Tuesday, 31 October 2017

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. 

Friday, 1 September 2017

Coaching the coaches

At Poringland lakes we now have a good team of coaches two of whom are training up to become level 2 coaches. So I have been spending some time with Mick and Ryan going over some new methods and techniques to get them ready for moving up the ladder to level 2, next year.

If you live in and around Norwich Poringland Lakes is the ideal place to come along and have a coaching session with us all, fun friendly coaching sessions we guarantee you will enjoy and benefit from to improve your angling skill.

Monday, 26 June 2017


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 at thefishwasbig@gmail.com See also Mark’s regular blog at thefishwasbig.blogspot.co.uk  

Tuesday, 25 April 2017


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 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 doorstep.

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.

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 were 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.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Haven't been fishing for ages? Not sure where to start?

No Problem.

One of my latest students has been finding out the latest methods and techniques used in angling to bring him back up to speed and get him fishing again.

Starting with the basics of float fishing first and learning all about waggler fishing we then moved on to feeder fishing and took a look at three popular methods used on commercials and finally the last lesson taking a look at the basics of Pole fishing.

John had a great time and these were his comments after he had taken all three coaching sessions with me.

Thanks again for another very enjoyable coaching session on pole fishing ..... as always it was very informative and I think 'just right' in its content for me at this stage.
As you suggest, I will follow up by reading the material you kindly sent me. It's good of you to put so much effort into these sessions ..... much appreciated !

I look forward to having a fishing session with you next time .... let's keep in touch on this to arrange a convenient date.

In the meantime Mark just a further word of huge thanks for these sessions ..... they have been great and you have pitched them just right to give me the knowledge and confidence to 'get back in there'; just what I needed!! Your teaching technique is excellent and I've found the sessions thoroughly informative, relaxing and enjoyable! It's been a real pleasure for me to have the opportunity to do this with you!

All of the coaching session with John took place at Poringland Lakes just outside of Norwich where I coach. So if you are struggling with your fishing and confused by all the new methods like John then get in touch and let's get you up to speed again and catching some good fish.

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 thefishwasbig@gmail.com

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 https://www.facebook.com/groups/736776893036958/ or by emailing head coach at thefishwasbig@gmail.com.