A Guide to the Norfolk Broads for Serious Anglers

A fisherman stands on a boat with fishing gear, surrounded by calm waters and greenery on Norfolk Broads.

Anglers from all over the world come to enjoy some of Great Britain’s best freshwater fishing at The Norfolk Broads, a network of waterways that covers more than 125 miles.

Whether you’re an experienced angler or just beginning to fish, this guide will help ensure your trip is a success. This is a very basic introduction to what fish can be found within the Norfolk Broads

What’s the best species to target in Norfolk Broads?

The freshwater species that live in the Norfolk Broads’ waterways include carp, pike, bream, roach and tench. Anglers can also expect to catch perch, rudd, and eels in these waters.


Carp provide a thrilling challenge for anglers of all levels. The best time to target carp is from May to September when they are most active and feed more frequently.


Pike are a popular target in the Broads, and these predatory fish can be aggressive and grow to some pretty crocodile-like sizes. They are most active in winter and are best caught using dead bait.


Bream are one of the most abundant fish in the Broads and can be caught throughout the year. They feed just about anywhere, and in shallow water, calm conditions are best to catch them with maggots, casters and worms.


Caught just about anywhere at any depth. Bring some maggots and set up a float, you’ll catch them all day long


Tench can be caught throughout the broads. They’re best fished for in the evening or early mornings. They can be caught using traditional baits such as maggots, worms, or bread.


Where to go fishing in the Norfolk Broads

There are many places to fish in the Norfolk Broads, but some of the best places include:

  • Barton Broad is one of the largest separations from the Broads and is home to a diverse range of species. It’s particularly popular for roach and pike fishing, and anglers can expect to catch some large fish here.
  • The Yare River: This wildlife-rich river runs through the heart of the Broads and is known for its abundant bream, roach, and perch. Locals also go pike fishing in winter months.
  • Salhouse Broad: The clear waters of this picturesque lake are surrounded by reeds and home to a healthy population of bream, roach, and tench—making it an ideal spot for anglers looking for a more relaxed fishing experience.
  • How Hill Fishing (or the river next to it) is a popular spot. It’s also a good place to get away from other fishermen. Last summer, several nice carp and tench were caught through the night during those times when nobody else was around.Essential Equipment for Fishing in the Norfolk BroadsTo ensure that you have a great time on your fishing trip to the Norfolk Broads, make sure to bring the following equipment:
  • Rod For most fishing in the Broads, a 12ft light rod is a good choice. But if you are targeting pike or carp, consider a specialist rod.
  • Reels: A reliable reel that fits the rod is important to keep the balance right when playing a fish.
  • Fishing Line: To choose a fishing line for the Broads, you should consider several factors. Monofilament and braided lines are good choices for most fishing environments, but you may also want to consider fluorocarbon—which is more durable than other types of line—for angling in rugged areas. Make sure you’re selecting the right type of line for the species.
  • Baits: To catch different species of fish in the Broads, you need a range of baits. Maggots, worms and bread are all popular choices, but so is live or dead bait.
  • Hooks: When fishing in the Broads, you should choose strong and sharp hooks. Choose a hook that is suitable for your target species (and type of bait) to increase your chances of landing a fish.
  • Rigs: When fishing in the Broads, you should make sure to choose a rig that is appropriate for catching the kind of fish you are hoping for. A simple running or bottom bait rig will work well with most species but there are also more advanced rigs such as method feeder and pop-upIf you’re an angler, the Norfolk Broads offers much to delight and reward—on both your first trip out and on those you’ve grown familiar with


The Norfolk Broads is a beautiful, diverse area that attracts anglers and boasts many different species of fish. If you want to catch big fish or simply enjoy a day on the water, the Norfolk Broads is sure to provide an exciting and rewarding experience. By following these tips when fishing in this area of England’s countryside, you’ll be well-prepared for your trip

Why not stock up on bait before you go. There are a few tackle shops around the broads, including AnglingDirect

If it’s fisheries you’re after, check out a list of our Fishing Lakes In Norfolk and all our other information about Norfolk Broads fishing