Tench has a strong flattened body with small mouth which has a tentacle on each end. It has small eyes and incredibly tiny scales which are covered with thick layer of slime. The slim is supposed to have healing power. Tench is known as a doctor among the fish since supposedly other fish come to rub themselves against its healing slim.
The colours of the fish can be lighter or darker depending on the fish’s habitat. The body is brown green with milky white belly. It lustre’s in golden yellow on the sides. Its fins are always dark and typically rounded. In warmer waters and so in Lake Cerknica it can measure above 50 cm in length and above 3 kg in weight. The male is distinguished from female by his bigger pectoral fins.
It spawns in May and June. The female lays huge amount of very small and sticky eggs into water vegetation. Tenchs spawning can be very loud and vivid since they gather into big groups and chase each other between the vegetation with big splashes on the water surface.
Tench can be found all over Europe except in Dalmatia, Albania, Peloponnese, Mediterranean islands (except Sicily) and high North. Tench can be found also in England and Ireland. Even though it prefers wormer, still or slow running waters with muddy bottom and vast vegetation Tench can be found in colder waters in the northern Europe. The fish is very tough and persistent and swims mostly on the bottom. It can survive in water with very small amounts of oxygen. It can even hibernate over the winter in silt. It is quite common in Slovenia. It lives is big numbers in Lake Cerknica and it is one of the most important fish in the lake. It can be found also in Rak Creek and in the lower stream of Cerkniščica Creek
Tench is very popular fish for sports fishing because of its prudence and fighting when caught which is similar to carp. We can bottom fish or float fish. We can use various baits like cheese, bread, pastry, hard-boiled corn mush, corn and potato. Tench absorbs the bait very slowly. When the buoy starts to sink under the water it means that the fish swallowed the bait and then it is time to pull the line. As mentioned he is a fears fighter, jumps out of the water and tries to escape in the vegetation and under the branches. The fisherman must be quite cunning and skilled to pull the fish out of the water.
Tench’s flesh is firm and tasty and it doesn’t have to mush bones. That is why it is still very popular as a local dish. It can be prepared on various ways. The best way to prepare this fish is to fry it in big amount of boiling oil together with its skin which turns crispy and for the gourmet it is the best part. You can find some recipes in our special column Recipes.