Before the start of the 2018/19 river fishing season, i.e. 16 June 2018, the UK was in the grips of a heat wave, which ultimately ended up being the longest and hottest for decades. By the time the river fishing season started the UK was a few weeks in to the heat wave, and consequently the Norfolk Broads suffered. The water levels dropped, the oxygen levels started decreasing and toxic blue-green algae started rearing its head in some of the Broads.
During the first few days of the river fishing season I had a go at lure fishing for pike on the River Bure at Wroxham and also Salhouse Broad. In years past the first few weeks of the fishing season spinning for pike has been successful and using small lures has resulted in several jacks and a few medium sized pike in the net. Summer pike fishing is fun, exciting and exhilarating as the pike often leap clean out of the water as they take the lure and then tail walk throughout the battle for their freedom/to the landing net.
This year has been different, and despite spending several hours walking the banks of the River Bure and Salhouse Broad I couldn’t tempt a take. I saw plenty of pike in the margins but they were just sitting there, basking in the sun and had no intention of chasing a lure.
As the weather got hotter, the water levels dropped further, the oxygen levels went through the floor and fish started dying in several of the rivers around the Norfolk Broads network. The Broads Authority did what they could to remedy the situation and started artificially increasing the oxygen levels, but there were casualties. Fishing the Norfolk Broads in this state isn’t fair on the fish.
After 9 weeks Mother Nature started playing and the Broads got the soaking it needed. A day and a half of persistent rain got things going again, however it was not enough to get everything back to normal and get the fish going again. The dry weather and hot temperatures continued, and whilst there was the odd spot of rain or two it has not been enough.
The 2018/19 river fishing season has been tough thus far and whilst there have been fish caught there have not been the quantity or quality in previous years. Fishing for pike over the summer months has been a write off, and I decided to pack away my pike rods several weeks ago.
Summer pike fight hard and if they are not one hundred percent fit and healthy when you catch them there is a real possibility they could die post capture, and I don’t want to be responsible for that. After the first couple of attempts of trying to hook a pike during the 2018/19 season I decided it wasn’t worth it and changed my plans to target a different predator found swimming the Norfolk Broads – the perch.
Whilst I planned to get out and try and hook some Norfolk Broads perch, using the drop shot fishing method, real life got in the way and getting to spend time on the bank was, and still is, challenging at best. I have managed to get out for a couple of perch fishing sessions, however they were very hard work and not as rewarding as I hoped they would be.
Even though the results weren’t what I would have liked I have to admit that it is nice just to get out in the countryside and enjoy being on the Norfolk Broads. The rivers and Broads really are stunning and it is all too easy to forget that.
For the 2018/19 fishing season I have decided to make a vlog where I cover my fishing sessions as I go through. I am going to do the norm and only record clips of the fish I catch, as I don’t think these a true representation of what fishing is all about. Whilst it would be nice to catch fish all session, every session this doesn’t happen in real life and there are times when it doesn’t matter how hard you work, how much time and effort or blood, sweat and tears you put in you don’t catch. Blanking (nit catching) is something that happens to all anglers regardless how good they are. My fishing vlog is also going to cover the hard times.
If you want to share in my highs and lows, and successes and failures you can do so in the following video playlist.
The gear you need to drop shot for perch....
If you want to drop shot for perch you need some specific light weight fishing gear. Fortunately, the fishing set up for drop shot fishing isn't expensive, but you will need it.
Below is a carousel of the drop shot fishing gear I use. I bought all of my drop shotting gear from Amazon, and if you click on the relevant link it will take you to the supplier I bought from. The links are affiliate links and if you make a purchase (doing so won't cost you any extra) I may earn a small commission.
Below are some more fishing on the Norfolk Broads related posts and articles that may be of interest:-