The mixed fishing lake on Phase One at Whetstone Gorse FisheryWhetstone Gorse Fishery


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When Whetstone Gorse owner Martin Kind decided to enlarge an existing pool at the side of his farmhouse in 1987 to make it a feature of his garden, little did he realise it would lead to him developing a fishery that now offers four lakes for pleasure, match and specimen carp angling - plus a whole lot more.

The mixed fish lake on Phase Two at Whetstone Gorse FisheryShortly after completing work on the pond he was being asked by anglers if they could fish it. Soon he was attracting regular customers and once angling in the pool had become well established he decided to create a caravan park near the pool for anglers who wanted to stay for longer periods.

The fourth generation of his family to farm Whetstone Gorse on Willoughby Road between Countesthorpe and Willoughby to the south of Leicester, Martin realised the future of dairy and arable farming in Britain was becoming increasingly uncertain and in 1994 decided to build two new pools on part of the 250 acre farm.

The Specimen Carp lake at Whetstone Gorse FisheryIt was a move which was to lead him out of full time farming and into developing not only a successful fishery but also into creating an attractive wedding venue, hiring out one of his barns for private functions for up to 200 people with licensed bar, setting up an equine livery centre and even developing a small pet 'hotel' to look after rabbits, guinea pigs and other small animals whilst their owners are away.

Once the two new pools had been stocked and allowed to naturalise he closed the smaller pool near the house to anglers and opened the two new pools for fishing. The result was that, yet again, he saw the number of anglers visiting the site increase dramatically.

Another shot of the mixed lake on Phase One at Whetstone Gorse FisheryIn 2000 Martin started work developing two new pools a short drive down the road from the main farm site and these now form Phase Two at Whetstone Gorse with a carp and mixed fish water and a silver fish pool. Unlike Phase One, which is never used for matches, Martin decided to open both waters on Phase Two for both pleasure and competition fishing.

The completion of Phase Two - giving Whetstone Gorse four pools and a total of five acres of water - together with the introduction of the wedding venue, caravan park, horse livery, licences function barn and other facilities at Whetstone Gorse led Martin to stop dairy farming in 2002 and arable farming two years later.

The caravan park at Whetstone Gorse FisheryThe caravan site (right) is open all year round and provides 26 pitches and a total of 15 hard standings. All pitches have electric hook-ups and the site has a toilet block and shower room. There is also a small bathroom, facilities for disabled visitors and a laundry with washer and dryer.

Whetstone Gorse caravan prices range from £12.00 to £20.00 per night depending on the time of week and time of year. There is a single day supplement of £10.00 for weekend bookings but prices are reduced for stays of 12 weeks or more.

Settling down on the mixed lake on Phase One at Whetstone Gorse FisheryOne of the main features of Whetstone Gorse is that it has been developed with nature in mind. A keen conservationist, all of Martin's work on the fishery has been done to provide quality fishing in an increasingly natural environment with the welfare of his fish and local wildlife a prime consideration.

The result is four attractive lakes which offer a variety of fishing including specimen carp angling in a relaxed environment where there are few rules with the exception that the maximum hook size is Size 10 and that boilies, jokers, bloodworm, nuts and beans should not be used as bait.

Other facilities at Whetstone Gorse

Weddings at Whetstone GorseDIY horse livery at Whetstone Gorse...and even a pet hotel!

In addition to the angling, Whetstone Gorse offers a range of other facilities including a caravan park, wedding venue, DIY livery for horses, a 30-acre plus field where a range of events can be held, a barn hire for dances, parties, BBQs, corporate and private functions and even holiday accommodation for small domestic pets with the exception of cats and dogs.
For further details of the all the facilities on offer please click here.

2016 angling ticket costs and Opening Times

Day Ticket
(6.00am - dusk)
£7.00 (add £1.00 for second rod)
£5.00 (add £1.00 for second rod)
Evening Ticket
(after 5.00pm)
£3.00 (add £1.00 for second rod)
£3.00 (add £1.00 for second rod)
OAP and Disabled membership
Not applicable
£80.00 (runs from May to end April each year)

Anglers should start fishing - day ticket fees will be collected on the bank
Anglers under 16 must be accompanied are are not allowed to fish Specimen Carp Pool.
Keepnets are charged at an additional £1.00 but must be emptied every four hours.

Match Fees - Per Peg
Match Fees - Whole Pool occupancy
£5.00 per peg

Telephone 0116 2773796 to book matches. Breakfasts may be pre-booked for those who want one.

Specimen Carp Pool at Whetstone Gorse FisheryPhase One - Specimen Carp Pool

The two waters forming Phase One can be found on the right half way down the access drive to the Whetstone Gorse complex and are served by two car parks on opposite sides of the drive. Unlike Phase Two, matches are never held on the two Phase One waters and anglers under 16 are not allowed to fish Specimen Carp Pool.

About half an acre in size, the oval shaped Specimen Carp pool holds common and mirror carp which have been caught to over 20lbs with the largest in 2013 tipping the scales at 23lbs. Fish in the 10lbs to 14lbs range are caught regularly.

Plenty of open waterTo ensure a decent stamp of fish for anglers the pool is netted in Spring every two years to enable any silver fish and the smaller carp to be removed. This ensures that the average size of fish in the pool is around the 7lb to 8lb mark with plenty of bigger fish.

In addition to the commons and mirrors the pool also holds a good head of crucian carp with many weighing between 1lb and 2lbs. With crucian carp waters becoming increasingly less common these fish attract a growing band of devotees who enjoy fishing for these lively and attractive fish.

Another shot of the Specimen Carp Pool at Whetstone Gorse FisheryOffering a total of 12 pegs, Specimen Carp Pool has banks which shelve at 45 degrees down to a flat and even bottom which is about six feet deep. This makes Specimen Carp Pool easy to fish on the waggler.

With plenty of open water the far end shelves up to about two and a half feet deep where there is a bank of reeds. This section of the pool is fenced off to create a conservation area, although anglers can reach the water in front of the reeds from the end pegs on both banks. Unsurprisingly this makes these two pegs firm favourites with pool regulars.

A corner peg on Specimen Carp Pool at Whetstone Gorse FisheryThese pegs also have the advantage that, being shallower than the remainder of the pool, they hold the warmer water at the beginning and end of the year whilst in hot weather the fish can be seen cruising in the bay.

Although most techniques and baits work well on Specimen Carp Pool, anglers do particularly well fishing meat, prawns or mussels whilst floating bread and dog biscuits are very effective for those anglers who enjoy surface fishing.

Those after the crucian carp do well on smaller baits of bread, paste, casters and small pieces of worm particularly when fished on light tackle down the sides as these fish seem to like to stay in the margins.

A corner peg on the Phase One Mixed Fish pool at Whetstone GorsePhase One - Mixed Fish Lake

The Phase One Mixed Fish Lake at Whetstone Gorse is about an acre and a half in size and, like Specimen Carp Pool, has sides which shelve gradually at 45 degrees down to a flat and even bottom at about six feet.

Again this is an open water with no islands and is ideal for pole or waggler fishing. Like Specimen Carp Pool it has flat grassed banks which are regularly mown. In addition there is a section of concrete bank with three pegs which have been purpose-built for anglers with wheelchairs. These pegs can be found on the bankside near the car park.

The Mixed Fish pool on Phase One at Whetstone GorseMixed Fish Lake has 30 pegs which are spaced eight metres apart around the lake and holds a wide variety of fish including common and mirror carp to 18lbs and averaging 6lbs to 7lbs; hard fighting grass carp between 4lbs and 10lbs; bream which in 2013 were caught to 7lbs 3oz with several coming to the net around the 6lb mark; and some large perch which run to over 3lbs.

In addition the pool holds tench to 3lbs, crucian carp to about 1lb and some beautiful roach, rudd and roach-bream hybrids to 2lbs. There are also some ghost carp and a few decent sized goldfish.

The Mixed Fish pool on Phase One at Whetstone GorseMost anglers who fish Mixed Fish Lake for the carp use rod and line fishing a waggler on one rod and ledger or surface bait on the second with the most successful baits tending to be meat, carp pellets, sweetcorn, paste or bread. The grass carp and ghosties in particular like sweetcorn.

Anglers fishing for the crucians fish lighter tackle with small pieces of meat whilst worm or a bunch of maggots fished on a Size 14 hook are particularly good for the perch.

The Mixed Fish pool on Phase One at Whetstone GorseBecause of the size and quality of the roach and rudd, many anglers fish solely for these species on light tackle with maggots, casters, sweetcorn, soft hooker pellets, paste or bread flake all being popular and effective baits.

Although there are no particular hot pegs with anglers being able to catch easily anywhere around the lake, fishing close in by the irises can prove particularly effective when the pool is quiet, especially in the evenings when the fish tend to patrol the margins.

The mixed fish lake on Phase Two at Whetstone Gorse FisheryPhase Two - Mixed Fish Lake

The water on the right as you enter the car park on Phase Two, Mixed Fish Lake is oval in shape with a central island running down the spine giving 30 metres of water between the bank and the island.

To preserve the natural feel of this water the pegs have been spaced 10 metres apart which provides plenty of room for both pleasure and match anglers.

The mixed fish lake on Phase Two at Whetstone Gorse FisheryBuilt with sides which again slope down at 45 degrees to an average depth of six feet and then back up at 45 degrees to the island, Mixed Fish Lake differs from the other Whetstone Gorse waters in that some 200 young barbel were added two years ago, the best of which now top the 1lb mark and are caught regularly.

Anglers who fish this lake say they love the barbel because, although still small, they give a really good account of themselves. Most of the barbel fall to baits of meat or pellets.

The mixed fish lake on Phase Two at Whetstone Gorse FisheryThe main fish species in the lake are the common and mirror carp which average about 4lbs in weight but run to between 15lbs and 16lbs with plenty of low doubles. There are also plenty of crucian carp to about 1lb, tench to 2lbs, perch to about 1lb and a good head of roach and rudd which average 8oz but run to 1lb.

Mixed Fish Lake is a good match water which fishes evenly whichever peg you draw. It is shallowest at the lily ends of the island and every peg has at least six feet of water in front of it.

The mixed fish lake on Phase Two at Whetstone Gorse FisheryAs it to be expected it is worth fishing the track between the bank and the island but fishing in the margins and close to the island are also very effective, leading to average match catches of about 40lbs although currently the four-hour match record stands at just over 80lbs.

Once again the best baits tend to be small pieces of meat, sweetcorn, soft hooker pellets, paste, bread and casters and maggots, although as with Specimen Carp Pool prawns and mussels are also good for the larger carp.

Fishing the carp and silver fish lake on Phase Two at Whetstone GorsePhase Two - Carp and Mixed Fish Lake

The Carp and Silver Fish water on Phase Two at Whetstone Gorse is kidney shaped and again has a central island along its spine giving anglers a feature to fish towards.

With 16 metres of water between the bank and the island, the sides are again cut at 45 degrees to a six feet deep central track before rising again at 45 degrees to the island. At each end of the island there is a two feet deep ledge which is planted with reeds.

Another shot of the carp and silver fish lake on Phase Two at Whetstone GorseNaturally it pays to fish to this ledge as the fish tend to hold up around the reeds, so fishing either on top of it where there are no reeds or down the slope and at the bottom of the slope can give great results.

However, anglers should note that if they are fishing near the top of the slop or on the ledge hooked fish immediately bolt for the cover of the reeds so anglers need to fish heavier tackle and turn them quickly into open water after as soon as they strike.

The carp and silver fish lake on Phase Two at Whetstone GorseMost anglers fishing Carp and Mixed Fish Lake go after the common and mirror carp, which run to between 16lbs and 18lbs but average 6lbs and 8lbs with plenty of low doubles between 10lbs and 12lbs. The best mirror carp to come out in 2013 weighed 13lbs.

Like the other Whetstone Gorse waters there are also a good head of crucian carp - again to around 1lb - and some ghost carp in the lake, although these are not as big as the commons or mirrors at around the 4lbs mark with a smattering of bigger fish.

The carp and silver fish lake on Phase Two at Whetstone GorseThe silver fish species are largely made up of rudd and roach, both of which run to 1lb, and perch to about 8oz.

One of the features of the rudd is that they are in pristine condition and a delight to catch. They also help to bump up match weights with the current match record again standing at about 80lbs.

When fishing Carp and Mixed Fish Lake it pays to fish to the island or in the margins whilst in the winter months the carpo always tend to hang out where there are bullrushes.

As with the other Whetstone Gorse waters, best baits tend to be meat, sweetcorn, paste, pellets and bread with prawns and mussels again good for the bigger carp.

The Whetstone Gorse website
Visit Whetstone Gorse on the Net

Whetstone Gorse has a well designed and comprehensive website with information and photographs on all aspects of the venue including the facilities and prices for weddings plus details of the barn hire, event field hire, DIY livery and stabling for horses, the small pet 'holiday home', the caravan site and the fishing. A full list of the angling rules can also be found on their fishing page. The site can be found at

How to get there...

Click on the map for more detailWhetstone Gorse is a short drive from the Leicester end of the M69 motorway. On leaving the motorway take the A5460 signposted Fosse Park, Leicester and then branch left and at the roundabout take the first exit onto the A563 signposted Ring Road, Leicester South and East. At the Fosse Park Junction continue forward on the A563 and at the Soar Valley Way traffic lights turn right onto the A426 following the signs for Rugby. Go over the next four roundabouts, staying on the A426, and then at the staggered crossroads turn left into Countesthorpe Road. After 200 yards turn right into Hill Lane and then right into Willoughby Road. A short way down here you will see the entrance to Whetstone Gorse on the right. Phase Two is on the left a little further along Willoughby Lane.

Click on the map to the right for more detail. Whetstone Gorse is shown as Claybrooke Mill.

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