Originally created from a potato field and lovingly tended by Roy Marlow and his wife Sue, the Glebe Complex sits in rolling Leicestershire countryside. Consisting of eight pools plus a number of stock ponds the fishery is famed amongst match anglers throughout the UK. It is home to the annual ACA Masters Competition held towards the end of August plus the two day Ivan Marks Memorial Match held in late May. Many local clubs book the occasional match on one or more of the lakes so that their members can experience a day at the ‘Glorious Glebe’ which is actually a members only fishery. The day tickets from these visiting anglers help to pay for the upkeep of the fishery.
All of the lakes hold Carp and Skimmers, with the biggest carp being in Pool 3 (Uglies). The lakes are netted in an annual rotation and all of the small silver fish are removed. At the same time any big carp e.g. over 12 lbs unlucky enough to get caught in the net might get moved to Uglies. Small carp (Buddies), grown on in the stock ponds are introduced into the match lakes to replace any fish moved to Uglies. This system of stock rotation ensures that there’s always a good stock of match-sized carp between 2 and 10 lbs in all of the match lakes.
Here’s a run-down on the match pools showing the pegging etc.
All of the Glebe match lakes are pegged on one bank only, giving everybody a feeder chuck if they so desire, Pool 1 has 30 pegs and the tight bend around pegs 8, 9 and 10 means that we often leave Peg 9 out of our matches simply because they’re all basically casting to the same spot on the far bank. The end pegs of Peg 1 & 30 are as good as you’d expect, especially when the wind is blowing into them but The Glebe isn’t one of those fisheries where you can predict the result as soon as the draw has taken place, you can never be sure where the weights will come from. What you can be certain of is that the winning weights will contain lots of carp. You might catch a good net of skimmers, 50 lb weights of silver fish are fairly common, there have even been a few ‘tons’ of silvers (I had one a few years back) but you need to catch plenty of carp to be successful.
The smaller carp tend to live in the low numbers, whereas the bigger fish live at the other end of the lake. This doesn’t mean that the high numbers always win the matches because as those carp get bigger they also get moodier, in fact during the winter months it’s almost impossible to catch a carp from the high numbers. The fish are still there, they just sulk and refuse to feed. Wherever you draw on Pool 1 don’t be despondent, if you’re a good enough angler you have every chance of winning your match.
Although you couldn’t call it shallow, Pool 1 is shallower than the smaller lakes, with margins of 1 -2 ft and depth in the middle 4 – 6 ft. This means that the water will probably warm up quicker than the smaller lakes and the fish are likely to spawn first in Lake 1. In fact this year (2015) a lot of the fish in Pool 1 spawned over the weekend of June 5th – 7th. The weather then turned cold and spawning activity ceased. It looks like the bigger fish are yet to spawn, so perhaps another spell of warm settled weather will entice them to finish the job.
Pools 4 & 5
As per my comments on Pool 1, you’d always fancy drawing one of the end pegs (66, 75, 76 & 85) with the wind blowing into it but it’s no certainty that those pegs will win the match, in fact I feel that the pegs on Pools 4 & 5 are the fairest on the entire complex, winning weights can come from anywhere. The right angler on the right peg and fishing the right method will win the match. Both pools are heavily stocked with Carp. Last year (2014) Pool 5 was affected by a sudden and catastrophic de-oxygenation. The fish were perfectly well during the evening but after a night where there were storms in the vicinity, although none within 20 miles of the fishery, all of the silver fish plus some of the carp were dead. Our friends from the Environment Agency rushed to our aid and raised the oxygen levels in the lake to stop any further losses. The dead carp were replaced with fish from the stock ponds but skimmers were not available at the time. Roy was able to get some health-checked skimmers and they were to be stocked into Pool 5 during the early spring. The fish arrived whilst Roy was on holiday in Florida, they were tipped into Pool 4 and the fish delivery men went on their merry way…another job done !!
The moral of the story :- Don’t fish for silvers in Pool 5, to the best of our knowledge there’s one perch and one roach in that lake, provided of course that they’re both still alive, however there’s quite a lot of skimmers in Pool 4!.
Pools 6 & 7
Two more great match lakes and one of the most famous pegs in the world – Peg 86, the first peg on Pool 6 and known as the “Little Girl’s Peg”. It’s almost impossible NOT to catch over 100 lbs from that peg, in fact the only difficult thing about that peg is DRAWING IT!. I seem to have a bit of a reputation for drawing end pegs (completely undeserved of course) but I’ve only ever drawn that peg once…and it was in a “feeder only” match!. I came second on the lake behind Andy Kinder after spending the second half of the match underarming an open ended feeder onto my normal 5 metre line, then holding tight as they ripped the rod off the rest.
On Pool 6 the weights tend to drop off as you get further down the lake, you really don’t want to draw from 94 – 97. Having said that, there are some good skimmers live down that far end, see my post here. Just about everything works on these two lakes, I’ve seen matches won on the feeder, up in the water, two thirds across on the straight lead and pellet, corn at 5 metres and down the edge, just do what you’re comfortable doing.
Pool 7 is a fairer lake, I’ve seen matches won from most of the pegs on this lake, in fact I really don’t mind which peg I draw on Pool 7, I’d always fancy my chances.