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Carp fishing - to syndicate or not to syndicate.

Updated on February 19, 2017
my syndicate lake
my syndicate lake

Where it all started.

I have been fishing on and off now for over forty five years - taking breaks through work and relationship pressures but always end out coming back. I have always felt that I have not achieved what I would like to in this most amazing pastime, yet unable to identify exactly what I would like to achieve but have yet to be totally satisfied with the successes I have had. I have attempted most types and methods of fishing coarse, sea both boat and beach all with varying degrees of success and I have landed at the fishing peg called carp specimen fishing.

Having returned to the sport after my son started some years ago where he wanted to go coarse fishing to catch a few "tiddlers" and as per every young lads thirst for sport and like me, one day sat on the bank of our local park lake in the hazy sun watching a small group of carp patrolling the margins sending out small bow waves as they swam across the surface like torpedoes in slow motion.

"It would be nice to try carp fishing wouldn't it?" he suggested

"What with bite alarms, big hooks and the like - NIGHT FISHING!!" and the rest to me is history.

Over the following years the general coarse fishing tackle gave way to a more specific type of tackle employed to catch these sometimes frustrating fish. My experiences methods and successes I want to share with you all over my coming hubs, so look for my hubs, comment, agree or disagree with me as I share the route I take to achieve whatever it is exactly I love about this great sport!

another view of the syndicate.
another view of the syndicate.

Clarissa, The bishop, The black mirror!

What am I talking about? The names above are of fish that have become known throughout the media and carp fishing circles as very special in terms of their weight when last caught and the waters they swam in. These are just an example and by no means the only fish to have graced the banks of such waters as Redmire or Colne mere as the more enthusiastic will know there are other waters where such mythical monsters inhabit.

You see, I think when you start turning fishing into a more personal affair then specimen fishing takes on a whole new meaning. Other types of fishing I have been involved in the object has been to catch as many as possible or different types of fish, only sharing the environment and of course the desire to catch the biggest is sometimes shared by all fishermen.

Specimen fishing to me means catching good quality fish in a nice environment and appreciating the beauty of the fish - it doesn't matter what size it is.

Other areas I like are rig making, making my own baits and formulating a plan to catch these mysterious beasts. Whilst other types of fishing employ a plan ie match fishing requires a certain collection of skills to be successful but I will cover these areas more in future blogs.

A typical day ticket mirror carp
A typical day ticket mirror carp

Did you know?

The lifespan of carp is generally ten to twenty years but they have been known to live up to sixty years.

To syndicate or not to syndicate?

I apologize if in being a little slow in getting to the point of this hub but here we are. When I first started carp fishing the local area had plenty of day ticket fisheries where you go and pay to fish on the day or you could book pegs in advance, but basically you paid per session. some places allowed you to fish overnight for a extra payment and depending how good that fishery was dictated the price they charged. Some of the more popular fisheries having commercial facilities on site like a cafe, tackle shop etc.

Advantages with day ticket fisheries;

  • Always plenty of reasonable sized fish to catch.
  • As this is a great opportunity there will always be a fishery nearby.


  • Costs can become quite high depending on popularity and on sight facilities.
  • popularity can lead to waiting lists to fish.
  • Can sometimes be busy with regard to amount of fishermen on site.
  • Rules can sometimes be many and complicated as this is a business where profit is to be made.

A lot of good fish have been caught from these venues if you are prepared to do your homework about the fisheries around you.

Another type of fishery is that run by a fishing club. If you are just stating out in fishing becoming a member of a fishing club is a great way of getting involved in the sport. socializing is a great way to pick up tips and getting to know the waters in locally.

Advantages of fishing club waters.

  • Club membership is generally reasonably priced.
  • Most clubs usually run multiple waters to suit most types of fishing.

Sometimes run matches for coarse fishermen, plenty of social events and some run discount schemes with fishing tackle shops.


  • Clubs that run multiple fisheries tend to veer towards the general coarse fisherman and waters may well contain quite large fish but for general fishing purposes.

The last type of fishery and the one that I consider offers the specimen fisherman the best opportunity to catch the best quality and largest carp is the syndicate.

These are mainly privately owned waters that are found around stately homes, private estates and can sometimes be the home of some very large and old inhabitants. The lake owners who are sometimes keen fishermen themselves offer places for other fishermen to experience what is stocked in the water and for a fee will let a limited amount of fishermen fish undisturbed using many methods both modern and more traditional. Usually the lakes have few pegs and therefore the syndicate membership is limited. Generally the rules are simple and prospective members are either referred or closely vetted so that everybody can fish together with the minimum of fuss and develop the the fishery as a group.

Costs can be high but if you like to fish a good quality water where there is the opportunity to catch great fish in a great quality water then this maybe the route and it is the one that I decided to take.

Advantages of a syndicate lake;

  • The fish are better quality and can be monsters.
  • Once the syndicate is established fishermen get to know each other.
  • Generally access is organised from the point of view of peg availability ( on my syndicate you can book two weekends per month and fish as much as you like on week days - day and night.)


  • Cost can be quite high.
  • committing to one fishery.

A typical club water common
A typical club water common

To summarize

Out of the types of waters I listed I decided to go syndicate as there was more oportunity to catch a better quality fish with simpler fishery rules and not being limited in terms of when I can fish and not being tightly packed into a water where fishermen are on top of each other and for me the cost of my syndicate for a year was comparable against the costs on a day ticket water.

I hope you enjoyed this hub. please feel free to ask questions or make comments.

Look out for more of my hubs coming through


Based on the information above which type of fishery would you prefer?

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