Spot­light on the Nor­folk Broads

A pair of in­trepid re­porters head for deep­est, dark­est Nor­folk to sam­ple sport on a boat­ing hol­i­day hotspot

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

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!

Wrox­ham 1

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!

Horn­ing 2

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.

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