The Green Heart of Poringland


Coach Praises Martin’s Commitment

It was all smiles for Martin and Adam at a recent coaching session at Poringland Lakes. 

Angling is a great way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and relax and for Martin and his carer, Adam Hollings, a session with head coach Mark Casto proved a great success. 

Adam and Martin are regulars at Poringland Lakes where Martin really enjoys his fishing as well as the lakes’ peaceful surroundings and wildlife. 

The coaching session was aimed at teaching Martin and Adam the basics of float fishing taking a look at floats, shotting patterns and fish handling. 

Coach Casto was certainly impressed with Martin’s enthusiasm and commitment. 

“Martin was a great student.  He is obviously very keen to learn and was soon gaining confidence.  During the session Martin was able to handle a fish for the first time which was a major achievement.  He also learned all about the different types of floats he could use and the way to set everything up” explained Mark.              

“As the lesson progressed we caught several nice roach, rudd and perch using an insert waggler and red maggots for bait. At the end of the lesson, Martin and Adam both said how much they had enjoyed themselves and it was clear from Martin’s big smile that he had a great time. Our next lesson is already booked and it looks like Martin is going to make a first-class angler!” predicted Mark. 

Coaching Team Expands 

Poringland Lakes has two new additions to its coaching team. 

Mick Morley and Ryan Westgarth have both successfully completed the Angling Trust level one coaching course to join established coaches Mark Casto (level two) and Eric Peak (level one). 

Both Mick and Ryan found the two day course enjoyable, if at times challenging. Both are now keen to progress to level two. 

"Congratulations to Mick and Ryan" said lakes' president Dave Gudgeon. "With so much emphasis on recruitment and the involvement of youngsters in particular, it is vitally important we have properly qualified and accredited volunteers to oversee the activities."          

If you would like to know more about coaching opportunities at Poringland Lakes, please contact head coach, Mark Casto on 01502 476842 or email atthefishwasbig@gmail.com. See also Mark’s regular blog at thefishwasbig.blogspot.co.uk  

Never Too Old to Learn

You are never too old to learn.  So goes the old adage which applies throughout life but even more so when it comes to fishing. 

Poringland Lakes’ head coach Mark Casto has built up an ever-expanding clientele of angling enthusiasts all wanting want to hone their skills in a variety of methods – especially returnees, anglers who fished in their youth but haven’t picked up a rod in decades. 

One such angler is John Hipperson who recently moved to the village and discovered Poringland Lakes, almost on his door step. 

John and Mark teamed up and now John has had three coaching sessions covering waggler, pole and feeder fishing disciplines.  By all accounts, John has proved to be the perfect pupil. 

“John really seemed to enjoy the lessons” said Mark.  “He now feels much more confident about starting up again.  At the next session I have with him we are just going to fish together. It is not all about coaching it's also about making new friends and enjoying their company” added Mark. 

John Hipperson was really impressed with the coaching lessons. 

“The sessions have been great.  Mark pitched them just right to give me the knowledge and confidence to 'get back in there' - just what I needed” said John. 

At the other end of the spectrum, 12-year-old Jack Hardy is just taking his first steps when it comes to fishing.  Neither of Jack’s parents have ever fished, so grandfather Jim thought it was a good idea for Jack to have some formal training under the watchful eye of an experienced coach. 

Jim contacted Poringland Lakes and soon the first coaching sessions was underway.  Jack was a model pupil, quickly picking up the techniques and putting them to good practice by catching lots of fish. 

Granddad Jim was very impressed. 

“Jack loved it and wants to come back again. Although he lives outside the village, Jack is really hoping to join the Kingfisher club, meet new friends of his own age and continue his fishing adventures.  Mark was incredibly patient and did a great job” said Jim. 

“I enjoyed it too and may even pick up a rod myself one day” quipped Jim. 

f you would like to know more about coaching sessions at Poringland Lakes, please contact Mark Casto on 01502 476842 or email atthefishwasbig@gmail.com. See also Mark’s regular blog at thefishwasbig.blogspot.co.uk 

Coaching More Popular Than Ever

Coaching at Poringland Lakes is proving more popular than ever. 

Under expert guidance from Angling Trust coaches Mark Casto and Eric Peak, the upsurge in coaching sessions shows no signs of abating.  

The latest angler to attend a session, Jason Florey, was delighted with the day and was full of praise for head coach Mark Casto.

“This was my first visit to Poringland Lakes.  Really enjoyed it.  The fish were really good quality with a good variety” said Jason (pictured).  

“My coaching session with Mark was great, learning all about fishing with paste on the pole, something I had never done before. Really looking forward to going again” he added. 

Coaching Pays Dividends

The recently introduced coaching sessions at Poringland Lakes are proving to be a real hit.  

Under the guidance of Angling Trust level two coach Mark Casto, the latest ‘trainee’ Adam Bunn had an excellent day’s fishing.  Making his first ever visit to Poringland Lakes, Adam netted probably 30lb of fish in the three hour session – and won several envious glances from those struggling in a match on the neighbouring lake.  

As well as a six pound plus carp and several good sized bream, Adam also caught his first ever crucian carp which really delighted him.

 “The coaching was excellent.  Mark is very patient and gave me no end of tips which I will be putting into practice every time I go fishing now.  Catching the crucian was a real bonus” said Adam.  

“I really enjoyed my first visit to Poringland Lakes ”and will definitely be going again” he added enthusiastically. 

Coaching Scheme Launched at Poringland Lakes

The PCLA has teamed up with two of the region’s top angling coaches to provide coaching at Poringland Lakes  

Under the new arrangements, the trustees have offered to make the lakes available to Angling Trust accredited coaches Mark Casto and Eric Peak for coaching sessions.  

“We hope local anglers and those from further afield can take advantage of this new partnership” said lakes’ head bailiff Ray Noble. 

“Coaching brings many benefits.  Not only will it be delivered in a structured and ‘professional’ way but it will give members and visitors the opportunity to improve their angling skills and help educate youngsters and beginners in the basics including fish handling and welfare.  Hopefully it will attract more people to Poringland Lakes as well” he added.  

Explaining the administrative procedures, Ray went on to say “Mark and Eric will make all the arrangements, liaising directly with anglers and reserving peg space.”  

Both Mark and Eric are Angling Trust accredited coaches, Mark at level two and Eric level one.  They have been vetted by the Angling Trust and the Disclosure Barring Service (DBS), have a first aid certificate and hold civil liability and accident insurance specifically for coaching angling.  

Mark was also chairman of the Broads Angling Strategy Group from 2009 to 2013 and was instrumental in putting together the Broads Angling Strategy that covers the whole of the Norfolk Broads.  He is currently chairman of the BASG Communications and Education sub-group.  

Unlike many other coaches, Mark and Eric are giving their time free of charge.  However there will be a modest cost to cover their expenses including travel, bait etc.  As a guide, it is expected a two hour session will cost in the region of £25 (inclusive of peg fee, bait etc) which represents excellent value for money when compared to other venues who charge £40 plus for a similar session.  

For more information about coaching, please contact head coach Mark Casto on 01502 476842 or email at thefishwasbig@gmail.com. See also Mark’s regular blog at thefishwasbig.blogspot.co.uk.