Help me get my head around Syndicates!

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Dec 18, 2021
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Hi all,

As my previous thread mentioned I've got back into fishing again this year after a significantly long lay off.

When I fished as a teen, I'd buy my rod licence from the post office and just take off anywhere. Never needed to worry about whether I was allowed to fish there or not - you just could!

But now.... Jesus christ

Ive scouted out loads of places I'd like to fish and even places I used to fish including a very random and hidden spot in Cambridgeshire on the Cam I used to fish as a Teen in the summer but they're all controlled by clubs!

They all want a membership. I literally can't afford it, plus some of them are like the Masons. You can't get in due to a pee takingly long membership wait, or you simply can't get in.

I don't ever remember it being like this.

I am not such an ignoramus that I can't see the merits in controlling waters especially as it can help prevent idiots turning up, and especially help prevent the taking of fish (eating or just theft) but let's face it, I think its more what I've come to hear as "carp tax" - people just want to make money.

I totally get that you would automatically preclude said idiots, irresponsible anglers, thieves etc and make it easier to keep them away but you're automatically precluding people like myself who don't want to be tied in for a whole year when I can only really make one or two visits a year, and thats whether I'd even get on a membership which, by the sounds of it for some clubs, is YEARS!!

Since getting into fishing again, what I've found is its clicky, closed circles, and expensive.

It won't put me off, I've just got to navigate it all.

My prime example is Wimbledon Park - apparently its like an unbelievably "secret" society and they'd do well to remember it belongs to Merton Council and the tax payer!! Unbelievable!

So, im looking for you all to talk me through all this syndicate cobblers.

Cheers!!
 

brian carragher

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Its simply a group of anglers who get together to negotiate a lease that gives them access to their own private fishing
 

Zerkalo

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I'm glad the syndicates round here aren't too bad. Some of them are just for the Carp anglers who want to night fish a place while still allowing day tickets. But there is a club that has access to some places I want to fish with a ridiculously long waiting list. Heard it's worse down south.
 

Silverfisher

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You should be able to find far more normal clubs than syndicates which are much more affordable. Generally range from about £15-50 around here and it’s fairly expensive part of the country.
 
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The trouble is, I like to travel, and really enjoy nights.

For the places I'd like to visit id need half a dozen memberships and im lucky if they're less than 100 quid a year, and some of them need work parties etc etc etc can't night fish for the first year etc etc

Where waters are leased from local authorities, they should be more open and transparent with the membership processes.

My most local water, Ruxley, is controlled by the ODAA. By the time they let me on, if at all, ill have moved, and will never fish it. Considering its leased from the local authority, I find that unfair and really disappointing since I live right next to it.

Same with the Brooks Way Syndicate.

Its painful living right near these and not being able to get on them.

Its the same story everywhere.
 

TrickyD

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I think @Wandle Wanderer is fairly close to me, most memberships are around the £100 mark, some a bit less, plenty a lot more. Getting to be a member is quite a task. Farnham have some good waters, but a bit of a trek, Woking and Godalming also.
 
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But this is what I can't accept.

Waiting lists.

I buy fishing gear, wanting to go fishing obviously. I then look at my local waters, all memberships. Get told its a waiting list, or in one case (near me), 10 YEARS. I wait, and wait, and wait, never having put a line in the water as all my locals won't let me on.

Where am I supposed to fish?

Its a joke.
 

Arry

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Try a google search of free fishing in your area or near your postcode
 

davej1981

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Depends how far you want to travel. Theres only 1 club and 1 syndicate near me that have waiting lists but im im Sussex. Alot of the waiting lists are due to a mass influx of new members during lockdown last year
 
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Try a google search of free fishing in your area or near your postcode
You have absolutely no idea how much ive searched. I know exactly where I can fish for free. It would appear from reports that any lakes near me that are free have suffered hard from kills or theft, and just don't have the stocks they used to have. In that respect, I completely understand the benefits of clubs/syndicates.

Even wandsworth common and battersea park (where I fished when I was a teen) over 100 quid for the year, and the swims are limited and by the sounds of it, wandsworth common suffers hard in hot weather and has absolutely no way of preventing "those without an EA licence"
 

Total

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The trouble is, I like to travel, and really enjoy nights.

For the places I'd like to visit id need half a dozen memberships and im lucky if they're less than 100 quid a year, and some of them need work parties etc etc etc can't night fish for the first year etc etc

Where waters are leased from local authorities, they should be more open and transparent with the membership processes.

My most local water, Ruxley, is controlled by the ODAA. By the time they let me on, if at all, ill have moved, and will never fish it. Considering its leased from the local authority, I find that unfair and really disappointing since I live right next to it.

Same with the Brooks Way Syndicate.

Its painful living right near these and not being able to get on them.

Its the same story everywhere.
You seem to want everything like yesterday, life ain't like that I'm afraid especially when it comes to fishing venues clubs etc:(.....The two venues/clubs you mentioned above have been just like you've described since I lived in that area over 50 years ago! I lived in Walsingham Road of the Sevenoaks way and in the old St Mary Cray off Poverest Road so I know where you are talking about....It was no different then...Get your name down and see what happens....

You've got absolute stacks of fishing in Kent, Essex, Sussex etc and the like.....Spread your wings and enjoy....I've been there, done that......
 
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I even got a licence for Clapham Common this year, went once and won't go back again. A group turned up smoking skunk all day, making loads of noise, the swims are overgrown, lines everywhere (and I guarantee none of them have a licence) - that said, no bailiffs at all, and the rats.... Jesus. One rat was under the landing stage, waiting for me to throw pellet out, and was swimming out to collect it.
 

peterb

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To be honest , i don't live anywhere near you , but I've been fishing for near enough 60 years and the number of free venues were very very few, you always had to pay the owner or join a club
 

Zerkalo

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There's a syndicate near me for a particular fishery that's £650 a year and only 50 spaces first come first serve but I will bet they fill them. The club I want to join is only something like £50 a year for several waters but has a waiting list of unknown length, close to 5 years I think you just have to wait till someone leaves or dies and then they let the next member in.
 
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I guess I just started this thread as a means to vent, get perspective and a reality check. You're all saying things I knew would but I guess I just didnt want to hear :cautious:

I just want to fish damn it! Haha
 

OldTaff

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But this is what I can't accept.

Waiting lists.

I buy fishing gear, wanting to go fishing obviously. I then look at my local waters, all memberships. Get told its a waiting list, or in one case (near me), 10 YEARS. I wait, and wait, and wait, never having put a line in the water as all my locals won't let me on.

Where am I supposed to fish?

Its a joke.

I have the same issues - I live near Maidstone and to give you some idea the Maidstone club is full with a waiting list (£130 per year), Medway Valley Angling run a string of lakes within quarter mile of my house and charge £300-£620 per year per lake to join but there is a 2yr waiting list even if I had the money.

Next club out has a 6yr waiting list (£150 per year) whilst the 4 lakes complex at the bottom of my road has just changed management and is £350 per year but sold out with a waiting list within a month of changing hands.

There are a few commercials further out plus day tickets on some Maidstone waters costing between £7 & £12 per session

Were it not for the free stretches of the river Medway and one free little lake nearby then I wouldn’t be fishing at all.

I miss my old South Wales club which is £25 per year for 7 lakes, 3 stretches of the Wye and 3 stretches of the Mon-Brecon canal with no lists
 

Arry

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Travelling further afield is your only choice then...
 

Keith Sparky

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I totally understand the OP frustrations but many clubs and syndicates have to restrict numbers to balance the pressure on their waters and like it or not there are more idiots about than 20 or 30 years ago so well bailiffed and secure venues are what a large number of anglers want. It's why commercials are so popular as you generally are fishing in a safe environment with safe car parking etc
 

Total

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There's a syndicate near me for a particular fishery that's £650 a year and only 50 spaces first come first serve but I will bet they fill them. The club I want to join is only something like £50 a year for several waters but has a waiting list of unknown length, close to 5 years I think you just have to wait till someone leaves or dies and then they let the next member in.
Where you live you've got an unbelievable choice of venues, I can think of at least a dozen of the top of my barnet....Mr Wanderer has too, but he needs to cut his cloth to suit....With free fishing on parts of the Medway and the Thames available and reasonably priced venues around too....One just needs to really shop about...(y)
 
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I totally understand the OP frustrations but many clubs and syndicates have to restrict numbers to balance the pressure on their waters and like it or not there are more idiots about than 20 or 30 years ago so well bailiffed and secure venues are what a large number of anglers want. It's why commercials are so popular as you generally are fishing in a safe environment with safe car parking etc
Yeah totally mate. That aspect is probably the most important - safety. I've only just started out again and I'm wheeling around a good couple of grand, and on my own...
 
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