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Wonderful fishing in France!

France is a perfect country for fishing. Every river, every lake and every metre of coastline promises a new adventure. You can fly fish in fast-flowing mountain rivers, carp fish on the shores of picturesque lakes, or experience the adrenaline of sea fishing on the waves of the French coast. Here you'll discover everything you need to know for your fishing holiday, from essential permits to seasonal highlights. With a fishing rod in hand, relaxation, adventure and gastronomy come together. Then, when the fish swims away or is eaten, there is always a nice anecdote that you can take home with you.

My first fish

I still remember my first fish. I caught it in Muides on the Loire. I was a little girl of about 8 years old and my father had given me a fishing rod. I put a piece of bread on it and went fishing in a pool that had appeared along the river. I thought the idea of sitting down and fishing was more than enough... A French gentleman sitting nearby thought I should fish with live bait and put a worm on my hook. Well, that changed things: minutes later he jumped when I shouted: “Help! I caught a real fish!” It was just a small 'poisson chat' (a catfish) but I had no idea how to get it off.

That man probably laughed himself silly...

Prepare yourself

Fishing on holiday is the ultimate relaxation, but you must adhere to a few rules. Just like in the Netherlands, you cannot just pitch up somewhere and fish: you must have a fishing permit. In addition, you must be in possession of a stamped seal (timbre oblitéré). Both documents are available at the Office de Tourisme, sports shops and the “Tabacs”. You buy them in the department where you want to go fishing. Both documents will be provided immediately. Prices vary per department and depend on how long you want to go fishing. A day ticket or weekly ticket is often enough during a holiday. You can order your Carte de Pêche online on this website, from the recognized fishing organisations in France.

Fishing, relaxation for everyone!

You can cast your fishing line in quiet lakes or ditches in France, but there are also places that cannot be compared to fishing in the Netherlands. Consider, for example, fly fishing in a fast-flowing mountain river! Of course you need special equipment for this and you probably won’t already have those things in the car. So check carefully to see if you are missing anything and purchase it, if necessary (for example here). Carp fishing, usually a quieter affair, is for example very good in Etang de Mont in the Auvergne or in Etang Lassalle in the south of France. Wherever you go fishing: it is mainly the spectacular environment that makes it so different. Gites has a large number of holiday homes located on or close to fishing water. There are even a few that have their own fishing lake! Then you can simply keep an eye on your float from your own terrace.

Fishing trips

Of course, there are countless opportunities in the many coastal towns to go on organised sea fishing trips. You then leave early in the morning and follow a school of sea bream or tuna on a trawler or a yacht. The material is usually included in the excursion price.

The best seasons for fishing in France

In the spring the bass is very active and likes to bite different types of lures and bait. But spring is also ideal for trout fishing in the beautiful streams and rivers in France. Spin fishing, fly fishing and with the float... you can catch the most beautiful specimens!

In summer all fish become more active. During that season, pike-perch in particular come to the somewhat shallow waters, where you will find them under bridges and along the banks.

Nature is at its most spectacular in autumn. It's starting to cool down again and the carp are getting ready for winter. So they are busy looking for food and like to bite!

Although the temperature and weather conditions in winter are not always ideal, the persistent angler can certainly catch a nice fish during this season. Fishing is always a good idea!

Alone or together

You can also go fishing if you go on holiday to France with the whole family. France offers beautiful places all year round and a breathtaking backdrop for great fishing adventures. Even in winter. Although pike and pike-perch like to lie a little deeper in winter, they remain active and ready to bite. The right techniques and bait will ensure success during the winter season.

France is waiting for you!

Going on an adventure with the whole family and enjoying France's wonderful fishing offer together will certainly create unforgettable memories. So, book a nice holiday home at Gites, grab your fishing gear and start the fun! Beautiful France, full of fish, awaits you!

Pro Tip

Take a look at this article from Explore France if you (think you are) ready for a fishing holiday in France.

Useful glossary

  • Fishing rod: Canne à pêche
  • Lead weight: Poids de plomb
  • Ace: Appât
  • Float: Flotteur
  • Fishing line: Ligne de pêche
  • Hook: Hameçon
  • Fishing license: Permis de pêche
  • Carp: Carpe
  • Trout: Truite