Tench (Tinca tinca)

Tench (Tinca tinca)

Mark Healy poses with one of his better specimen tench.

Mark Healy poses with one of his better specimen tench.

Specimen weight: 2.7 kg (6 lb).
Record weight: 8.15lb Ballyeighter Lake, 1995.

Tench are found all over the midlands and also in the canals – the Royal, the Grand and the Barrow – which connect Dublin with the Shannon and the Barrow systems respectively. The stretches of the Shannon at Lanesborough and Shannonbridge which are artificially heated by water from power station outflows, have produced several Irish record tench and tens of specimen fish. Limestone loughs in County Clare have also recently produced many specimen tench.


Tench are easily recognised by their minute scales, which give them an almost scale-less appearance. They have a dark olive or blackish colour. The fins are rounded and the tail is almost unforked. It is possible to distinguish the sexes based on the shape of the pelvic fins on the underside of the body. Male fish have very large spoon-shaped fins, while those of the female are longer, more pointed and triangular in shape.


Tench spawn later in the year than most of the other Irish cyprinidae species and require temperatures of between 18-20°C to spawn. Spawning therefore is normally restricted to late June and July. Egg size is 1.3 – 1.4 mm.


Tench produce 125,000 eggs/kg.

Longevity (age):

They have a maximum life-span of 12 to 15 years.


Tench are a bottom feeding fish and the presence of a trail of small bubbles on the water surface is often an indication of tench feeding below. Food consists of insect larvae and molluscs.

Best Angling Methods:

Float fishing with waggler floats and ledgering with arseley bomb or swimfeeder.

Best Baits:

Maggots, sweetcorn, bread, worms, casters etc. with groundbait of brown crumb and a range of continental groundbaits and additives.

Best Times to Fish Tench
Note: ★ Good time to fish Tench      ★ ★Very good time to fish Tench

Top 25 specimen tench from Irish waters 1955 to 2003

NoWeight (lbs ozs)Weight (kg)LocationDate of CaptureAnglerMethod
18.15 lbs3.697 kgsBallyeighter Lake, Clare20/06/1995Nick ParryCorn/Maggots
28 lbs 1 ozs3.657 kgsLakyle Lake28/06/1998David GrimesBoilie
38 lbs3.629 kgsLakyle Lake05/07/1998David GrimesBoilie
4-3.615 kgsBallyeighter Lake, Clare08/08/1994Nick ParrySweetcorn
57 lbs 13 ozs3.551 kgsR. Shannon, Lanesboro25/05/1971Raymond WebbBread Flake
67 lbs 13 ozs3.544 kgsLakyle Lake05/06/1998Mark HealySweetcorn
77 lbs 13 ozs3.544 kgsR. Shannon, Lanesboro31/05/1974Leonard J. GoodingBread Flake
87 lbs 12 ozs3.515 kgsBlack Lake25/05/1998Tom SneydCorn/Maggots
97 lbs 12 ozs3.515 kgsR. Shannon, Clondra04/06/1966Edmund HawksworthLobworm
107 lbs 11.5 ozs3.501 kgsCarnadoe Lough20/06/1978E. KershawLobworm
117 lbs 11 ozs3.487 kgsLakyle Lake02/06/2001Mark JonesMaggots
127.68 lbs3.484 kgsBallyeighter Lake, Clare16/08/1994Nick ParrySweetcorn/
137 lbs 9.5 ozs3.445 kgsLakyle Lake06/09/1998Master Bill BrazierLobworm
147 lbs 9 ozs3.430 kgsLakyle Lake15/07/1998Mark HealyMaggots
157.53 lbs3.416 kgsR. Shannon, Lanesboro11/06/1983John MillsBread Flake
167.5 lbs3.402 kgsHolly Island Lake, Co. Clare16/06/1999Nick ParryCorn/Maggots
177 lbs 8 ozs3.402 kgsShannon System01/07/1990Philip ArthurWorms/Corn
187 lbs 8 ozs3.402 kgsHolly Island Lake, Co. Clare26/05/1997Nick ParrySweetcorn
197 lbs 8 ozs3.402 kgsReynella Lake19/05/1969Albert TraceMaggots
207 lbs 7.75 ozs3.395 kgsR. Shannon, Lanesboro23/05/1971Paul SullivanBread
217 lbs 7.5 ozs3.388 kgsR. Shannon, Lanesboro22/06/1972Charles MurrayBread Flake
227 lbs 7 ozs3.374 kgsR. Shannon, Lanesboro01/06/1983A. J. HallBread Flake
237 lbs 7 ozs3.374 kgsBlack Lake07/07/1996Nick ParryPaste
247 lbs 6.5 ozs3.359 kgsR. Shannon, Lanesboro26/05/1974Alastair LawsonBread Flake
257 lbs 6 ozs3.345 kgsLakyle Lake06/10/1999Robin BrazierSweetcorn