A nice size tench caught using groundbait

The best groundbait for tench really depends on the venue you are fishing and your personal preference. But as a general rule, there are certainly some flavours and ingredients that the tench tend to favour.

Tench are primarily bottom feeders. You will never tend to find tench feeding mid-water or from the surface. They really like stirring up the bottom and having a good rummage around for any bits they can suck up.

For this reason, groundbait is a good way of getting the fish into your swim and keeping them there. But what is ground bait made of? How wet should you make ground bait? What are the best flavours of ground bait to attract the elusive tench? In this post, I will answer these questions and a few more for good measure.

What Is groundbait?

Ground bait is basically a mixture of ingredients that are thrown into the water with the intention of attracting fish such as tench into your swim. Ground bait will usually have a base mix of breadcrumbs.

Not only does the bread crumb attract the fish, it also helps to bind the rest of the ingredients together in a ball. This means you can toss your ground bait in without it dispersing everywhere. Making it easier to target one area to bait up.

A bowl full of the best groundbait for tench
Use a big bowl for mixing groundbait

What Can I Add To Ground bait For Tench?

As I said earlier bread crumb is an ideal base mix to start your groundbait. Next on my list would be hemp. Tench absolutely love hemp. It will keep them foraging around in your swim trying to find all the tasty little particles.

Just be sure to use cooked (boiled) hemp and not when it is in its raw state. Once hemp is cooked it softens up the shell and releases all the natural oils inside. Which tench find hard to resist.

Personally, when I make my own ground bait this is what I use. Ensuring not to use too many particles because you will find that the balls won’t stay together when you throw them in your swim.

Sweetcorn is another good particle bait to throw in the mix. If you take a trip to your local tackle shop you will probably be able to buy some strawberry-flavoured sweetcorn. Tench really do like sweet flavours so be sure to use all the juice that comes in the can. Normal shop-brought sweetcorn can also be just as good, and if bought frozen it will work out a lot cheaper as well.

Casters are another favourite bait that tench tend to go mad for. Whilst out on the bank fill an empty bait box with some water and tip your casters in. You will probably find that there will be a few casters that will float to the top. These ones are no good and should be discarded.

Can I Use Flavourings In My Groundbait?

Yes, you certainly can. There are lots of brands that make flavours in liquid form or powder form. Among the favourites are fishy flavours such as Krill and fishmeal. Sweet flavours such as strawberry and liquidised sweetcorn. Or liquidised worm. Additives for ground bait are a great addition.

Tench absolutely love worms in all shapes and sizes. The worm enhancer is my personal favourite and I never go tench fishing without it, but that’s just a personal preference.

How To Mix Up The Best Groundbait For Tench

Mixing up groundbait can be a very messy affair, this is mainly due to the bread crumb that gets unbelievably sticky. For this reason, I always have a small bowl of water with me and a rag for wiping my hands. This might sound a bit extreme but it really is worth doing. 

When it actually comes to mixing the groundbait I use an old washing-up bowl. (make sure it is properly clean before using) This ensures you have plenty of room to really get your hands in and mix it up well. Start off by putting your bread crumb and particles (hemp, corn, etc) in and give them a good mixing up.

Then get a little bit of water in an old bait tub or bottle and just trickle a little in until the mixture starts clumping together. The trick here is to not have the bait too dry because it will separate before it hits the bottom. At the same time, you don’t want it so wet that it doesn’t separate when it hits the bottom.

In theory, the mixture should just about stay together when it is squeezed lightly in your hand. 

Just remember to not add so many particles that the groundbait doesn’t stick together. You need to get the ratio between crumb and particles just right. This mixture will also be perfect for putting in a cage feeder or method feeder if preferred.

Shop Bought Groundbait For Tench

I personally think there is something quite satisfying about making your own groundbait. But if you don’t want the hassle of making your own then there is plenty of options out there for you to try.

A lot of brands such as Frenzied Hemp, Sensas, and Marcel Van Den Eynde make their own ground baits specifically mixed together for targeting tench. These can be used literally just straight from the packet or have particle baits mixed in with them.

You will find if you are on a big session you will certainly need more than one bag if the fish go on a feeding frenzy.

What Are Tench Bubbles?

So what are tench bubbles and why have I mentioned them? Basically, if and when you’re lucky enough to attract the tench into your swim they will get their heads down and start feeding on your groundbait.

Whilst they are busy doing this they let off a series of small bubbles in the water. Usually, the bubbles are quite small and in a patch about a foot wide. To any tench angler, this is one of the most exciting things you will see.

Ninety-nine percent of the time when you see these your float will shortly dip under or your rod will bend round.


Tench fishing really is an awesome way of fishing in the warmer months. Whether you are float fishing, legering or feeder fishing it is really worth thinking about getting some ground bait in the water.

Not only is it a good way of getting the tench in your swim, it will also keep them interested in feeding. Whether it is a homemade mixture or a shop-bought packet the best groundbait for tench fishing is the one that works best on the day. Hopefully, this article will help you put more tench on the bank, tight lines, and good luck.

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