To celebrate Norfolk Day, Angling Direct have devised a list of the best fishing venues in Norfolk. We thought that our expertise of the Norfolk fishing scene would be particularly handy this year, with the county coming to terms with limited options in our post-Covid world, fishing offers a great socially distanced alternative.
So, without further ado, here are our best Norfolk fishing lakes, in no particular order.
No trip to Norfolk would be complete without visiting the Norfolk Broads. 300sq km of waterways connected by several rivers, including the Bure, Thurne and Yare.
Aside from being a beautiful spot, the broads network offers some of the best fishing the UK has to offer, especially if you plan on targeting winter pike.
Its not all about the Jurassic-looking pike though, the Broads offers fishing for all, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned veteran, you can enjoy a good days fishing on the bank, or from a boat.
Here are a few of our favourite hotspots:
The river at Potter Heigham is a great spot for beginners, the River Thurne is plentiful, with large stocks of bream and roach, which are great species to target if you are just starting out. One thing to bear in mind, try and find a quiet spot out of the main boat traffic thoroughfare - the less water disturbance the better.
A picturesque spot, Salhouse Broad is lesser known to anglers, but can be a real hotspot if you can time your trip perfectly. Keep an eye on the weather in the days leading up to your trip, if there hasn’t been much rain then the upper reaches will fish better than the lower. This is due to the salt tides, which is a phenomenon where the lower course of a river will become salty during dry spells, encouraging the fish in the area to move away.
You can expect to catch roach, bream and perch, if you time your trip perfectly and position yourself well you could be on for a real haul of fish over the course of an afternoon.
The capital of the Broads! Wroxham is a pike hotspot – and there is an Angling Direct in the town, so if its your first time piking pop in for some pointers from our knowledgeable colleagues (green lures!) – regardless of whether you are fishing from the bank or a boat, the tidal sections are where you will find the best fishing.
If you are subscribed to Angling Direct’s YouTube channel – ADTV – you will be aware of Reepham Fisheries, its one of our favourites!
Predominantly a match venue, all 3 lakes also offer plenty for the pleasure angler. If you can get the fish on the feed you could well be in for a busy days fishing. What approach you take shouldn’t matter too much; float fishing, feeder fishing, pole or whip, all methods have been known to catch.
Reepham Fishery offers bungalows, lodges and static caravans equipped with everything you need for a self-catering holiday in the Norfolk countryside.
Finally, Reepham Fishery also hosts corporate fishing days and several fishing festivals throughout the year, perfect if you are looking to make some ‘fishing friends’.
Bawburgh Fisheries - Syndicate
If you are an avid angler that spends a considerable amount of your time on the bank and fancy a campaign ahead of the autumn and winter season, Bawburgh Syndicate is the place for you.
Bawburgh is the stomping ground of specimen anglers, with tench well into double figures, carp over the 40lb mark and even a small head of tombstone-like bream nearing the 20lb mark.
To reiterate, Bawburgh is a syndicate water so you will have to become a member if you wish to fish any of the lakes on the complex (waiting list in operation) but if the specimen hunter within you is crying out for a campaign water, Bawburgh is definitely worth a look.
A day out for the whole family, the Taverham complex offers something for everyone. Part of Anglian Water Parks, Taverham Mills offers both syndicate membership and day ticket lakes, there is even a ¾ mile stretch of the River Wensum known for its chub fishing.
Alongside the fishing, there is plenty of other activities to keep the family busy, the visitors centre is the best place to start, where you will be able to find out more information on walking, cycling, children’s activities, bird watching and even water sports!
Set in 250 acres of breath-taking Norfolk countryside, Billingford Fishing Lakes offers nine well-stocked lakes and a one mile stretch of the beautiful River Wensum.
With so many lakes to choose from, there is something for every angler; fly fishing, specimen carp up to 40lb, or an afternoons coarse fishing is all on offer at Billingford Lakes. If its good enough for the late and great John Wilson, its good enough for you!
A longer holiday break is also on offer, with several guest houses and B&Bs in the area, Billingford offers some respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Barford Lakes Complex
Barford has been a mainstay of the Norfolk fishing scene for a while now, spread across different sites, the complex appeals to pleasure, match and specimen carp anglers.
The main site, in Barford itself features 4 lakes and a tackle shop, the main site is predominantly aimed at pleasure and match anglers.
Whereas, the ‘off-site’ lakes, Coston, Mill, Colton, Rainbow, Willow and Abbey Waters are a mix of specimen carp and match venues.
Mill Lake is an intimate little venue that offers great sport if you are new to the carp discipline. It is best described as a runs water, but with a handful of carp pushing above the 20lb mark the venue has a growing reputation.
The Cobbleacre complex has a lot to offer. Not only is it home to 5 lakes, including a match lake, snake lake, a carp runs water and a specimen carp and catfish lake, with carp up to 35lb and cats to 80lb Mario’s lake is the jewel in the Cobbleacre crown.
Aside from the great fishing on offer, the site boasts fantastic facilities and a caravan park, making it a superb choice for a weekend getaway.
Rocklands Mere Fishery
A favourite among fly anglers, Rocklands Mere Fishery offers you the best of trout and coarse fishing. Whether it be stalking brown trout in the margins with a dry fly on the trout lake, or targeting your first Crucian Carp on the Old Mere, you’ll be surround by pristine Norfolk countryside.
The trout lake is stocked regularly with extremely hard fighting rainbow and brown trout which, because of the catch and release policy, reach a very respectable size. The lake is renowned for its hatches of alder and sedge during the spring and summer months as well as the obvious buzzer hatches which ensure fantastic surface fishing.
We are blessed with some of the finest coastline the UK has to offer, which means there is plenty of fishing on offer from the beaches, here are a few of our favourites.
Despite being relatively difficult to access, Trimingham beach is well worth the trip. Anglers have been known to target cod and whiting from winter through to spring, the occasional dab and flounder can also be caught at this time.
Dover sole, silver eels and school bass can be caught close in using worm or crab baits, decent sized sole have also been landed on this strip of coastline, however, it is easy to miss bites if your hooks are too large – use sizes 4-6 to target sole.
Use much bigger hooks - 3/0 or bigger - clipped down rigs and cast over a hundred yards for the chance of a thornback ray or smooth-hound, we recommend crab and sandeel baits.
Features around Sheringham mainly consist of sand and shingle areas with a few rocky outcrops. Generally, the rocky areas fish best at high water and sandier sections best at low water. Flatfish such as dab and flounder are present here, as are bass, whiting will show in the winter, even when the sea is calm, although rougher and choppier seas are needed to get the cod to come in close and be within range of shore-based anglers.
The Wash is a large, square shaped estuary, the southern shoreline boasts some wonderful Norfolk beaches at Hunstanton and Snettisham, and the fishing is not bad either!
The Great Ouse Estuary is good for flounder and silver eel fishing. It fishes best a few hours either side of low water and is ideal for light tackle fishing. Mullet are also a possibility from some marks around here in summer, as well as Smooth-hound which have also been caught here during calm seas to peeler and hardback crab baits.
A Steep shingle beach, most popular ahead of Cley and Salthouse due to easy access and plenty of room to park. Deep water very close in, which is a great spot to get plenty of bites, it can throw up all manner of species. Especially good for mackerel and bass fishing with feathers and lures in the summer when the water is clear.
Further down the southern Norfolk coastline, and with easy access and plenty of parking. Fairly deep sandy beach. Used up throw up some nice Cod in the winter, plenty of whiting and flat fish too. Also probably the best beach to try and bag a Norfolk Ray.