Family Fishing – Major Changes

Poringland Lakes participation programme will have a dramatic change of direction next year (2019) as organisers adopt a more targeted approach to recruitment.

The popular Family Fishing Days will be discontinued to be replaced by an extended Kingfisher Club calendar and additional events for local cub and scout groups.

While the Family Fishing Days have proved extremely popular, attracting youngsters literally from across the county, organisers feel the time is now right to concentrate on a more localised approach.  Although the ‘scattergun’ policy adopted in the past three years attracted youngsters from far and wide, Poringland was in danger of not seeing the long term benefits.

Under new arrangements, more emphasis will be put on retention.  The success of the Kingfisher Club for under-16s and demand from local scout and cub groups supports this view.

“Around half of all participants were not from the local area and as several volunteers are unable to help on weekdays next year it was agreed we could not offer Family Fishing for 2019” said a club spokesman.

In order to compensate, the Kingfisher days will be extended to seven sessions commencing in April and finishing in October.

Angling Celebrity Supports Family Fishing Day

One of the country’s best known angling personalities is set to visit Poringland Lakes. 

Renowned broadcaster, author, journalist, television presenter and accomplished fisherman, John Bailey hopes to be present at Wednesday’s (30 May 2018) Family Fishing Day. 

It will be John’s second visit to the lakes.  Three years ago, virtually to the day, John performed the opening ceremony following the lakes’ extensive restoration. 

John’s support for the next generation of anglers is legendary. Despite his media and guiding commitments, he gives freely of his time to encourage youngsters to take up the sport in the hope that it will become a life-long passion.          

Never was this better illustrated than his highly acclaimed television programme, ‘Fishing in the Footsteps of Mr Crabtree’, which saw John walking in the footsteps of his own angling hero, Mr Crabtree, accompanied each week by a different young guest ‘Peter’.

Lakes Celebrate a Remarkable Success

Poringland Lakes is celebrating a remarkable success. 

Earlier this year (2017), as a condition of grants totalling £2,685, Sport England and the Angling Trust set a challenging target of introducing 125 new people to the sport, of which 75 had to be under-13. 

With the 2017 participation programme now completed, final figures show that the Association has far exceeded those targets.  In total the programme attracted 159 new anglers including 121 under-13s.  Equally pleasing is the fact that 37 of the newcomers were women or girls. 

“It’s a truly remarkable achievement” said lakes’ president Dave Gudgeon.  “I cannot praise all those involved enough.  All the organisers, coaches and volunteers have given up a great deal of their time to make the participation programme a huge success. 

“Many of the youngsters have joined the Kingfisher junior club which promises to go from strength to strength as we develop the next generation of anglers” he added.

Family Fishing Launched 

Plans to hold a series of Family Fishing sessions at Poringland Lakes took a step closer this week when James Lewis from the Angling Trust travelled from his Milton Keynes base to train local volunteers who will acting as ‘fishing champions’.

Following initial training, it was agreed to hold five sessions at Poringland Lakes in 2016, on three successive Saturdays. All sessions will be held between 10am and 12.30pm. 

Although aimed primarily at youngsters wishing to take up the sport, everyone is welcome to try their hand, either trying fishing for the first time or returning after a break. 

All children must be accompanied throughout by a parent or guardian.  Angling advice and support will be provided by Poringland Lakes own ‘fishing champions’. 

The Angling Trust will supply publicity material ahead of the events and provide equipment and professional advice on the day. 

District Councillor John Overton also attended the briefing session and will be adding his support by assisting with publicity and promotion which, it is hoped, will include a feature in The Link, South Norfolk Council’s community magazine.  Local schools and youth groups, such as the Scouts, will also be targeted ahead of the sessions. 

Angling Trust Support Recruitment Initiative

Hopes that Poringland Lakes could become an academy-style facility for local youngsters took a giant step forward recently when the Angling Trust’s regional officer, James Lewis travelled from his Milton Keynes base to visit the community fishery. 

For some time, the trustees and local volunteers have been keen to introduce local youngsters to fishing.  Now, thanks to support from the Angling Trust, that dream could become a reality. 

Clearly James Lewis was impressed with what he saw.  

“Having recently been invited across to Poringland Lakes, I see that there is a huge potential to drive forward development and participation at the site. The lakes are in fantastic condition and lend themselves perfectly to all forms of coarse angling” said James. 

“There is also a real good hub of motivated volunteers who care passionately about the site and the fishing within it . We are currently working together to form a plan for family fishing events next year, so watch this space and please come and get involved’. 

The Angling Trust is committed to ensuring that as many people as possible not only take that first step into angling but become lifelong anglers.  The National Angling Strategy ‘Fishing for Life’, highlights the Trust’s ambition to get more people fishing, in particular youngsters. 

Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon

Greater publicity has seen more and more people visiting Poringland Lakes. 

The exciting new initiative ‘Kids Fish Free’ has seen a real upsurge of interest with Grandparents, Dads and Mums giving their offspring their first taste of fishing.

And they are certainly starting young as our picture shows.  This family took advantage of a perfect summer Sunday to visit the lakes, combining a spot of fishing and pond dipping with a delicious picnic.   

“This place is really lovely” said Mum.  “We live in Lakenham so it’s not far to come and it’s a great day out.” 

Exciting New Initiative Launched to Encourage Next Generation of Anglers

The Trustees have launched an exciting new initiative to encourage the next generation of anglers – free fishing for kids. 

Under the new scheme, accompanied children under-16 can fish free of charge. 

“We really do need to encourage the next generation of anglers” said bailiff Ray Noble. 

“We already have several young regulars, boys and girls, who come along with Mum and Dad for a couple of hours fishing on a Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon. 

“Only last week a father brought along his three children, two of whom were fishing for the first time.  You should have seen the smile on the young girl’s face when she caught her first ever tench.  It was priceless!” said Ray.

Angling Trust Accredited Fishing Champions

Lloyd Burgess

Mike Dicks

Michael Graver

John Hodgson

Mick Morley