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Catching Tench in winter

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Catching Tench in winter
 
It really can be done
People still have a belief that Tench are a fish that just doesn’t get caught in winter. This is of course incorrect and a quick skim through any of the match results in your area will show that Tench are in fact getting caught.
One of the main issues with the Tench is that it appears to be more susceptible to temperature than some other species such as Roach or Chub. It was believed that Tench used to hibernate in winter, burying themselves in the mud and not appearing and not gracing the angler’s landing nets till spring. This had no truth in it beyond the fact that Tench reduce their movement and feeding the colder the water is. A hibernating fish in a lake will not last long with predators such as Pike on the prowl and it doesn’t take into account the many Tench that live in rivers would have been washed away in no time if they gave up swimming through the periods that a river
Large Tench
runs the hardest.
What is in fact happening is the Tench is seeking out the deeper pools where the temperature tends to hold a degree or two more warmth than the other parts of the water column. They still need to feed through winter, but with reduced movement and a much slower metabolism the amount of food they need consume reduces greatly.
So if Tench are still in the water and they are feeding, albeit with a much reduced appetite how do you catch them in winter. Quite simply, location is the key. Try to locate the deepest areas of the water you are fishing, if this is a still water then ask around to find out where the deep pools are. Spend some time searching out the genuine deeper parts of the lake and target these. If you are fishing running water then there is a greater chance that the Tench will be more active as the moving water tends to be warmer than still water and
Fishing in the snow
holds greater oxygen levels. Again seek out the slack deep water.
Tackle should be scaled back, with light lines and small hooks becoming a must. As with most winter fishing baits should be reduced in size and free offerings reduced to a few maggots or equivalent every so often. Small worms tend to produce as they still wriggle in all but the coldest water and it may this that attracts the Tench into taking them. Remember Tench in summer are very inquisitive, that is why raking a section of your swim will often get the Tench into it. These are the same fish that are then in winter and while I wouldn’t recommend raking then, anything that could create interest is worth trying. Very fine ground baits can be used; these will help create a cloud effect in the water, but will have particles that are too small to feed the fish.
Some people have recommended that the best time to target
Tench in winter is when you get a high pressure in the atmosphere, this forces more oxygen into the water and is usually matched by slightly warmer days. These subtle changes in weather can help trigger the fish to feed. Catching Tench in winter is never going to be easy, but they are there to be caught if you aim for them. So what are you waiting for?

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