Saturday, 17 December 2016


Kingfishers off to a Flying Start

The first member has joined the newly formed Kingfisher Club - even before the club has been officially launched!
Club coordinator Mark Casto has been running coaching sessions with young Darcy Palmer who has taken to the sport – well, like a fish to water!
“I had a very rewarding coaching session with young Darcy today” explained Mark.  “This was the fourth lesson of a four-part course on an introduction to pole fishing and he has really worked hard to get his certificate and complete all four lessons.  
“In this last lesson he had to demonstrate all that he had learned and he did really well. I was very proud of him and so was his godfather Lloyd.  

“Darcy was really pleased with himself too and that was such a pleasure for me as his coach to see him making such good progress” enthused Mark.
Following the last session, Darcy was presented with his certificate and Kingfisher club badge as its first member.  If you would like to learn more about coaching at Poringland Lakes, please contact Mark on 01502 476842 (home), 07709 556173 (mobile) or email at

Monday, 28 November 2016


Kingfisher Club Launched
Poringland Lakes has unveiled an exciting new initiative to recruit and retain more youngsters into the sport.
Following the tremendous success of the Family Fishing Fun Days, the junior academy, known as the Kingfisher Club, will be launched next summer, exclusively for youngsters under the age of 16.
Five Saturday morning dates are planned on 20 May, 17 June, 15 July, 19 August and 15 September.  Club members will be expected to attend most sessions.
The sessions will include a variety of practical exercises including the basics of setting up float rings, shotting, tying hooks etc as well as lots of fishing on the lakes.  
All the sessions are to be kept at a basic level to allow for youngsters to gain new skills and for the coaches and volunteers to assess their angling abilities. Further coaching lessons will be available for everyone by booking in with the coaches.
Sessions will be supervised by Angling Trust approved coaches Mark Casto, Eric Peak and Gary Peppercorn, supported by Poringland Lakes’ own Trust-trained fishing champions.  Lakes’ trustee Andy Dewar will coordinate the activities.
Although the new club will be officially launched in the New Year, youngsters interested in joining can express an interest by going on to Poringland Lakes Facebook page at or by emailing head coach at

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Junior Club member completes a four part course on Pole fishing

Darcy Palmer proudly holds his certificate for completing the four-part Introduction to Pole fishing course. The course is a beginner friendly introduction to Pole fishing and teaches all you need to know to make a start at Pole fishing.

As a coach, I get a tremendous sense of satisfaction from teaching young anglers like Darcy and I learn just as much from them as they do from me.

Having completed An introduction to Commercial feeder fishing,  An introduction to Feeder fishing on rivers and now the Introduction to Pole fishing, Darcy is keen to do the next in the series An introduction to Float fishing.

Poringland Lakes where I do most of my coaching is starting up a Junior Club called the Kingfishers club. Along with the Family fishing day events, they have planned for next year it looks like a great family series of events and activities. so if your budding young anglers would like to join please contact me for details and check out the Poringland Website for all their activities.

Tight Lines
Mark Casto UKCC level 2 Coach.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016


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.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Nature Day a Resounding Success  at Poringland Lakes

Today’s nature study and fishing taster session have been widely applauded as a resounding success.  Eleven youngsters between the ages of seven and twelve from Wheatfen Forest School attended the bespoke session, combining nature study and fishing. 
The youngsters were split into two groups, each spending an hour studying the local flora and fauna followed by an hour long introduction to fishing.  Happily, everyone managed to catch at least one fish, some even landing carp of up to four pounds.
The sessions were supervised by personnel from the school supported by Poringland Lakes’ own fishing champions.  Conservation experts Liz Dack and Peter Aspinall were on hand, conducting pond dipping, a nature ramble and answering questions.
Angling Trust level two coach Mark Casto who co-ordinated the visit was thrilled with the event.
“Fishing and conservation have been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember, so being able to pass this knowledge on to the children today was fantastic,” said Mark.  
“Not only that but combining the angling coaching with a nature session, pond dipping and learning all about the beautiful wildlife flowers and fauna at Poringland Lakes was a wonderful way to help these youngsters appreciate and learn about the diversity of nature” he added. 

Liz Dack, who is a well-known volunteer with the Norfolk Wildlife Trust and regularly helps out at the Trust's education and family events, was delighted with the day.
“I think the day went very well and everyone had a good time,” said Liz.
“It was a pleasure to teach children who are really interested and attentive.  They were so interested in everything I told them and asked good constructive questions. 
“They all enjoyed hearing how to tell the difference between a male and female kingfisher.  Even the adults said they would remember it and would now know ‘the lady wears lipstick!” smiled Liz. 

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Press release

Young anglers benefit from improved access

More people have been able to enjoy river fishing for the first time thanks to a joint partnership project to enhance access.
The Environment Agency, together with the Broads Authority and the Broads Angling Strategy Group (BASG), used rod licence funds to help install 8 angling platforms and 2 disabled accessible pegs at Worlingham on the River Waveney, Norfolk Broads, in 2012.
Since then, Mark Casto, an Angling Trust licensed level 2 coach, has taken on several new recruits to this section of river for coaching sessions, and his latest students Darcy Palmer and Jason Neil have been reaping the benefits.
Darcy, 14, wanted to learn more about fishing a river but told his coach that he was scared as he could not swim. However following a 2-hour coaching session, he admitted his fear had disappeared as he felt safe and secure on the fishing platform, and now can’t wait to try again.
Jason, 21, wanted to learn more about feeder fishing so undertook a coaching session to learn the basics and improve his casting skills. As he is not comfortable in large crowds, he found the experience of fishing at Worlingham “really peaceful and relaxing”.
Mark said: “Improving access and giving local people a safe place to go fishing and providing coaching brings real benefits to the community and local people. Fishing is a wonderful healthy activity and it can be enjoyed by all ages young and old. As an angling coach having such a wonderful place to take people fishing at is brilliant and the pegs are solid and safe to coach from which is a real bonus.”
Steve Lane, fisheries technical specialist for the EA in the East Anglia area, said: “This showcases the benefits of the rod licence-funded work we do to improve access and angling opportunities for all.”
The riverbank at Worlingham was purchased the EA’s predecessor organisation to ensure some of the best fishing in the area was protected and maintained for the benefit of all.
Two of the pegs (areas divided up for fishing) close to the car park have an easy access surface and are wheelchair accessible.
Funding for the materials was provided by the Broads Authority, with the EA funding the construction work.
Improving access for all is among the objectives in the Broads Angling Strategy, a framework set up to sustain and grow angling in the Broads.
To book a coaching lesson with Mark Casto email or visit his blog
Visit the Broads Angling Strategy Group’s website to find out more about all the places you can go fishing.