Fishing in France

How and where to fish in France

Fishing in France has grown more popular over the past few years and it fits right in with green tourism. The regions are focused on improving activities and support involved with fishing including hotel stays, infrastructures and informative brochures to help visitors know the best places to drop their lines.

Be it the simple fishing pole in the river, deep sea fishing for the giant tuna or fly fishing, you can fish all year round as long as you have your license which is absolutely necessary.

No matter your age or skill level, there are all kinds of fishing--from the banks of small streams to the deep Caribbean to a lake in the Massif Central. Fishing is peaceful and goes with the rhythm of the water, the seasons and the weather. It can be done alone, with family members or friends and always with the respect of nature and the environment. One should always release the fish that are endangered or too small.

A Fishing Permit is a must!

You must carry a permit to fish on any public waterway. You can purchase it at local sporting goods stores, cafés or tourist offices. The approximate costs are: one-day permit--10 euros, for one year--60 euros, for children under 16--30 euros and a two-week vacation permit issued from June through September--30 euros. For trout and salmon fishing, there are limited times of the years that vary between regions. For more information you should contact the mayor's office or the local tourist office.

Freshwater fishing

Freshwater fishing is the most popular and most accessible. For the best places you should contact the local tourist offices (External link) that usually have detailed brochures and maps. (External link)

You can also visit l'Union Nationale pour à la Pêche en France (External link) (the French National Fishing Union). This site will give you a list of fishing federations by department.

The Regional and Departmental Tourist Offices also offer suggested themed outings. Supervised by professionals, these outings are from one to several days and can including fishing on horseback, fly fishing, natural parks settings, etc. They usually include lodging, breakfast and dinner and equipment rental.

Sea Fishing

Deep sea fishing fanatics will be thrilled to discover the companies that offer early-morning outings to follow schools of tuna, sea bream etc. The fishing clubs (External link) , yacht clubs and the harbor authorities can provide information on the summer boat schedules. They usually go out for a half or full day between mid-May and mid-October. The cost is approximately 50 euros for a half day per person for three to eight persons with equipment included. Night fishing is also a possibility. In the overseas territories, sea fishing is more prevelant. For more information, inquire at the ports.

Fishing on the beach

There are many places along the 5500 km of French coastline where you can collect shellfish while walking along the shore.

Pescalis--a fisherman's paradise

Recently opened in the heart of the Poitou-Charentes region, this international fishing center is dedicated to fishing. Inspired by an American model, it is a one of a kind in Europe and welcomes visitors year round with 100 hectares of ponds. Everything is available on site including the fishing tanks (you can choose the type of fish), the rental equipment and advice from specialists. Lodging, tennis, hiking and golf are also available.
For more information: (External link)