Early morning reconnaissance in hot weather will usually reveal the whereabouts of the tench and its feeding grounds, seldom far from weed-beds. Look for patches of small “pin-head sized” bubbles which are a sure sign of feeding tench.
Tench seem to like being near bulrushes and parts of the lake with gravelly bottoms (the only place bulrushes will grow).
Everyone who has fished regularly for tench must be familiar with those occasions when the fish appear to be playing with the bait and refusing to take it. To combat this, try pulling the line 6 inches or so, just to “encourage” the tench to take the bait. Quite often the tench will be overcome with the fear of losing what, previously it did not want!
In lakes and rivers where swan mussels are common, try a ground-bait mixture of bread and the contents of some swan mussels, the mixture should be left standing in the sun for 2-3 hours. In lakes where the level fluctuates, swan mussels are often left to die and dry in the sun’s heat, and the resulting scent may well be attractive to fish accustomed, when the water rises, to finding dead, open-shelled mussels.
Among the better baits for tench are freshwater mussels, grubs and maggots, lobworms, bread paste, trout pellets, nuts, luncheon meat, blood soaked cerial groundbait and breadpaste mixed with such things as Bovril, Marmite and crab paste.


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