The Green Heart of Poringland


Kingfishers End in Style

A smaller than usual turnout didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the youngsters attending the last Kingfisher event of the season.  A late addition to the calendar and family commitments during half term reduced the number to just eight anglers but once again everyone had a good time on a wonderful autumn day.

Prior to the action the youngsters had a demonstration how to use bread as a bait, a new skill they readily put into practice on Duffield lake.

The bread bait produced an immediate result for George, who within minutes of setting up and starting to fish, caught a very nice 7lb 2oz common carp which turned out to be the biggest catch of the day.

The day concluded with the presentation of Cast awards to the juniors and also the trophies to George for the ‘Most Improved Angler’, to Tyler for ‘Largest Tench’, to Colby for ‘Largest Bream’ and to Tristan for ‘Largest Crucian’ caught during the two match series.

The cup for the biggest fish caught and the shield for largest weight during the two matches had been presented to Elliot previously as he was unable to attend the final event.  The day was topped off with cakes, biscuits, sausage rolls, and sweets provided by the volunteers.

Head coach Mark Casto was delighted with the day

“Although we were down in numbers for our last event, it really was a superb day.  The weather was perfect and the juniors all had a great time. The Kingfisher club really has become a very special little club for our juniors and we have all loved teaching them and watching them develop as young anglers in their own right” said Mark.

“It was such a pleasure to give them their Cast Starter awards and the lovely cakes that the ladies all brought for us to enjoy was literally the icing on the cake.  Roll on next year” he added.

The participation sub-group is expected to meet in the coming weeks to discuss plans for 2019.  

A Dream Come True 

On a fine September morning, eleven Kingfishers took part in the latest club event, a competitive fishing match.  This was the second match of the year, the aggregate weight from the two events deciding who would take the honours of the biggest catch and win the Dewar shield. 

The Westgarth cup was still up for grabs for the biggest fish, so all was set for a fight to the finish line. The two and a half hour match took place on the new look Gudgeon lake with a break in the middle which included a demonstration by coach Mark Casto on the correct way to use a landing net, working toward the Cast awards. 

The fishing was evenly balanced, all the competitors catching small mirror and crucian carp as well as plenty of silvers.  Surprisingly no bream were caught but Tyler landed a very nice 1lb 10oz tench. 

Biggest fish of the day was caught by Elliot, a good 6lb 10oz common carp, taking his match winning weight to 8lb 1oz; the remaining weights varying from around the one to three pound mark. 

So popular have the Kingfisher meets proved, that the organisers have slotted in an extra event to take place on Saturday 20 October. 

Club co-ordinator Andy Dewar was delighted with the day. 

“I think I can say that everyone taking part put their full concentration and effort into winning.  Congratulations to them all. I believe they all enjoyed themselves again judging by all the happy faces” said Andy. 

“It was but a dream of mine and Ryan Westgath three years ago.  Through the hard work of all involved over the past two years, the club has become what it is today, so a big ‘thank you’ to everyone involved.  Special thanks must again go to Groundhog Hardware for sponsoring the bait, as they have done for all the events this year” added Andy. 

Ideal Weather for Kingfishers

Weather wise it could not have been better day for for fishing as eight club members turned out for this the fifth session. 

With Duffield lake closed to fishing for over a week, expectations were high that the fish would be up for a feed but unfortunately this was not the case.  Bites were hard to come by for all.  Despite all the volunteers’ years of fishing experience, nothing worked to get the fish to bite readily.

Having said this all the members managed to catch a few fish mainly small roach and perch. The ‘Fish of the Day’ trophy was won by Tyler who landed a nice common carp. 

As part of working towards their Cast awards, the group all worked on the skill of handling and unhooking fish by hand and using a disgorger. 

As the Kingfishers gathered together for a group photo, one man was in for a big surprise.  Organiser Mark Casto was presented with a birthday card, signed by the whole team, to mark his 60 th year. 

“The Kingfishers all wished me a happy birthday along with the volunteers

for my 60!  All in all a very special day and one I will remember for a very long time. I was a very happy man” beamed Mark. 

The next club meeting is at 10am Saturday 15th September.  It’s a match day!

Fish Welfare High on Kingfishers’ Agenda 

The latest Kingfisher Club meeting, the fourth of the year, produced some memorable moments for many of the 15 youngsters attending.  The aeration programme certainly seems to be paying dividends and has livened the fish up, so much so that many of the youngsters caught some quality fish as our picture collage shows.

But it’s not all about the fishing.  Fish welfare is also important, so fittingly the group took a break midway through the morning to have a lesson on fish handling. 

Head coach Mark Casto, assisted by would-be coaches Darcy and Zac, gave the group a lesson on fish handling which everyone put to good use afterwards as can be seen from the photos.

“It was an excellent day today with some lovely fish coming out for our junior members” said coach Casto.  “We are all on target for the Cast awards and it is fantastic to see our junior members learning how to look after the fish we catch and enjoying themselves in the process. Just brilliant” added Mark. 

Afternoon Session Proves Popular 

The first ever afternoon session for the Kingfishers proved popular, ten club members turning out for the third event of the year, this time on Duffield. 

All the youngsters managed to catch fish ranging from small perch, roach, skimmers, tench, crucians and common carp, one around the six pound mark taken by Leo which earned him the new trophy for "Fish of the Day".

New to the club was Tyler who managed to land three commons but lost some other good fish in the reeds. 

Club members took a well earned break from fishing as they worked towards their Cast award by learning about the Countryside Code. 

Parents again expressed their appreciation to all the volunteers. 

Mum Stacey said “Another great session. George had really got the fishing bug now even after those losses yesterday. He can't wait to come back and try again.  Thanks for all that you guys do. Absolutely brilliant!” 

Another mum, Deborah, was equally impressed.  "Many thanks, once again, to all the club volunteers, especially Mark who taught and gave Scarlett an amazing afternoon! My two loved every minute. Scarlett was telling us about the split shot last night over dinner!” 

Organiser Andy Dewar was also delighted with the day’s events. 

“A good afternoon was had by all judging by the happy faces.  Well done all. Thanks to all the volunteers and to Groundhog Homeware for sponsoring the bait.  The next club day is on Saturday 21 July.  It’s a morning session starting at 10am.  See you all then!” 

Tough Time for Kingfishers

The first of a two match Kingfisher series took place on Gudgeon lake earlier today. The aggregate weights from both matches and the biggest fish overall will decide the principal honours.

On a warm sunny day, bites were hard to come by, the total weights ranging from 9oz through to a match winning 2lb 8oz.  There has long been a theory that keepnets spook the fish. Certainly that seemed to run true today as everyone struggled to catch.

Pride of place went to newcomer Colby who is setting the pace in both categories thanks to a nice 2lb bream he netted early in the day.  Happily, all eleven youngsters caught, mainly roach, rudd and skimmers but disappointingly neither the carp nor the tench put in an appearance today.

And talking of disappointment, how gutted young Jack was when it was discovered he had a hole in his keepnet.  Unfortunately he lost quite a few fish through the gap in his net but thankfully organisers added a bit more weight to his final tally to make things fairer.

Despite the low weights, organiser Andy Dewar was delighted with the day. "Well done all who took part and persevered in the tough conditions" said Andy.

"This result means that for those who were unable to take part today, the gap is not that large, to catch up at the second match day in September.  Thanks again to all the volunteers who turned out to make this day a success and Groundhog who sponsored the bait.

"Sorry you had to miss the live showing of the royal wedding but this match was far more important!" smiled Andy.

The next Kingfisher meet takes place on the afternoon of Saturday 16 June.   

Kingfishers Return

After a six month break the Kingfishers returned to Poringland Lakes for the first event of the 2018 season.

Ten slightly rusty anglers attended but the knowledge and skills they gained last year soon returned, all catching plenty of roach, skimmers and the odd small tench and a couple of very nice small crucians.

Everyone was happy to be back and once again the parents were as enthusiastic as the kids.

"Thanks to all the volunteers" said mum Deborah Johnson. "My two loved every minute of it! They’re already talking about the next match and competition is already setting in!" she added.

It was a sentiment echoed by club co-ordination Andy Dewar.

“It was a great start to the new season” said Andy. “All the youngsters caught at least a dozen fish, which was great.  My thanks to all the volunteers who run the club and also to Groundhog Hardware who have very kindly sponsored all the bait again this year.” 

There are currently three spaces available in the club at the moment so if interested please contact either
Mark Casto at- thefishwasbig@gmail.com 
or Andy Dewar at- poringland.lakes203@gmail.com

The next meeting will be held on the morning of the 19 May when the first of two Kingfisher club matches will be held.  

2018 Kingfisher Dates Unveiled 

The dates for next year’s Kingfisher club meetings have been announced. 

Once again the events will be held in the third Saturday of each month from April through to September but in a change from tradition will now include two afternoon sessions.

In addition, following a suggestion from parents and the youngsters themselves, as a trial the first session will include a short break for refreshments and socialising. 

Priority will again be given to local youngsters living in Poringland and neighbouring villages including Alpington, Arminghall, Brooke, Framingham Earl, Framingham Pigot, Howe, Stoke Holy Cross and Yelverton. 

With the exception of existing members, the club will now be exclusively for youngsters between 8 and 16 years of age.  Membership will be restricted to 16 youngsters and costs a modest £15 covering all six sessions. 

The 2018 dates are Saturday 21 April (morning), Saturday 19 May (morning), Saturday 16 June (afternoon), Saturday 21 July (morning), Saturday 18 August (afternoon) and Saturday 15 September (morning). 

The morning sessions will be held from 10am till 1pm to incorporate a mid-session  break.  The afternoon sessions will commence at 1pm.