Sunday, 23 February 2014


At the beginning of the year I dug deep in my pockets and treated myself to a nice secondhand aluminium dinghy so that I could use it on my own for some pike fishing on The Broads and The Fens. After collecting the dinghy from Norwich I towed back to the workshop where I gave it a clean and checked the trailer for fit for towing, as well as fixed a light board I had lying around. More importantly I fit a towbar to my van so I could actually tow the thing.

After a coupe of weeks fiddling around and waiting for my river license to come through I was all set to go on her maiden voyage. Destination was the River Thurne in Norfolk at a location I had found when we holidayed near Cromer last year. Everything loaded I set off to Norfolk at 5am on a horrible wet and windy Friday morning. Weather forecast was for heavy rain all weekend in Essex but windy and clear in Norfolk so I was hopeful of not getting a soaking. At first light I pulled upto my chosen slipway and proceeded to set up the boat and get her in the water.

The launch went smoothly and in 20 minutes I was slowly motoring out of the staithe and onto the main river. The engine and boat handled perfectly as I chugged along the river taking in all the sights of the beautiful Broadlands.

I explored the area for a couple of hours getting used to the handling of the dinghy before anchoring up at a junction in the river and casting out my deadbaits into a nice deeper area that I had found.

Well I,m going to get straight to the point regards the fishing that I had over this weekend, I blanked. Nothing on either lures or deadbaits, even though I tried 2 different areas on the 2 different days but all I had to show for my fishing efforts were a couple of teeth marks in one of my herrings. But to be honest I really didn,t care if I caught anything or not as this trip was about getting used to the boat and exploring the waterways of the Broads.

With beautiful surroundings like these fishing was actually second place to just motoring around exploring what the waterways have to offer. The wildlife I saw was amazing with barn owls, ducks, geese and I even witnessed a stunning marsh harrier drifting on the wind over a famous Broad. I will definitely be back for more but unfortunately it will have to wait until the new river season starts.

The boat handled really well but I have a few modifications that I want to do to give it my personal touch. The main thing I want to do is increase the size of the openings to the storage areas it has as they are too small to fit anything of any size in. Once done I,ll be able to fit the fuel cans underneath the front seat area and put my water bottles in the side storage areas. This will free up a lot of clutter that gets under your feet as you move from front to back in the boat. Also I will have to scale down the amount of tackle I take as well, but fortunately by working on the storage I,ll be able to take it out of my bags and put it under the rear seat which again will eliminate more clutter. I,ll post more when I do the work.

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