The Coarse Angling Experience


Martin with centrepin reel.

Martin at his happiest, a fast flowing water and a centrepin reel!

Martin with Sarah and her first fish.

Martin with Sarah and her first fish.

Martin with a just caught grass carp.

A fine grass carp from Split Lakes at Yateley.

Martin Porter

My name is Martin Porter, I am fifty-nine years old, based on the Hampshire/Berkshire borders and surrounded by some of the best fishing in the country. I am in the very fortunate position of being able to turn my life long passion into a business after a really stressful job in the police. I have also been able to utilise the "people skills" I learned during my uniformed service in a way that provides me with much more satisfaction, but still allows me to deal with people first hand.

My background is fourteen years regular Army and twenty two years Metropolitan police but throughout this time I have always been a keen angler. I have been a PAA qualified fishing coach for the last nine years. I am licensed to coach by which was set up by Sport England, I am also a member of Sports Coach UK. I have been checked by the Criminal records bureau, have attended a Good Practice in Child Protection Course and hold public liability and personal accident insurance for the purpose of coaching angling. I also hold a valid first aid certificate and my mother knows a good baker, so all in all I'm a handy bloke to know!


In 1999 I set up TryAngling and over the past nine years have coached a wide range of adults and children. I provide courses for both beginners and existing anglers who wish to develop their skills. I feel that fishing should be fun and all my courses are designed accordingly. I have done a lot of work with vulnerable children and worked closely with what used to be called PAYP and now is Connexions Active, through a local council and with Connexions Berkshire E2E. I now also work with SSB (Services Supporting Behaviour) and YOT (Youth Offending Team). The feedback I have received from both key workers and teachers has been very encouraging and the rewards of seeing young and old students catch their first fish are beyond measure. I try to capture these moments on a digital camera and publish the photos here whenever possible. I also write about my day to day activities on my blog, The Fishing Coach.


I've had a number of articles published in the angling press and one of these days I'll take enough time off from fishing to write a book - not, as you might imagine, about centrepins and barbel but a mystery thriller set in iron age Britain!

From time to time we're asked to run corporate events, often as a short match between sales staff. This works very well amongst naturally competitive people and serves as an excellent team building exercise.

I have two grown up sons, two granddaughters and a grandson and live with my partner Jan and our two dogs. Besides fishing I am also keenly interested in Rugby Union and history, particularly archaeology and the time before the Norman conquest. I am an all-round fresh water angler, enjoying both game and coarse fishing but I lack the opportunities to spend much time on the former.


My real love is river fishing and I like nothing more than trotting a float whilst standing in a nice clear fast flowing river. I am known as a centrepin freak as I use such a reel in preference to any other wherever possible and sometimes this proves a handicap - I end up fishing swims that favour the use of the centrepin rather than those that hold fish! I am also a member of the ACA and the Specialist Anglers' Alliance.

My favourite river is the Kennet and if I had to choose a favourite fish it would be a close run thing between barbel, tench and grayling.