Spotlight on the Norfolk Broads
A pair of intrepid reporters head for deepest, darkest Norfolk to sample sport on a boating holiday hotspot
WITH hundreds of miles of waterways, the Norfolk Broads are a daunting prospect for any angler – but when you have a boat at your disposal the fishing potential is endless!
Whether it’s a 20lb pike, a 3lb perch or a 40lb net of bream, skimmers and roach you’re after, this large maze of water in East Anglia certainly has the potential to tick that challenge off your list.
For years the Broads have been a popular destination for thousands of holidaymakers, but is there a foot in the door for anglers as well?
Reporters Mark Peck and Ian Jones hired a boat for three days to find out.
“We picked up our boat from Richardson’s at the Stalham Boatyard and loaded our gear before setting off downstream to Ludham Bridge – our first port of call,” said Ian.
“Our plan was to fish there on the first night, Wroxham on the second day and Horning on the way back to the boatyard on the third.
“Tactically we planned to catch anything that swims and took drop shotting and jigging outfits for the perch and pike – as well as poles, rods and bait for the bream and silverfish.”
Here’s how the lads got on during their three-day trip – we hope it helps you during your next angling adventure!
GENERAL INFO: This pretty town is known as the capital of the Norfolk Broads and has plenty of features in the form of boats, offcuts and bays.
To cross under the bridge you need to be escorted by a pilot at a cost of £5, but on the other side you’ll come across a free mooring spot by the Hoveton Visitor Centre.
Here you can fish off the back of the boat with worm hookbaits for perch, although your best bet is to rove around the town with lures and jigs. Wroxham Angling Centre is only a short walk away from the mooring too – so you can easily tackle up and find out the best spots to fish in the Wroxham area.
MARK AND IAN: After mooring up it was time for the boys to hop off the boat and target the pike and perch with jig and drop shot kit.
Mark stuck with the drop shot and took several small perch around the bridge on a white fry imitation. Another cast nearer the bank produced a fiercer take from an estimated 9lb pike.
Ian roved around the boards on the other side of the bridge next to Hotel Wroxham, casting small Ned rigs. A 13oz perch devoured his lure, than a cast flicked next to a moored boat produced a 4lb jack pike. In three hours the shared total was more than 40 pike and perch... a great start!
GENERAL INFO: As you approach Horning from Wroxham you’ll notice a large paddle steamer moored on the bank in front of you – here you can feeder fish easily. On the same side are moorings by The Swan Inn (£10 a night) and free moorings next to the Slaithe ‘N’ Willow pub.
You can also moor your boat on the long island opposite, but you’ll need a rowing boat to make it back to the mainland. At Horning you’ll find plenty of deep water down the middle and shallow margins which look perfect for pike.
MARK AND IAN: Moored on the long island, the pair pole fished with worm next to the boats as well as drop shotting just yards from the bank. Perch to around 1lb and a bonus pike of 5lb were taken, and an evening move to the bend near to the steamer with groundbait feeder tactics and lobworm, corn and double maggot hookbaits saw a stream of bream to 4lb and perch to nearly 2lb make up a 50lb bag between the two anglers.
3 Ludham Bridge
GENERAL INFO: This section of the River Ant features two freemooring banks and a tackle shop that supplies everything you’ll need to coarse fish effectively.
Upon reaching the bridge you’ll notice signs for the Ludham Bridge Boatyard, although this is private and fishing is prohibited here – but don’t fret, as there’s plenty of room on the free side of the bridge to moor up and fish. You can decide to fish from the bank, although if there are a fair few boats around you can cast off of your own vessel effectively.
MARK AND IAN: After mooring up next to three other boats, the pair decided to chuck in around 15 balls of groundbait down the middle of the river.
Over this they fished maggot, corn and chopped worm hookbaits via the pole, waggler and feeder in attempt to catch a decent net of roach, skimmers and bream.
The depth found down the middle is around 7ft, so they set their rigs at around 6ft for roach, and 2ins overdepth for bream.
In around two hours of fishing the pair had 20lb of silverfish between them. Switching to the feeder with chopped worm ultimately yielded the bigger skimmers and roach.
“The extensive network has long been a popular destination for thousands of holidaymakers”
Mark Peck plays a perch at Horning.
Plenty of skimmers for Mark Peck at Ludham Bridge.