From Great Ouse to Hickling Broad: Top 10 places to fish in Norfolk and the Fens

Angling - first day

Angling - first day - Credit: Archant

Thousands of coarse fish anglers refrain from fishing in the close season on the exempt lakes and canals because they firmly believe the water environment and its lifeforms should be allowed to replenish in the spring.

Tom Martin with chub

Tom Martin with chub - Credit: Archant

Yesterday, they were released from this voluntary constraint. It was the glorious June 16, a new season dawned on our Broads and rivers. Our veteran angling correspondent Roy Webster takes a look at 10 venues to consider now that the traditional season has opened. So, where to fish this summer?

1. HICKLING BROAD

This is the jewel of free fishing. And despite the fish killer alga prymnesium, the water remains fertile and serves boat angling for bream, roach, rudd and perch. A slipway is available at Hickling Staithe – day boats are for hire at the Whispering Reeds boatyard. Method: Float-fished maggot, worm, sweetcorn, casters and bread flake.

2. RIVER THURNE, TIDAL

Picture of Kevin Paynter, as promised, winner of the River Yare Early Bird Series with his catch of

Picture of Kevin Paynter, as promised, winner of the River Yare Early Bird Series with his catch of 53lbs 4oz of bream on Saturday. - Credit: Archant


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Free fishing from Martham to Potter Heigham, special platforms for the disabled. Cheap parking at Martham.

Species: Bream, roach, perch on feeder or float, worm, maggot, caster. Pike on sea fish bait.

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Free bank at Womack Dyke for skimmers and roach. Norwich and District AA issues permits at tackle shops for Cold Harbour.

3. RIVER BURE, TIDAL

Shaun James admiring his winning net of 27lbs 10oz at the Dukes club match on the River Bure at St B

Shaun James admiring his winning net of 27lbs 10oz at the Dukes club match on the River Bure at St Benets Abbey EDP SPORT 2206 - Credit: Archant

Free bank at Upton, but it's a long walk from the car park. St Benet's banks is controlled by the NDAA, day tickets are £5 from Ludham Bridge Stores and Norwich tackle shops. Superb bream and roach. Worm or maggot. Feeder or float. Boat fishing from Wroxham to Horning. Free bank on Swan Bend where Broads record perch of 5lb 12oz was caught by Tunstead teenager Edward Frost.

4. RIVER BURE, NON TIDAL

Free bank from Mayton Bridge to Horstead Mill, where Tom Martin confounded critics with chub to over 7lb last season. Otherwise roach, dace and the odd hefty bream. Maggot, worm.

5. RIVER ANT

James Bullard 67 year old Norwich Angler displays his opening day bag caught from the River Thurne a

James Bullard 67 year old Norwich Angler displays his opening day bag caught from the River Thurne at Cold Harbour. EDP SPORT 2206 - Credit: Archant

Free bank from Ludham Bridge to How Hill. Car parking either end.

Avoid heavy boat traffic fishing early and late for bream, roach, perch and pike.

For after-dark bream, bread flake over stewed wheat, daytime maggot, caster and worm.

6. RIVER WENSUM

Angling - first day

Angling - first day - Credit: Archant

Tidal New Mills to Trowse. Good for roach, bream, perch and pike. Bank fishing on Riverside and Yacht Station free, car parking facilities woeful. Free bank above Fakenham Mill and the common. Quality dace and decent roach on caster and maggot. In the Norwich precincts, free bank overgrown. Take clearing equipment.

7. RIVER YARE

Match angling Mecca of national importance. Free bank at Bramerton, Thorpe Green, Postwick, Hardley Staithe and Reedham.

Huge carp, bream, quality roach on feeder bait, perch and pike on lures, deadbaits. Cheap day tickets Rockland to Langley issued on site.

Sam Smith with the giant pike he caught. Picture submitted.

Sam Smith with the giant pike he caught. Picture submitted. - Credit: Archant

8. RIVER WAVENEY and OULTON BROAD

Free fishing from bank and boat on the Broad. Bream dominant species, in brackish water take worm.

Free fishing from the tidal bank at Worlingham and Haddiscoe new cut. Quality bream to over 5lb.

Upper reaches are controlled by Bungay Cherry Tree and Harleston and Wortwell clubs. Day tickets are available from local tackle centres.

Hi, here are the photos of the 5lb 12oz river perch that I caught with a savage gear Road-Runner xln

Hi, here are the photos of the 5lb 12oz river perch that I caught with a savage gear Road-Runner xlnt2 rod, with savage gear standard wire trace, 10lb braid, and a savage gear hard prey lure, in horning. Ed Frost - Credit: Archant

Main species are chub, bream, roach and dace. Float or feeder. Bait worm, corn, maggot and caster. Pike plentiful, dead bait or lures.

9. GREAT OUSE

King's Lynn Angling Association controls many Fenland waters, but issue value-for-money day tickets at local tackle shops and on the banks.

Attraction for pleasure anglers is the Great Ouse with a parallel road along 10 Mile Bank, where parking is allowed.

This is bream country that used to stage open events attended by hundreds.

Now ideal for pike and zander hunters and senior pleasure anglers.

10. SIXTEEN FOOT RIVER

Another popular Fen water for bream and zander – nine miles long and conveniently adjacent to the B1098 road. Permits on bank. Most other Fen venues such as the Middle Level and Relief Channel demand long walks for the quality zander and pike on deadbaits and lures.

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