Print Posted By Lost in France on 21 Sep 2005 in Travel to France - Fishing in France

The Attraction of Fishing in France

It is impossible these days to pick up an angling magazine and not see photographs of monsterous carp caught in France or articles written by anglers who have had a great time there. France presents a great variety of fishing throughout the entire country, catering for course and game on a wide range of rivers and lakes. And with over 6000 miles of coast line it has plenty for the sea angler too. Carp of over 40lbs are common in many of France's man made lakes, massive catfish and sturgeon that take all day to land and some there's brilliant trout fishing deep in the alpine range.

Carp fishing holidays are becoming a big business in the UK and has now expanded into the rest of Europe. France is currently the number one venue for travelling British carp anglers with tens of thousands heading out there each year.
But why? What has France got for angling that we haven't got in the UK? Below is a summary of what France has to offer.

Dawn at Les Montautiers

Better Climate

Four climactic types prevail in France. Like the UK, a true temperate maritime climate is found in the west, near the coasts, and is exemplified at Brest, where winters are mild, summers are cool and rainfall is frequent.

  • A mid-latitude continental climate prevails in the interior of the country, with hotter summers and more rigorous winters, with rain falling on fewer days of the year.
  • A mountain climate prevails at high elevations, where temperatures are influenced mainly by altitude, and winters are generally bitterly cold and prolonged.
  • A Mediterranean type of climate is found in a zone along the Mediterranean coast. It is characterized by hot, dry summers, mild and humid winters, and a small number of rainy days during the year.


Early Summer at Hooked in France


Untamed Lakes and Rivers

The UK has some tremendous angling venues but what makes French lakes better is the fact the majority are still relatively untamed and unfished. The chance of catching a fish that has never been caught before is very high and that aspect alone is drawing British anglers overseas. It's a complete mystery on many waters how big the fish go to. Take Rainbow Lake for example near Bordeaux, twice recently the world record for a carp, now 83lbs, has been broken on this 46 hectare water. It is a mystery as to what monsters lurk in the depths - could there be a 90lb carp in there?

French waters haven't had anywhere near the amount of pressure UK waters have. The fish haven't sust us out yet. You can fish pretty much anywhere, with any bait, using any method and catch yourself something pretty decent.

Bigger Fish

Anglers have a very good chance of beating their personal best by heading over to France for a fishing holiday. Fish are bigger in France than the UK due to a number of factors.

  • Warmer water temperatures encourage the fish to feed more.
  • Food is in greater abundance, the warmer water encourages the growth of plant and insects.
  • The lakes and rivers are generally bigger and can support fish to a greater size.
  • There is less pressure from anglers allowing fish to grow at there normal rate.

Carp, in particular, have been caught at over 80lbs and it is common place for anglers to catch 40lb plus fish! The majority of UK carp anglers haven't even caught a fish over 20lbs!


yson caught at Les Montautier in early 2005

Mixing a holiday with a hobby

Fishing is becoming more than something you go and do at the weekend. It is typical for anglers to book a week off work and go fishing with friends and family. While there are plenty of venues in the UK where you can do this, the majority of venues in France are designed to take the holidaying angler.

Ferry crossings are not expensive these days and it make sense to the keen angler that if he has got a week off work, he might as well go to France rather than the UK because:

1. The fish are bigger over there.
2. The lakes are wild and untamed.
3. It doesn't actually take that long to get there.
4. Food and drink is inexpensive.
5. It is warmer and he/she might even get a suntan!

For some great French fishing venues go to
For a recommended, well established French Fishery with a great following go to

Tight Lines!

© Mike Harrison - Hooked in France


Sunset at a Lake in France


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