Tinca Tinca



River, Lakes, Ponds, Estuaries

4 - 15 pounds

16" - 33"


Also Known As: Green Tench, Doctor Fish

Tench (Tinca tinca) Fish Description

The Tench is a popular freshwater gamefish that was introduced in the US during the 1870s from Germany specifically for game fishing. They have small, coarse, scales and are yellow-olive in hue. They have stocky body and their eyes are small. Their mouths are narrow and they have barbels in their lower jaws (like some carps). They use their barbels to search for ground-dwelling prey such as snails, and mosquito larvae, and other insects. Tench also eat plant matter such as algae.

They are hardy fish that can survive waters that are low in oxygen (that sometimes something a carp cannot even survive). They prefer warm still-waters of lakes, ponds, slow-moving rivers, and estuaries. Their habit is mostly surrounded by clay, muddy, with abundant vegetation. 


Interesting Facts About the Tench

  • There is a rare variety called the golden tench. Considered by some as an ornamental fish for its rarity of 1/20,000 fish. They’re pale-yellow to deep orange in color, similar to the goldfish.
  • People used to gather the slime of the tench for medicine, hence the name, doctor fish.
  • Because of their small scales and slime, tench are more immune to bacteria, making them one of the hardy fishes.


Tench Size

The tench is pretty small. The average size of this fish is 16 inches and they can grow as long as 33 inches. The average weight is 4 ½ lbs and can get as heavy as 15 lbs.  Females are generally bigger than the males. You can tell if the tench is male by their fleshy anal fins.


Tench Habitat and Distribution

The tench is scattered across the U.S. from the eastern Pacific to western Atlantic oceans. They can be found in the still-waters of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware Florida, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and Virginia; the Chesapeake Bay.

The best time to fish some tench is from May to June where they spawn and where the waters are warm. They will aggregate to warm shallow waters where they will lay their eggs on aquatic plants. They tend to breed at temperatures of 68°-88°F. They also breed at temperatures such as 50°-60.8°F but they tend to mature and breed slower with these temperatures.


Tench Fishing

Tench is popular to fly fish in the UK, but the US is slowly catching up. Anglers who are looking for a challenge should defin