After covering what carp fishing syndicates are all about and how to make your initial approach in the first two parts, I thought it might be good to give some examples of the kind of approaches made to me on a regular basis in order that you can learn from their mistakes and successes.
I would put the approaches people make to get into one of my syndicates into three distinct categories;
- Appalling – those where no attempt has been made whatsoever to get off on the right foot, often expectant, as if I somehow I owe them something. Those where they make out they’re the next Terry Hearn. Those in which the sum total amounts to half a sentence without one please or thank you, i.e. “are there any places on your syndicate?” All of these are given a polite reply telling them there are no places at present.
- Need more work – those where the person has used good manners and has asked in the right way, but has not really told me anything I need to know about themselves. With these, I reply telling them that places do come up from time to time for the right kind of person, and that if they would like to be considered then they need to come back to me in much more detail in order that I can get a better feel for what they are about.
- Potential – those that tick all the boxes on their initial or secondary contact. They are polite, considered, and tell me all about themselves in good detail; their passion for fishing, their care for their quarry, their work and their home life. They show willing right from the start and make it clear that they would be happy to go the extra mile to be considered. In such instances I start to build a rapport by bouncing emails over quite a period of time to see if they are as they first appeared. Each contact allows them the opportunity to tell me more about them and by doing it over a fixed period of time it allows me to see if their interest wanes.
For those who persist, and who continue to present themselves positively, I will then invite them for a guest session on one of my waters, where I or one of my members will fish with them to see how they get on, and, if all goes well they are usually assured a place when one becomes available.
Perhaps one of the biggest bits of advice I can give in general is to just be nice, polite and to always show your best level of etiquette whenever you are out on the banks of any waters you fish. The bottom line is that you never know who might be in the next swim.
Even though I’m involved in running my own waters, I’m still a member of a few clubs and still visit the odd day ticket fishery, and most of my syndicate members do, too. As such, you’ll often be closer than you think to people who could, if you show yourself in the right light, offer you a valuable foot in the door to your dream carp fishing syndicate.
The key, again, is etiquette. I often meet anglers on the bank who from the second you meet them are desperate to tell you how good they are and how many fish they’ve had and who in short, never allow you to get a word in edgeways. Such anglers inevitably miss all the opportunities - because it’s always about them!
My experience out on the bank is that it’s always the quiet unassuming anglers who are really in the know – the ones who never feel the need to spout a load of rubbish on the bank and tell tall tales. The reason is often because they are already in some of the finest waters out there – and if you’re always too busy trying to tell them how good you are, then they are hardly likely to open up to you.
However, if you rein yourself in, and try to let others talk whenever possible, then in time you might just start to learn valuable snippets about where they fish and who they fish with...
Don’t expect them to open up straight away – again it’s about playing the long game and letting them see your calibre, but I’ve honestly lost count of the number of invites I’ve had to join quality syndicates via people I’ve met and got to know out on the banks of club waters.
I hope some of the tips given in this series are of use, and who knows, one day I might just bump into you on the bank of a syndicate sometime!