Main Lake Coarse & Carp Syndicate


On a beautiful Kent nature reserve and a long way from any major road. The loudest noise is usually birdsong.

Only 80 members on 40 acres.

Due to the low fishing pressure this specimen syndicate already has some of the fastest growth rates in the country for carp, tench and bream, and the best is yet to come.

Very little carp fishing has been allowed until just a short while ago. So if you’re a specimen carp angler who likes mystery then Wingham Main Lake will be just up your street.

The carp potential is unknown as until July 2013 only a handful of anglers fished for the carp for fishery management purposes.  It wasn’t until March 2015 that I fully opened it to carp anglers.  This has been to allow the carp to grow as unpressured as possible – as the old saying goes “big fish thrive on neglect”.

Although I’d intended stocking the Main Lake with young carp born in the Carp Lake some members jumped the gun and transferred an unknown number without my permission.  It’s now apparent that there are more carp present than I first thought.  What’s more, although they’re younger still than those in the Carp Lake, these carp are growing extremely fast and many expect them to grow even bigger than in the Carp Lake!

Leroy Swan’s first carp from Wingham at 56-14

Already a lot of 40lb+ carp including 2 different 50s up to 57-10 have been banked, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.   The 57-10  is a male, and so will be at its heaviest early winter when it’s likely to be well over 60lbs.  What’s more, the 57-10 isn’t the biggest carp in the lake as 4 people have seen an even bigger mirror at close range.  Indeed, one syndicate member became besotted with it!

These high growth rates are a direct result of the very low fishing pressure.  This is the key difference between Wingham and other waters.

There’s never been any supplementary feeding, and with hardly any bait going into Wingham the fish have grown very big thanks to the huge amount of natural food.

For the latest news and the progress since January 2000 from both syndicates click here

The tench now average just under 8 1/2 lbs (and that includes both males and autumn fish!), with multiple catches of 9lbers not being uncommon.  Indeed, no less than Phil Jackson, the Chairman of the Tenchfishers says that if he had to catch a nine-pounder to save his life he’d chose to fish at Wingham!  We’ve also had some big bags with up to 66 tench in a 3 day session.

The syndicate records stand at 11-14 for a female and 9-02 for a male. What’s more we’ve had other 10lbers with little or no spawn, including a 10-11 autumn tench and an 11-02 in April.  All of these should be 12lbs+ in late June/early July, whilst the 11-02 could make 13lbs.

With so few fishing it’s not surprising that they remain uncaught. Best of all, the vast majority of these big tench are far from fully-grown.

Wingham creator Steve Burke with an early season tench of 10-04

To find out more about the Wingham tench and my ideas about big nomads click here for part 1 of an article and click here for part 2.

There are very few bream, probably no more than 40 in 40 acres with a maximum of 10 caught per year.  However they’re an extremely high average size with almost all being over 14lbs with several 18lbers.

We had a near record bream of 17-14 in April 2004 at only 11 years of age. Bream grow in length for up to 15 years and then fatten up for 5 or so years so Wingham could well break the 20lb barrier. So far the best is 18-07, and this was a different fish to the 17-14. The latter should be considerably bigger now!

In the winter of 2004/5 Peter Rogers (my co-editor on “The Book of the Perch”) joined me for some perch fishing and we didn’t have a single stripey under 3lbs, although no fours.  More recently one weighing exactly 4lbs was caught, but it had just spawned and so would have weighed considerably more just a short time before.

Strangely enough almost none of the syndicate fished for the perch after that for many years.  Indeed, few have used worm for other species, the bait that Peter and I found best.  So there could well be a few surprises. However lots of 3lbers have been caught  by the few tench anglers using maggots, whilst twos are commonplace.

Then in August 2015 one of the syndicate tried worms and had a catch of 70-80 big perch in 1 day, all over 1 1/2lbs up to just over 3 pounds, plus 11 tench!

Also present are big eels, roach, rudd and pike, although no pike fishing is allowed.


Clubhouse with kitchen, lounge, bait room, toilets and shower. Secure car park.

4 rods allowed all year.

For more on the carp in the Main Lake syndicate , including photos, plus the latest catch reports going back to January 2000 from both syndicates click here


40 acres of mystery (although you can’t see 2 big bays!) – photo by Peter Wright

Following a change of ownership (that thankfully saved the site from development) we’ve unfortunately had a big rent increase.  We’ve also just completed high spec otter fencing, and this big expense has regrettably meant that we’ve had to put the subs up.

To allow those with limited budgets to enjoy Wingham the season for both syndicates is therefore now divided into 3 periods of 4 months. Current prices are:

Winter period (Nov 15th – Mar 14th)  £160 incl vat

Early period (Mar 15th – July 14th)  £510 incl vat

Late period (July 15th – Nov 14th)  £380 incl vat

Discounted 12 month ticket  £950 incl vat

Joining fee incl vat £290 (£145 for just the early period).  There’s no further joining fee if you increase the number of periods, or also join the Carp Lake syndicate.  The sole exception is if you start with just an early ticket, and then you pay only the difference in joining fees.

Credit/debit cards accepted via PayPal.