I first came across ‘The Local Lin’ when Sticky Baits posted a picture of it on their social media and I remember thinking, what a carp it was! A unique fish, jet black with a tiny mouth and a very small tail and I knew it had gone over the 40lb mark! I done a bit of digging around to find out who ran the syndicate and as it happens, I was friends with the guy on social media, a guy called James. I was only chatting to James a couple of weeks ago. So, without hesitation I dropped James a message asking if I could put my name down the waiting list and with that James said I could have a ticket whenever I wanted one. So, me being me I jumped at the chance and being only 5 minutes from my house it would be rude not to.

My ticket started on the 1st of May and I made sure to have a walk around that day. The lake is an oblong shape and it’s around 5 acres with the River Cray running through it with a weir at one end. The lake is situated in the middle of an estate surrounded by flats. As you can imagine the amount of rubbish that flows into the lake is horrendous. People throw all sorts from their back gardens into the river from garden furniture to bed mattresses, footballs you name it I’ve seen it all. But the boys do very well to keep on top of it all. Stock wise there’s around 110 carp, with lots of mid doubles to low twenties, but for me it was all about The Half Lin!

My first night on the lake I fished a swim called The Woods and with the van right behind me it was perfect for my 6am pack up. That night I was lucky enough to catch my first Brooky carp, nothing big but nice to get my first one under my belt. It’s not a busy lake, so I came up with a plan to concentrate on a swim and bait it most evenings. My gym was on the way to the lake, so after a workout I would pop in and bait up my spots. I opted for a swim on the opposite bank to the social bank as the social bank you can park behind the swims and this area saw a lot of pressure. To the right of the swim I picked was a small island and I found a little clear area just on the end of it and from the start I caught fish from that spot. I was using white pop ups and was catching loads of small commons, so I thought I would try a match the hatch hookbaits and that work well. The 2 other rods weren’t doing much until I found a new spot. One afternoon I was out in the boat with the head bailiff and we went over a big deep hole and I said to Jake look, that could be my left hand rod. At the time there was a weed bed to the right of the spot that sat on the surface of the lake, so from the bank I could line it up easily.

Things really started working well on that rod, catching consistently and I had the second biggest in the lake a couple of trips later. I had the island spot and the deep hole spots rocking and I was baiting them every other day. The hard work was paying off and I was catching 2 fish a night and very really blanked. There was only one fish I was there for and I knew if I could keep catching, I would not be far away.

After a while the island rod started to slow up and the deep hole area was doing more bites. The island rod didn’t need as much bait, as I was back to gravel now, and I knew The Lin normally didn’t come over a lot of bait. Rig wise I was using 4 feet of Camflex Leadfree leader, fished helicopter style, with 5 inches of 30lb Invisi-Link and a size 6 Covert Dark Mugga hook tied D-Rig style. On the deep hole spot I was using the same lead set up but with a Ronnie Rig because there was still a little bit of low lying weed about.

The Brook is a very sociable lake and nearly every weekend the lads have a BBQ and have good times. One Friday there was a lot of the syndicate members down having a big social and I was tempted to reel in and join them but thank God I didn’t! At around 4am the island rod was away and it felt like a good fish, so straight away I knew it had to be one of two fish. After a short battle I slipped the fish I was after into my net and I remember looking into the net thinking wow that is an incredible carp! By far one of the best carp, I’ve ever caught! After unhooking it and safely putting it into the retainer I ran round to the social side to get the boys to give me a hand with the photos but bearing in mind they didn’t go to bed until the early hours of the morning and they had consumed loads of alcohol, so it was hard to get any sense out of them. shortly after waking them all up, they were all there to give me a hand with the weighing, photos and filming.

In total I’ve landed 52 fish to date and I’m thoroughly enjoying my fishing on there. It’s a good syndicate and I will aways keep my ticket, as it’s so local and there’s a great bunch of blokes. The venue has a good stocking system going on too and over the last 2 years they have introduced 11 more carp that are piling on the weight, so the future is bright for the Brooksway syndicate!