As an angler over the years whether I’m Carp fishing or fly fishing, finding where to fish has sometimes been the trickiest thing to get right.

Having only been a full blown “Carper” coming up to the best part of eight years, the amount of fisheries within the south of england has always been a mind blowing concept. This coming from a geordie lad from as far north that you can drive into scotland within half and hour or so. “Yes, Im north of the wall”

Up there you have the wild lakes & rivers in rural Northumberland where you would barely see more than two people never-mind other anglers. “More animals than people they use to say pet”.

This bliss of being in total isolation on a lake with only your thoughts to keep you company is something i’ve always remembered, oh and sometimes the old man Ff..ing!! & Jeff..ing!! down the bank as he snags his leader in a tree on his back cast. That was Priceless.

So the idea of fishing in the south for me was a bit mind boggling that i couldn’t just go to a lake and catch a fish you had to book on or be a member or know someone who knew the guy down the road who knew the owner. Even going to a “day ticket” lake  –  with a lot of other anglers to fight off to get even in a decent part of the lake.

Then you come to the syndicates. Now this really started to get me interested, these exclusive members only lakes that you maybe waiting on lists for small lifetimes to get a chance to be offered a ticket for. Madness.

Having at this point only fished day ticket waters it was always the plan to get on a syndicate water as it comes to a point you want back some sort of isolation and exclusivity back in your fishing. Being located where I am there are some obvious but special waters very close to home. The problem was the waiting lists for these waters was anything from 4-6 years if I was lucky!! I don’t wanna name the long list of venues but famous residents like a certain Common, Heather, Arfur, and a Parrot had or still reside.

I now found this was not going to be easy getting on any of these waters any time soon.

It was the back end of 2018 when I heard of an unlikely place that was soon to be a syndicate and that it held some historic fish that was a bit off the radar in a well known public park, in fact a Royal park. Initially i blanked this as an idea one for it not really being a well established carp venue and secondly the high asking price for the ticket at the time.

I toyed with this thought for a while even though i was continuously looking for venues around the Berkshire area there was a slim chance i could be due a ticket at the beginning of 2020 on the Longfield fishery for the fox pool which i’d have had my name down for over 3 year for which fitted the perfect mould as a carp venue in my eyes.

As this wasn’t a dead cert I decided to pursue the park lake idea and join the wardens on a tour who had recently started running the syndicate. I’d been here before but never as an angler and now had seen a very different side to it which started the cogs turning.        

Could this be it? could i get on here? Oh but the price? Funnily that year they had lowered the cost of the ticket which by my amazement was lower than i was expecting which for me, nailed it! I paid a deposit to be put on the list, went home grinning and sat tight until a spot came free which luckily was in January of this year. And so the anticipation had started. My first syndicate water.

Lloyd Chapman