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Carp Fishing Holidays in France – some tips for choosing the right venue

Carp Fishing Holidays in France – some tips for choosing the right venue

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Home Page > Sports and Fitness > Fishing > Carp Fishing Holidays in France – some tips for choosing the right venue

Carp Fishing Holidays in France – some tips for choosing the right venue

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Posted: Sep 08, 2010 |Comments: 0

There are some excellent and some very poor carp fisheries in France, I have fished a fair few of them, and we regularly hear reports from customers at our lake, comments that are
not always complimentary, relating to venues previously visited in France.

Unfortunately it is a fact that there are plenty of unscrupulous lake owners in France with little or no knowledge of fisheries management – please be careful !

It is important to find the right venue for you, carp anglers do not all want the same thing, so don’t just follw the crowds, look for what you really want in your holiday.

Some of the factors that might be important to you are ;

size of the carp
size of the lake
degree of difficulty of fishing
distance from the ferry port/ travel time to venue
availability of airport collection
can the venue be booked exclusively ?
Is there accommodation at the lake and how far from the water is it ?
do the owners live on site ?
availability of food at the venue

The first advice that I would give to prospective customers is to look very carefully at the website of the venue in question. Are there photos of carp which match up to the claimed stock – if you don’t see plenty of photos of fish of a similar size then be very wary. This also applies to the size of the lake (most lakes are smaller than they are claimed to be) I have spoken to a lot of people who have turned up at a venue to find that the lake is half its advertised size…

How difficult is the lake to fish and does this correspond to your level of skill and experience ? Often this is tied to the size of the lake and what you are used to fishing in the UK, if you are used to fishing small waters then it might be best to look at a similar sized lake in France.

This is not to say that all small waters are easy, in fact some of the smaller waters in France can be very difficult indeed, so check out the catch reports on the website.

The location of the venue and the distance from the ferry port at which you will be arriving will obviously determine the length of your journey in France, and will also have an impact on the weather that can be expected. If your chosen venue is in Northern France and you are looking to book a holiday in April or October for example, don’t expect to be spending the week in shorts and t-shirt !

On the other hand, if you are taking your partner with you, the likelihood is that she will be looking for a holiday in the summertime and will be hoping for plenty of sunshine, so the venues located in the southern half of the country will offer the best chance of good weather.

The journey time to some of these southern venues can be extensive, from Calais down to the Limousin area can take 8 to 10 hours driving with a copuple of stops on the way, some of the venues in the Dordogne are 10-12 hours drive. Fortunately, some of these venues offer a package that includes collection from the nearest airport and hire of a full carp fishing set-up for the week. Although driving in France is very relaxing compared to the UK, If you are not fond of driving then a venue that has this option may well be worth considering.

Do you want to share the lake and facilities with other anglers ? If not then you will need to choose from one of the many venues offering exclusive bookings. Choosing this type of venue means that you will have exclusive use of the lake and the on-site facilities. The main advantage of this is that there will not be other anglers fishing the water, this rules out the possibility of having your holiday spoiled by others.

Does the venue offer accommodation ? Lakeside accommodation takes a carp fishing holiday to another level, and if you are taking your partner or the whole family with you, they won’t want to spend the week in bivvies ! There are only a few venues that offer high quality accommodation, and these venues are justifiably popular, so you will need to book well in advance, possibly up to 2 years in advance in some cases ! Remember to check how far from the lake the accommodation is – the closer the better !

Are the venue owners English and do they live on site ? This can provide extra security and reassurance for guests should you have any problems or emergencies whilst you are there.

Finally – does the venue offer a food package ? Whether you are taking your partner or not, this option can be very attractive, meaning that you will be catered for, with breakfast, lunch and evening meal provided – the ultimate option for spoiling yourself !

Two carp fishing holiday venues Les Croix and Les Levades offers many of the above options – please take a look at the websites !

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Family Fishing Holidays in France

France is a country that has a wonderful variety of fishing from the North through to the South and caters for fly fishing, course and game fishing on a wide range of rivers and lakes. Plus there is plenty of coast line for the sea angler to enjoy as well.

Carp fishing, cat fishing, not forgetting course and pike fishing are just some of the holidays that you can enjoy in France and whilst some places cater for the dedicated angler, others are more family orientated with accommodation and activities for the non fishers.

There are several types of fishing holiday available and for trout fishing, you would need to book from around the middle to end of March up until around the first week of September, which is the only time frame you are allowed to fish for trout in France.

In certain areas of France, salmon fishing is prohibited all year, so it is always best to check on the area you are going, prior to thinking that you will be able to get a licence for fly fishing, just like that.

Every country has numerous different regulations and France is no exception, with specific rules in place for what type of fish you can catch, when you are allowed to catch certain species of fish and what equipment you are allowed to fish with.

For some, this can be a daunting prospect, especially if you are not fluent in French, and although in some areas it will be easier than others to organise your fishing venue and licence, it is often easier to pre-organise your fishing holiday, so do try and get as much information as possible.

You must have a fishing licence to fish in rivers, streams and lakes throughout France unless these are privately owned or booked as a fishing holiday where the fishing licence requirements are normally included, but it is advisable to check this out before you travel!

If you need to obtain your own fishing permit, these can usually be obtained from the local fishing tackle shop or alternatively from the local bar or tobac. But if you are not sure on what is required then you can get advice from the local tourist information board, which can also provide maps of where you can and cannot fish.

If you are only going to be on holiday in France for a short time, then you can get what is known as The Carte de Peche de Vacances, which covers an angler for up to fifteen consecutive days and can be used between 1st June and 30th November. However, outside of these dates an annual fishing licence is mandatory.

An annual permit may be used for the whole year but bear in mind that this will only be for one department unless you get it stamped for different areas that you may go to and this is something that you will need for all fresh water fishing.

When it comes to catfish and carp fishing, you can get a licence to do this in the local rivers or public lakes, but the majority of people will want to opt for a carp fishing holiday on a dedicated lake. And when you go to a dedicated privately owned lake for carp fishing, cat fishing, etc, then you will not normally have to worry about getting your own individual licence as this will already have either been sorted out by the travel agency or the owner under their regulations.

Boats are allowed to be used quite a bit in France, but you may need to have a separate part to your licence to enable you to use a boat, even if it is only for baiting. But be careful if you have an echo sounder in your boat, as you are not allowed to have both this and your tackle in the boat at the same time!

Also, night fishing is prohibited in a lot of places in France, but when on a private fishing lake, or if with the correct licence on certain waters, this can be allowed. If not, then you can only fish half hour after sunrise to half hour before sunset. Some places on the rivers seine, rhone, mosselle, oise, madine and rhine, etc do allow night fishing, but there are many places that do ban the use of a bivvy or tent even if night fishing is allowed and you may only get away with a brolly!

Sea fishing off of the Atlantic coast is excellent and you will be pleased to know that a licence is not needed, and you can go out on a boat to catch bass, conger eels and even tuna or surf cast for sea bream to name but a few.

Fly fishing for salmon and trout is available in lots of public canals and navigable rivers but as with most countries, these will also contain other fish such as Pike, so beware! However some of the best places to try your hand at fly fishing are often owned by groups and in this case you would need to pay the owners for a permit to fish as well as having your licence.

Some of the best salmon fishing in France can be found in the Pyrenees Atlantiques and the river Loire is also a major salmon fishery for France.

Some of the best fishing in France is for course fishing where you will find lots of different species, but with carp, catfish and pike being in abundance, especially in areas such as the Dordogne, Lot and Charente Maritime. But if you like fishing for black bass, the river Rhone is known as a premier bass fishery, as is the river Saone.

The fishing dates and times do vary each year in France, so it is always advisable to check on these before planning your fishing holiday, and at the end of the day, forget about the headaches of the licences, just enjoy the whole experience and you too could be in with a chance of catching a fish that has never been caught before!


Martyn Davis European Traveller, Author, Photographer and Business Development Manager, For all your French holiday needs and travel guide to France, with tourist information, landmarks and attractions – Family Fishing Holidays In France

Carp Fishing Holidays in France

A milder climate and a large number of lakes make France the perfect location for carp fishing. The country is popular among Britons who travel across the Channel looking for a great catch. Some monster carp cross the 60 lbs mark, and are an angler’s delight. Depending on your budget and desired level of comfort, you ought to head out for some of the most beautiful lakes in France for a carp fishing holiday. Public lakes are inexpensive and considering that there are thousands across the country, you are sure to find a great catch since many are well stocked with carp. Permits are available at most angling shops or pubs. Apart from public lakes, there are a number of privately owned lakes open for carp fishing. They offer accommodations that vary from camp-style to the luxurious and the chances of finding a large stock of carp is relatively high around these lakes. Don’t forget to carry a fishing map which is very useful when you are looking for suitable carp habitat. Besides French owned lakes, there are a number of British-owned lakes that cater to anglers. However, these are more expensive. Some public lakes are administered by local private clubs that look after the welfare of the lake, and are responsible for the administration, maintaining carp stock, and collection of fees from visitors. They usually charge a lower fee for carp fishing. Prior to setting out on your carp fishing holiday make sure the venue has a good record, as you wouldn’t want to jeopardize your whole holiday. Call up the owner if you are heading for a private lake and get as much information as you can. If you are a novice, the secret is to start in smaller lakes and slowly wind your way to the larger waters, otherwise, you may be disappointed. There are plenty of tackle shops in France, however, make sure you leave with the basics in your fishing kit since there might not be a good shop near you. Carry extra hooks, leads, and make sure to carry enough bait. Some areas do allow night fishing so make sure you carry lamps, batteries, and gas. Rules and regulations vary at carp lakes where some allow three rods while other permit four. Tiger nuts are not allowed as bait in most locations. So make sure to check with the local authorities prior to settling down. April through October is usually the best time for carp fishing. Head for Bordeaux if you want to experience night fishing, where it turns cooler at night during summer months. Privately owned lakes such as L’Etang du Chef de Ville, Rainbow Lake, and Eden’s lake offer all inclusive packages and are worth a try provided your budget permits. They will take care of your every need so that you can enjoy your carp fishing vacation. Most are run by expert anglers that are at hand for some advice and tips on how to make a good catch.

For more information about carp fishing in France visit Cretelakes and look at the lakes.