Float fishing in a lake or pond is a popular way to fish, and it is pretty easy however this is not the case when fishing the Norfolk Broads. Float fishing on the Norfolk Broads can be a real challenge, and there are many potential obstacles you will have to deal with.
The biggest obstacle float fishing the Norfolk Broads is the boat traffic, and because of the boats other issues arise. In the peak times, i.e. the summer months when it is nice to get out on the bank and spend a few hours with dipping a line, the Norfolk Broads is very busy and you will see boat after boat after boat. These motor boats, obviously, create wash which creates waves which will make keeping an eye on your float very difficult.
The wash created by slow motor boats does cause problems float fishing, but these aren’t usually too bad. The wash caused by speeding motor boats is more problematic however. Even though there are speed limits on the Norfolk Broads many people decide to ignore these and go much faster. Speeding creates more wash, which creates bigger waves, which in turn makes it harder to keep an eye on the float tip and also identify any potential bites.
The waves and wash created by the motor boats will move your float, and also your baited hook all over the place. Whilst this means you can cover a large area of water looking for fish, it also means that if you have cast your bait to a spot just where you want it, such as tight up against some vegetation or the reeds, your hook bait isn’t going to stay there. Another problem with the float and end tackle being moved around is that it could end up in the snags resulting in lost fishing gear.
The volume of boat traffic on the Norfolk Broads means the boats will often come in very close to the river bank, i.e. bringing the wash and waves closer to you, and there is nothing you can do about this.
The prevailing weather conditions can also make float fishing the Norfolk Broads a challenge. The Norfolk Broads are flat and open to the elements. The slightest breeze will create waves and ripples across the water making it difficult to see the float tip, let alone detect bites. Using floats with big tips will ease the visibility problem but big floats are less sensitive and also deter the fish from taking the bait.
It’s not only the end tackle that gets moved around a lot. Any ground bait and free offerings used to tempt the fish to your hook bait will also get washed away, which makes throwing in a lot of extra food to get the fish feeding an expensive waste of time.
When you consider the effects of the wash, waves and wind it is easy to see that float fishing the Norfolk Broads isn’t easy and it can be a frustrating experience.
Something else to consider and deal with when float fishing on the Norfolk Broads is the tide. The Norfolk Broads flow out to the sea at Great Yarmouth, and as such the water is tidal. The extent the tide has on the River depends on how close it is to the sea. For example, the current on the River Yare at Reedham is exceptionally strong, whereas the current on the river Ant at Dilham Staithe is non-existent. Float fishing in strong currents and tidal rivers is more challenging than fishing non-tidal rivers.