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23/09/23 - Coaching Day with special guest, Callum Dicks - Chester's Lake - Whitemoor

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

It was a day to remember. One that I won’t forget in a hurry. The planets just seemed to line up and serendipity played its part. Some fishing happened too but, we’re all going to remember where we were the day that Luton Town scored their first point in the Premiership…

I’d had been looking forward to this day for quite some time. The chance to spend the day with a quality angler like Callum Dicks was one not to be missed, and I was determined to make the most of it for my juniors and for myself.

Callum had travelled from Bristol with dad Paul, a journey of just shy of three-hours. But they had arrived at Whitemoor on a beautiful day with the all the lakes looking the best that I have ever seen them.

We had a discussion about where he should sit and about how much detail he should go into with regards to the fact that he would be talking to juniors, something that he’d never done before. I told him to look for the moment when their eyes glaze over, and then pull back a little. There he would find the level of learning.

With all assembled, I gathered the flock around the peg in which Callum had set up camp for the day and, after the usual waffle, I handed over to our guest to talk us through his baits, equipment, and his thinking on certain methods and techniques when fishing.

It was immediately apparent that Callum was well able to talk to young anglers at a level that they could easily understand. It was nice for me to take a step back and look in for a change, and I got the opportunity to observe the juniors as they were encapsulated by what they were being shown. I was wearing a smile that, to some extent, has not gone away two days later as I write this.

We had juniors that had several years of experience under their belts, to others that were just beginning their angling journey. So, there were some subjects that a few were familiar with. But there was no loss of interest because Callum spoke to them in such a way that they he didn’t lose their attention. I wish I knew his secret!

I didn’t want to interrupt his flow but, I tried to ask Callum some questions throughout his tutorial to try to ask some things that I felt the juniors would benefit from hearing him give and answer to.

Callum talked for longer than I would have dared to, and he had them spellbound. Not just the juniors either. The parents and coaches, including myself, were absorbing all the information too.

Callum covered different baits and why it was important to choose that right ones. Pole rigs and elastics including the types of lines, shots, and hooks. How to set up equipment like pole rollers and where to position them. He even only fished to the limits that most juniors would manage with a pole. There was a full 16 -metres plus in the bag, but there was no point in showing them things that they would not be able to achieve just yet.

As Callum was demonstrating his fishing techniques, I felt that there was just a little shuffling beginning to happen and that the desire to do some fishing was beginning to take over. It was time to release the children to the wild and let them have a go themselves. We would regroup to finish off the rest of the coaching later on.

They returned to their pegs and started to put into practice what they had learned. This is the part of the day where Callum and Paul would show their true quality in my eyes. They could have easily sat there and had a day’s fishing, asking any questions from juniors (or seniors) that were presented to them. But no. They were quickly moving around the lake, helping the regular coaches do their work. I saw Callum with armfuls of pole sections for Kenzie who is yet to own a pole of his own.

Reuben was lucky enough to have a go on Callum’s box and pole for a go while under the watchful gaze of Paul.

At one o’clock we gathered for the second part of the tutorial about setting up and using a method feeder. Even though all of the juniors have experience of the feeder, Callum was able to show his own ideas for how to fish effectively by loading it in a different way from that which we had been showing them so far.

Like all exceptional anglers, Callum backed up his way of doing things with thorough explanation and undeniable logic that just made sense, rather than ‘this is the right way to do it, so do it this way’.

One part that sticks in my mind was a casting tutorial where he was trying show the difference between a feathered cast and one that lands with a big splash. Despite four or five casts, it seemed that Callum is not able to cast badly, so it was abandoned to the sound of laughter!

I took the opportunity to gather everyone together for a group photo and we fished for the rest of the session in the sunshine. Josiah took the opportunity to practice his casting and, after a few tangles with the island trees, he started to get it with Callum’s help.

I had wanted Callum to show off his natural ability and efficient speed when he fishes, but the day was running out quickly, and Callum wanted to get home to put his new baby daughter to bed. They had a long drive and, although they had enjoyed the day as much as we had, it would soon be time to go.

Once they were packed away, we gathered for final photos and a chance to get a few bits of clothing and equipment signed. In fact, the only thing that Kit didn’t get signed was his mum, and that’s only because she stayed in motion! Even I signed Ollie’s seat box, as did Jerry. Probably only so he could sit on us every time he goes fishing!

I gave a farewell address and presented Callum and Paul with a few bottles of appreciation from Jerry’s personal wine cellar. The day was so good and so successful that I only just managed to get the words out before succumbing to a little emotion. They had excelled themselves and given us a day that we would surely not forget in a hurry.

Callum wished us all well and told me to get in touch again next year for a return visit. I, for one, cannot wait for that!

At the risk of over stating it (I had already thanked both Paul and Callum twenty times or more during the day already. Almost as many times as Jerry said, ‘What a year we’ve had!’), but I want to express my deep appreciation and gratitude for everything that Callum did for us on Saturday. They had gone above and beyond anything that we could have hoped for and shown me that you can coach angling without being boring! You can find out more about Callum's' fishing adventures by following him on Facebook at You can contact Paul at Bristol Angling Centre via the website at

Thank you to our juniors Reuben, Jack Grasby, Jack Davis, Josiah, Ollie, Kit, Kenzie, and Jack Copp. (Too many Jacks!). You were shining examples of how good juniors can be. You were polite, articulate, and respectful of our guests. On behalf of my coaches and the whole club, I am proud of you all, and thank you for being exemplary ambassadors. Callum sent a text the following day saying, “It was a brilliant day, all the lads and parents were great and very welcoming”.

Thank you to all the parents for sharing this special day with us.

Thank you to my exceptional team of coaches, Jerry, Jon, Si, Neil, and Tim (Feel better soon Chris!)

Finally, big thanks to Tom for providing us with a benchmark in quality fishing. It looked stunning.

If we ended the year now, it would be the best year to date. But it’s not over yet and we visit Harbourbridge Lakes on Saturday the 7th of October for round nine of this year’s championship race.

The standings are: 134pts Jack Copp 131pts Austin Scott-Kennedy 127pts Josiah Wells-Parkes

The rest are a match win or more away but can still be contenders with four matches to go. Until next time, take care and tight lines… Juniors Sec…

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