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  • Writer's pictureFishing for Schools

Tesco Stronger Starts supports Fishing for Schools delivery at Purbrook Park School

Updated: Jun 13

Fishing for Schools lead Coach, Rob Doyle, reflects on four immersive sessions with students at Purbrook Park School, Portsmouth during April and May.

Special mention to Tesco Stronger Starts, who kindly supported our work at Purbrook Park. Thank you!

Our first classroom session was all about species of fish and where they live: why they are the shape and colours they are, and whether they are predator or prey. We ran through how to handle and look after the fish for release or dispatch. We also reviewed the various forms of tackle used, whether it be coarse, game or sea. Our main focus during this session was game fishing. Students were split into two groups with each team assembling the rods and lines but with each having one hand in their pocket. This proved quite entertaining. We finished the session looking at the food fish eat, the artificial representations we use for flies, and the materials these are made of.

Session 2 saw the group tying flies, understanding the equipment required from, the vice that holds a hook steady, the actual hooks, bobbins to hold the thread and all manner of materials to be converted into potential artificial trout food.

Following the fly tying we went outside to learn to cast. We set up the rods, and explained the importance of wearing hats and glasses when casting or fishing. I supply a range of hats and glasses including an outrageous pair or two. They all did remarkably well with casting some very good lines.

Session 3 saw us head to the food tech room for fish biology, dissection and cooking. It is amazing how food captures a teenager’s attention. We cooked the fish in two ways: fried in margarine with sliced mushrooms or poached in coconut milk with sweet chilli sauce. Surprisingly all pupils chose fried margarine with mushrooms which is very unusual.

Meon Springs was the venue for our final session of the programme for a day’s fishing. I was informed when we arrived that it was fishing very hard. We decided to fish the fly under an indicator. Taking the pupils down onto the lake, the group were soon casting well enough to fish. Martyn put flies on for each as they progressed from casting to fishing. The first fish was on the bank within 10 minutes but the team at Meon Springs were correct it wasn't easy’ however we did manage five fish.

All pupils showed good determination and patience, but more importantly, they all worked together with the successful helping and supporting those less successful.

An excellent day with a group that were great ambassadors for their school and themselves.

Thank you to Meon Springs for a fantastic venue and to Martyn Rafferty. 

Thank you again to Tesco Stronger Starts for their support.

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