish that are in great demand. These include, for example, water lily or cabbage fields.
Fishing baits in summer
The following baits have proved to be particularly catchy in summer:
- Manure worms
The bundle mixture of all the above ingredients is particularly recommended. Here you should offer the bait, similar to spring, just above the ground. This is because tench usually also collects snails and worms at the bottom in a natural way.
Many anglers swear by feeding tench again.
Feed should be the same as for the actual fishing bait. This increases your chances of success even more.
Which fishing equipment in summer?
Feeder, angle picker or match rods have proven to be particularly effective in summer. They are especially recommended for fishing in poses.
The thickness of the fishing line should be differentiated according to the type of fishing. We recommend differentiating the line as follows:
A leader with a selected length of 60 to 100 cm is ideal. And the size of the fishing hook should always depend on the size of the lure.
Here are the most important facts for you
- Feeder-, Angle-picker-, Match- Swing Tip Rods (e.g. DisplayArtini Powerise Multi )
- Fishing line for float fishing: 0,16 mm to 0,18 mm
- Fishing line for bottom fishing 0,20 mm to 0,25 mm
- Leader (60 to 100 cm)
- Hook size (8 to 14 – z. e.g. the display hooks from Cormoran) Lining basket (optional – see lining basket assembly above)
With this constellation you can usually not do much wrong in summer.
Tench fishing in autumn (September, October & November)
In autumn, fields of herbs and water lilies slowly regress. As a result, tench can usually hide less well. The food for the tench also becomes less and less.
Therefore, you have to change your strategy a little in September, October and November. We show you what you have to pay attention to.
Feeding in autumn
To increase your chances of success, you need to feed again. The following cocktail mix is usually particularly catchy:
- Manure worms
- Soil (e.g. from the compost heap)
The advantage of this mixture is that the tench does not get satiated with it so quickly in autumn. This is because the tench can only pick out the “goodies” one by one and therefore takes longer.
This also means that they do not get full so quickly and their appetite is stimulated further. And that’s why the actual bait (which of course is placed very close by) is very conveniently located. The chance of a bite increases considerably.
In addition the “clump of earth” in the murky waters is not so noticeable because of the colour.
The size of the clump of earth should be approximately the size of the palm of your hand. Especially in autumn, feeding is a “must”.
Baits in autumn
The following baits have also proved to be very catchy in autumn
- Bundles of dew worms (e.g. this indicator dew worms)
- Bundles of manure worms (e.g. 1 kg Dendrobena indicator compost worms)
- Maize (Doesenmais available in supermarkets)
- Bundles of maggots (e.g.
You can also increase your chances by combining the individual baits. But always make sure that the tip of the hook remains free.
Otherwise your chances of “hooking” the tench will decrease.
The best places to fish for tench in autumn
In autumn, shallow water sections in the early morning hours are also preferable. The first 10 to 15 m in the shore area are usually sufficient.
Your chances are even better if the sun is shining properly that day. But also in the evening, when it gets dark, you can successfully fish for tench.
In autumn you should be patient. In the colder season it can take a really long time before the first tench bites. But mostly the patience pays off.
But be careful: If possible, don’t set the stop immediately. Because in the colder days they are a bit more suspicious of conspicuous, bright baits.
This is why they usually examine the bait first and only “tug” at it. If you set the attack too early, you may scare them away.
Which mounting to choose in autumn?
In autumn we often use a feed basket or a pose assembly with a leader length of approx. 1 m.
How the feed basket and pose assembly is set up is explained in the section “Track assemblies” on this page.
Tench fishing in winter (December, January & February)
Winter, i.e. in the months of December, January and February, is the worst possible time of year to fish successfully on tench (or better known as the “moss green”).
Because they often fall into the so-called winter rigidity and then bury themselves in the mud.
Because of this the activity is very low and bites are rare. But this increases their own chances of survival. No matter how big the pond / pond or lake is.
With a little luck you can still “outwit” them in winter.
Baits in winter
Similar to autumn, the following baits work very well in winter:
- Bundles of dew worms (e.g. display dew worms)
- Bundles of dung worms (e.g. display dew worms)
- Bundles of dung worms (e.g. display dew worms) 1 kg indicatorDendrobena compost worms)
- Maize (Doesenmais is available in the supermarket)
- Maggot bundle (e.g. Italian indicator meat maggots)
If you decide on basic feed in addition to this to “feed” them, you should not exaggerate with this in winter. Because otherwise it can happen that the tench quickly becomes full.
If possible place the bait directly on the ground above the pose. Because tench are rather “timid” in winter, so that otherwise you can hardly feel the bites.
3 to 4 table tennis balls are sufficient.
The best places to fish in winter
Your chances of success increase when the sun shines and you fish in shallow areas (max. 15 m from the shore). Often there are a few tench in the water.
In addition, it should not be too cold (8 to 12 °C outside temperature is ideal in winter). Similar to autumn, you should go fishing in the morning if possible. Here they are especially hungry when they are outdoors.
Tench fishing Video
You can watch a very nice video about tench fishing including an interview here:
Book recommendation for tench fishing
Granted, the book is a bit older, but we can still recommend it.
It is “DisplayThe secret of great catches. Pike, carp, zander, trout, tench, eels”. It is currently available as a bound book and is dated 31 March 2003.
The book itself is very exciting to read and you will learn a few additional tricks here. In addition to the individual fishing methods you will find at the end of each chapter exactly what you need for the respective fish (equipment).
The whole thing is underpinned by numerous photos that make you want to go fishing for the next tench.
We can therefore recommend it.
Conclusion on fishing for tench or the “moss green”
If you take a little guidance on the right fishing equipment and consider the best seasons (spring and summer), and if you then choose the right bait, you can’t do much wrong when fishing for tench.
Anyway, we wish you good luck with your next hide and your next catch.