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Fishing holidays in France

With plenty of options for all levels, experience the great outdoors on your next fishing holiday in France.

Noted as being one of the most relaxing sports there is, fishing is a great way to get active on your holiday, without arriving home feeling like you haven’t had a rest.

Known for having some of the best lakes for fishing in Europe, France is a fantastic choice for anyone looking for a fishing holiday.

Whether you want a family break, or a weekend away, getting to your fishing destination couldn’t be simpler. The journey from Folkestone to Calais takes just 35 minutes, meaning you’ll be down by the water’s edge before you know it.

Fishing holidays are also the perfect way to explore more of the French countryside. If you have time on your side and want to venture beyond the more traditional spots in France, this is your chance.

blue waters of a big lake surrounded by green mountains

What fish can you catch in France?

Although noted for having great carp fishing, there is a wide range of fish available for you to catch in France.

The most common freshwater fish are salmon and trout, however, there are approximately 83 different types of fish in France’s freshwaters in total, so your choice is not limited.

The French coast is also well known for fishing. Stretching over 5,500km you’ll have the chance to catch plenty of species native to the French region, including Bass and Sardines, while enjoying some of the country’s beautiful coastal views.

Carp fishing in France

Hugely popular for fishing holidays, France has plenty of lakes which are renowned for having exceptional carp fishing.

Recommended spots include Morliere, where it is rumoured carp of over 60 lbs live. Morliere lake is 6 acres, nestled in the heart of the Perche region, which is around a four-hour drive from Calais. The lake sits on a private estate and the surrounding grounds are stunning.

Another well-reviewed carp fishing destination is Authentico, an 18-acre lake which has a maximum depth of 6 meters in some places. Not only are the carp enormous (the largest recorded catch is 68lbs!) but there is also fresh pizza bread delivery available on site should you fancy a snack.

Man in a grey long sleeved t-shirt and baseball cap holding a large carp fish on a green grass bank with a lake in the background and trees surrounding it

Freshwater fishing in the lakes & rivers

One of the most accessible fishing sports, freshwater fishing is another great way to see more of France during your holiday. Local tourism boards can often recommend the best places in the area, but popular spots include Lac du Bourget, a freshwater lake covered by the Jura Mountains in Northern France. Not only do prominent fish include pike, perch, zander, and trout, but the lake is also a wonderful spot for other activities like camping, kite surfing and hiking.

Forest View is another fantastic lake and a great destination for families to visit. Filled with pike, roach, and more, you do have to return the fish after they’re caught, but the camping and forest scenes make it a wonderful place to explore.

Salmon & trout fishing

For keen fishermen, Brittany has some fantastic Salmon and Trout fishing locations. The coastal drive from Calais along to France’s west coast means you will get the chance to enjoy some beautiful views throughout your journey.

Once you arrive, there are plenty of locations for you to choose from, including Pont-Aven in Southern Brittany, Brest and Landerneau in the West, and Guingamp in the North. Many local guides regularly take keen fishermen out on fishing expeditions along the region’s rivers. For the full outdoors experience, Brittany has some incredible camping destinations for you to escape to.

Blue tent in a clearing with pin trees and bushes behind it, with a wooden picnic table to the left and a campfire in the foreground

Sea angling in France

In France, sea angling is a serious business and hugely popular with tourists and locals alike. For most people, the aim is to catch sea bass, which is common along the French coastline. Rarer species include the rainbow wrasse, Mediterranean parrotfish, the painted comber, and the small red scorpionfish. If you’re looking for a beach holiday which has something other than sun, sea, and sand, sea angling is a great activity to try.

Man and child holding fishing rods on a boat with sunset and lake behind them

Do you need a licence to fish in France?

To fish in France, a fishing permit is a must. Luckily, these are relatively easy to get hold of, as most sporting goods stores and tourism offices around popular destinations sell them. A one day permit generally costs around ten euros, and a two-week permit is approximately 30 euros.

When is the best time to go fishing in France?

The best time to go fishing in France generally depends on what type of water you’re fishing in. For private lakes, fishing is typically permitted between April and October, while for public spaces, the season generally runs from March to September in more oxygenated waters and May to September in less oxygenated spots.

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Pack your bags and get ready for your next fishing holiday in France. From Folkestone to Calais the journey is only 35 minutes and from there you’ll be well on your way to your chosen fishing destination.

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