Following its refurbishment in 2011, the Match Lake has developed into one of the few quality Tench fishing lakes in the local area. Like many fellow anglers, Tench are my favourite of all captures. Pound for pound, nothing quite fights like a quality Tench on the end of a Float or Feeder Rod!
When we first commenced stocking, I was cautious of dominating the lake with Carp which are two to the penny these days in most Commercials. As a fishery manager, it can be tempting to stock faster growing species such as Carp which are readily available and at substantially lower costs. Tench are incredibly slow growing and often come at a premium price but this wasn't going to deter our efforts. I've always preferred the idea of a mixed water with natural stocking levels, containing a multitude of species and minimal stress upon stock. The result of this approach was that shy species such as Tench could really prosper in the lake and offer anglers something different. Four years down the line and things definitely seem to be on track.
A Lovely dark specimen, Summer 2015
When it comes to capturing these elusive red eyed monsters, there is a vast range of tactics at your disposal. Over the years I've witnessed Tench captured up to 8lbs on all sorts of contraptions. The most successful method to date so far has to be that old school classic - luncheon meat! For some reason our Tench have developed a real passion for the tinned stuff and it's by far my most consistent bait of choice when targeting Tench on the Match Lake. I normally prefer to fish the method but the float is still a great option providing you fish slightly over depth. I normally pre bait the swim with a good quantity of Bait-Tech N-Tice Meaty Mix which compliments my hook bait perfectly.
Premium grade meat protein is a sure bet for attraction!
When it comes to Tench, location is everything. The shy nature of Tench results in them often congregating in areas of shelter such deep reed margins and lily pad beds. I'd always recommending having a good walk around the lake and looking for the tell tale 'Tench Bubbles' which often give their location away. Due to being bottom feeders, they root through the bottom of lake when feeding producing tiny little bubbles on the waters surface. If you're like me and wear glasses, make sure you don't forget them as they can be tricky to spot!
Small but mighty - successful spawning has led to a good head of small Tench working their way up the ranks!
The most productive swim for Tench is the Eastern Corner (to the left of the Lakeside Cafe when looking at the lake). There's a deep reed bed and several lily beds which really draw the Tench, be quick on the rod though as these fish put up quite a fight and will be quick to take you into the reeds. Obviously other species such as the Carp or Bream mite be drawn into your swim but that's all part of the fun! I'll leave you with a fantastic brace of Tench caught this Summer just to wet your appetite - be sure to make the most of the warmer weather before Autumn and Winter kick in!