Fish of the Broads

Roach (Rutilus rutilus)

  • Broads specimen size: 2 lbs
  • A fish with silver/blue scales and red fins.
  • A common fish found in the slow running rivers and Broads
  • Perfect for float-fished or on a ledger rig.
  • All fresh water baits, float fish with bread, maggots, casters, sweetcorn hemp and softhook pellets on fine tackle.
  • Feed little and often.
  • Lines: 2lbs-4lbs reel-line with 1lb-3lbs hook length
  • Hook size: 20-12

Bream (Abramis abrama)

  • Broads specimen size: 7lbs
  • A olive-bronze slab-sided fish with dark green or brown back in older fish, silver in younger ones
  • Predominately nocturnal by nature but can be caught early or late in the day. Try float fishing with a waggler, and the bait tripping or laying on the bottom. From the bank, use a swim feeder with ground bait to hold the fish in the swim.
  • Bait try bread, maggots, casters, sweetcorn, and worms.
  • Recast regular to lay a bed of feed but beware of striking at line baits; that could scare the fish away.
  • Lines: 3lbs-6lbs reel-line with 3lbs-5lbs hook length.
  • Hook size: size 12-6

Roach & Bream Hybrids are sometimes found in the Broads. Hybridisation occurs because Roach and Bream often spawn at the same time in the same habitat. During spawning some eggs from one species can accidently be fertilised by sperm from the other species. Hybrids can be identified by counting the number of branded rays in the anal fin. Roach have 9-12; bream have 23-29, whilst hybrids have 14-19. If the fish has more than 12 such rays, it cannot be a Roach.

Rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus)

  • Length: Up to 13 inches – Weight: 3lb
  • Broads specimen size: 1¼lbs
  • A fish with golden flanks and crimson fins.
  • Find them near marginal reed beds and quiet bays and dykes.
  • Float fishing – waggler set shallow or slow sinking.
  • Use Bread flake or crusts, casters and sweetcorn as bait. Feed little and often.
  • Lines: 2lbs-4lbs reel-line with 1lb-3lbs hook length.
  • Hook size: 20-12

Tench (Tinca Tinca)

  • Broads specimen size: 4-6lbs
  • A fish with a dark olive green coloured body and rounded fins.
  • Float-fishing laying on the bottom or using the lift method. From the bank with swimfeeders being effective.
  • Use bread, maggots, casters, sweetcorn, worms, ground bait and hemp for bait.
  • Lines: Strong 5lbs-6lbs reel-lines with 4lbs-5lbs hook length.
  • Hook size: Forged size 16-8

Perch (Perca fluviatilis)

  • Broads specimen size: 2- 4lbs+
  • A flat-sided greenish body graduating down to a white belly fish, with broad black vertical stripes down the sides and bright red/orange pelvic fins.
  • Regularly caught throughout the rivers and Broads. Perch love hiding under cover, especially in deep water or beneath overhanging trees, under permanent moorings or deep reedy margins.
  • Float and feeder tactics work well as dose small lures or dropshots.
  • Bait with worms, maggots, casters, small fish, small spinners and lures.
  • Lines: 2-6lbs according to the size of fish you are expecting.
  • Hook size: 18-8

Pike (Esox lucius)

  • Broads specimen size: 20lbs+
  • A elongated fish with its distinguished striped or spotted silver/grey pattern body and its dark brown dorsal and anal fins are set far back compared to most fish.
  • Pike are commonplace across the broads however they require specialist tackle and skilful landing techniques to fish for and it is not advisable for inexperienced anglers to fish for pike unless they are confident that they can unhook and safely return the pike afterwards.
  • Float fishing, free-lining or ledger from the bank, with effective bite indication that properly registers both runs and drop back indicators. Always use a wire trace of 20lbs minimum breaking strain. Always strike runs as quickly as possible.
  • Freshwater or sea fish baits work best by float fishing on and off the bottom and artificial lures.
  • Lines: 15lbs min.