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  • Writer's pictureFishing for Schools

Meet our coaches…Q&A with Essex Coach, Michael Salisbury

"Mike Salisbury is among our most enigmatic coaches. During lockdown he would regale us with songs composed on his guitar – very funny ones too. He was a lead columnist for the much missed Angler’s Mail, one of the country’s leading carp fishers, and one of those quiet people that continually surprises.

Mike also has an enormous empathy and skill with young people. All of us are thrilled to have Mike on board with Fishing for Schools and he adds so much to our collective merry band!"

- Charles Jardine, Director of Fishing for Schools.

What do you do now, apart from Fishing for Schools, and what else should we know about you?

I’m a full-time angling coach now, so I’m lucky enough to have made my passion as my full-time occupation.

When did you start fishing?

Aged 10.

What inspired you to start fishing?

It was the mid-80s and my Uncle took me to Leazes Park in Newcastle to give fishing a try, as he thought I might like it. How right he was! I spent the day catching roach and perch, and marvelled at huge carp leaping out next to the central island. I never looked back!

What made, or rather “inspired” you to continue fishing?

That first taste of fishing had me captivated right from the off, and as is very much the way now, I felt drawn to the bank time and time again. It’s a difficult concept to verbalise, but I can only liken it to some mysterious power or force “calling” you to the water’s edge.

What notable achievement have you made in fishing, do you think Michael?

When I was younger I always dreamed of becoming a columnist for Angler’s Mail, and back in 2017, I achieved that very thing. I had a weekly column until 2020 when the magazine unfortunately folded.

What made you want to become a coach?

Basically, to pass on the magic of angling to as many other people as possible.

When did you become a coach?


When did you join Fishing for Schools and why?

In 2019, because I thought that it was a fantastic initiative that I wanted to be part of.

What has given you the most pleasure working with Fishing for Schools?

I joined in late 2019, and had my first Fishing for Schools sessions booked for the summer of 2020. Obviously, we all know what happened that year, so my sessions were cancelled. When I finally got some sessions up and running last year, that was a massive buzz.

What is the most difficult part of Fishing for Schools?

Like any fishing session, the British weather.

What is your main aim for a Fishing for Schools session?

To ensure that everyone is involved, enjoying themselves and staying safe.

How do you personally measure a successful session?

Not so much by what has or hasn’t been caught, it’s gauging the engagement and reaction of the participants.

What is your funniest moment with Fishing for Schools?

Me attempting to fly-fish on the River Itchen on our coach’s CPD day.

Why do you believe in Fishing for Schools?

The organisation is doing invaluable work. I feel more schools would offer fishing if they could afford to, so providing free sessions to successful applicants is invaluable.

What is the future for Fishing for Schools, do you think?

I’m sure that the organisation will continue to grow and develop, as we are delivering a quality product to schools.

Why should people who are both anglers and non-anglers get behind Fishing for Schools?

Even if you don’t like fishing, you can’t argue with the positive manner in which young people engage with the sessions we offer. Not all learning occurs in the classroom, and it’s very important to provide some diversity in the curriculum.

Where do you see Fishing for Schools in five years’ time?

Moving only one way - upwards!

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