Trip 43 Norfolk Broads – 2021

I’m away on holiday with the family for 2 weeks, we are staying at a boat house on South Walsham board. I just couldn’t help bringing along my feeder rods and Perch kit.

After going out in the rowing boat with the Deeper looking for a likely spots; not too far out, as there my be a bit of boat traffic. I was looking for a good area of harder bottom as some areas are much more muddy/silty. This was soon located, but we couldn’t resist going way out with the boat.

With the perfect area located, there was the option to put the Perch rod in front of the boathouse. I felt there were a few Perch and Bream there. I got the youngest out with a bucket of bait on the rowing boat with my dad every other day to bait where I was planning on fishing. In the hope to build up the swim over the next few day’s.

The first few day’s where spent sorting out my rods. I’d brought various set ups, so my dad and the kids could have a go. We had a pike lure rod, perch drop shot rod and a ledger rod for prawns or worms (which I need to get at some point). I then did a couple of feeder rods and a ledger rod set up.

Perch fishing was hard going, as must have brought the wrong prawns because they just kept coming off the hook. Feeder fishing was very successful and I had a bucket load of small bream.

After losing a very nice bream, that I didn’t even get to see. I now set my sights on something bigger than previously caught. My dad also managed a few skimmer bream on the float rod.

My next approach was definitely bait and wait for the bigger bream, fingers crossed for some pike as well. Yesterday evening there had certainly been a few pike strikes around the boat house area.

I must admit, I’ve not brought my fishing kit on holiday before and I have to be careful that it doesn’t take over too much from the family holiday. Evening time is the hardest times and it would have worked out better if I had taken my Delkims.

The best moment for the kids is when one after the ice-cream boat came by!

Closely followed by the party steamer.

With the change of tactics from the feeder rod to the ledger and 6mm or 8mm Sf wafters I had a larger bream in the net.

Hopefully a good sign of things to come, we’ve only been here 3 days out off 10 whole day’s. The prospects of getting better bream as I build up the swim was pretty good, all I needed to do now was work on the Perch and Pike.

I’m slowly working my way through all the plastic worm colours I have, in the hope that sooner rather than later we will get the right colour. I’ve been baiting the entrance to the boat house with tiny pellets to attract the bait fish in and with any luck some Perch or even Pike.

One evening, I went out in the rowing boat with my dad and trolled about for an hour with no luck. The previous evening, when playing cards, there where clearly signs of pike strikes, unfortunately not a sign tonight. This was the evening after my daughter had put the ground bait out from the rowing boat and this clearly attracted the smaller fish. I’m going to have to plan this out to make sure we put some out one morning when we are planning to be about in the evening.

The first Tuesday of the holiday was a wet one and as we always do on our holiday, go and find the nearest Clarks shop to get new school shoes. However, before this and after breakfast I had a couple of hours out in the rain, but nicely sheltered under the balcony with my old brolly to keep the wind off me and managed a few more 2/3lb bream.

Wednesday 18th August – I had baited up my swim, just before we popped out to see some family for a BBQ, on a damp Norfolk evening. However, the company, food and drinks where great and we didn’t notice the weather. I was up early this morning and scattered a few handfuls of maize out to boost the swim. I flicked out the first rod, which was away before I had attached the bobbin, with my first bream of the morning and closely followed by the second and probably the  biggest (I do need to weigh one soon), my coffee was getting cold and the sun was breaking through on another lovely day.

Thursday morning – I was up a lot later than the day before, which is good as I clearly need some sleep. This was going to impact on the size of the bream I was going to be catching this morning. I really needed to make plans for another early morning, as I still had yet to weigh one of the larger bream. Fishing on holiday is a lot more disorganized than my normal style. Realistically, I’m lucky to be able to bring the rods and let alone fish this much – it has to be a fine balance.

Most mornings, I have the same friendly duck looking for food from me, he was never disappointed! I finally had another bream that I could weigh, it was 3lb 4oz and to be honest I thought I was heading for a blank morning as its been well over an hour with no action. At least I can now target a 4lb+ bream by the end of the holiday.

I’ve not given up on the Perch, but realistically, it’s going to be a tough cookie to crack.

After spotting a Perch strike in under the boat house, which was one of the places I started fishing but abandoned. I found myself back there again and managed 4 Perch.

This being the best.

I didn’t start fishing until 9pm Friday night. I’d dropped a load more maize in the swim from the boat early afternoon, then topped the swim up with Corn and Pellets about an hour before casting out.

The kids had been in the board most of the afternoon, which may or may not help, as I’m sure they stir up the bottom a lot. I’m giving it until midnight or as long as I can cope with the mozzies.

My floodlit swim, which I sure the fish should be used to.

By 9.15pm, I’d one in the net about 2lb+. This was on the closer of the two rods and clearly nearer to where the kids had been jumping and swimming. Just after 10pm, I had a 3lb + bream, I was starting to worry a bit as an angler set up on the public slip way, pretty much hauling bream some 100 yards away. I could clearly here him playing fish and his lead being recast quite a lot and I was wondering if he had been baiting up at some point.

I was up before 7 am Saturday morning, hoping the bream would still be about, but after listening to the man on the slip way spombing for about an hour, I would say the bream are more likely to be over that direction rather than in front of me. I’ve limited myself to under arm casting and baiting after catching a yacht at the beginning of my holiday! It makes it all a lot simpler. Unfortunately, I’ve ran out of 12mm Catalyst boilies (should have brought more – doh!) and the maize I cooked up. I have a tub and a half of method ready pellets and a bucket load of sweetcorn from the local shop. I’ve only got a small catapult, this limits my range of fishing unless I row out every morning. The method ready pellets I’ve been making into large ground bait balls and lobbing out 4 each time I’m fishing. This is taking its toll on stock levels, in all honesty, I didn’t think I would fish that much, but I’m an early bird and sitting on the mooring in front of the house each morning is just wonderful.

A cup of coffee, a couple of slices of toast and marmite watching the rods is just perfect start to the day.

It’s starting to look like I was right, I’ve not had a single twitch, which hasn’t happened before. As we need to be out by 9 am, I’ve only got about 30 minutes left today and as there’s some rain forecast for Sunday, by the time I’m out again the bream will have moved on. I’m sure I will slip a few moments for Perch fishing in before then.

Managed to get a 2 lber this morning after a change of hook bait.

I was up early Sunday morning and out in the boat to drop a mixture of sweetcorn, Coarse Pellets and Classic Corn ready method pellets. The rods are set up with 6 and 8 mm wafters and before I could get around to having a sip of coffee the first bite happened, which fell off, but I was soon away again.

As promised, a photo of me holding a bream at just under 3lbs I would say. No sooner was that one back, the left rod was away with one half that size, it was a good start. I’d checked the forecast and we where due a bit of rain this morning which will help prolong the feeding period and discourage the boats for a bit longer. Don’t get me wrong, I love boats, as I spent a high percentage of my childhood on the water and they certainly help to stir up the bottom. Just like all things, you need to be mindful of each other and respect each other’s space.

The wind this morning is blowing nicely onto my bank, no doubt the rain will be in my face. I’ve set the brolly up again under the veranda and will head under there if needed.

My biggest so far at 3lb 14oz, the weather is still holding off for me and with any luck I may bag another few this morning.

Finally got pushed under cover by the rain just after 8 am. The bream bites have slowed down, but hopefully will pick up again soon. A couple of boats are starting to move and will hopefully stir up the bottom and push the fish in closer to the bank.

This one was 3lb 9oz and in the middle of a heavy shower, I managed to get my youngest to sort out some marmite on toast and another coffee, bless her.

3lb 4oz this time, this is the average stamp of the bream in here I’ve been having, but I’m sure there are some hidden gems.

I had a 4 more of a similar size and then the rain arrived at just before 10 am, it was quite heavy at times, the boat traffic had picked up, but they were not stopping.

Between 1030 and noon, I only had a couple more very small bream and a fair few twitches. This is a sign that the biggest fish have moved off and away from the area, feeding time is over for them.

I spent the late afternoon and early evening fishing the entrance to the boathouse.

And managed to bag a few small Roach on the pole and a couple of Perch on the ledge rod with prawns as bait over a bed of tuna pellets.

Can’t seem to find any large Perch.

With a family days out and not waking up early enough for the big bream, there was no way I was setting an alarm clock. I ended up Perch fishing on and off the last few days and my youngest spent a lot of time using a 6 meter pole and catching nice size Roach, unfortunately no monster.

My second biggest Perch, unfortunately no one about to take a photo, most of the Perch came from under the boat house or just of the corner of the stath by the entrance.

I baited with SF micro pellets to attract the bait fish and fished with a prawn as a hook bait, using a garden chair and my bank sticks pushed in between the wood. It was an amazing holiday and we hardly left the place we were staying at. Which is very handy in this current times, the kids were in the water all the time.

The ducks also kept them amused daily and with any luck we will certainly be back again in the future. My last few hours where spent after the Perch.

But they were only smaller ones knocking the prawn about and as my rig is set up to target bigger ones, was a bit frustrating and I wish my jig rod wasn’t packed away.

Until next time


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About richardhandel

I would like to give a brief snap shot of my life and introduce myself; My name is Richard Handel and was born in 1965 in Suffolk. I have worked as a UK Operation & Intermodule Manager for a shipping company. I live in Hampshire now and am married with 2 young children, both girls so I am a bit outnumbered even the cat is a girl! I have been fishing since I was about 7 years old. I started on small local rivers in Suffolk, then moved onto gravel pits and then carp fishing. My personal best is a 39.08 mirror, over recent years I have started river fishing again, on the Hampshire Avon, this is a nice break from the carp lakes. My life has turned a big corner this year, the company I was working for relocated their Operation centre to Estonia. I was offered a job at the head office in London. This would have meant a 5 day commute and working in Stratford. As a family, we did not fancy this, as I would hardly spend any time with the children (and the Mrs). So after 22.5 years, I was given a nice redundancy package and with my wife is working full time. I became the house husband. This has meant a complete turn around in my fishing, as I can pick and choose when I go. I have found a splendid new syndicate to fish this year, which includes 5 lakes and some 8 miles of river with only 150 members. It's an amazing change to the way I am able to fish. I am now trying to start my own tackle business and make a bit of a name for myself in the world of fishing, as I have retired from real work. Richard
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