Pêche à la mouche Gave d'Aspe

Fishing in New Aquitaine: 11 destinations / 11 ways to fish

Every corner of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, land of water par excellence, as the etymology of its name suggests (Aqua = water in latin), holds unique experiences for both fishing enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

Here we share just a few of our favourite "spots", there are so many to choose from. So Happy Fishing!

Pécheur au lac de Vassivière

The most “head in the clouds”: sport fishing on the Lake Vassivière

Get out your best fishing rod and set off on a rowing or motor boat from one of the many ports dotted around the Lake Vassivière, a small, land-locked sea perched in the middle of the Millevaches plateau. Pike, perch, carp, black-bass, welcome to the kingdom of the big fish. Some are over a metre long!

At the end of the day, make the most of the last rays of sunshine by spreading your towel on one of the fine sand beaches and taking a dip in the lake. Culture lovers can also visit the Contemporary Arts Centre, located on the Vassivière Island and take a stroll through the art works while admiring the Limousin Mountains.

The most "maritime”: on-foot fishing on the Ile d’Oléron

Welly boots, a net, a bucket and a hook. That's what you'll need to set off across these wide reaches of sand, rock and silt that appear at low tide as the sea ebbs away from the island coast. On the menu for lunch: prawns, oysters, crab, razor and other clams. You'll have a feast! But remember to leave the smallest ones behind so there will still be some for others next season...

Be careful! Keep an eye on the tide times before you set off fishing.

Autour du Bassin d'Arcachon et ses plages

The most “24/7”: squid and cuttlefish fishing on the Arcachon Basin jetties

Day or night, every time's the right time to stroll down the jetty with your rod and "jig", (a single gang hook with a lure, ideal for squid fishing). Then, if you want to tuck into a good plancha of fresh baby squid, "casserons" as we call them locally, get down to the fishing!

Our absolute favourite: fishing at nightfall to see the lights coming on all around the bay, right across to the other side.

The most “original”: fishing from the terrace of a floating hut, Lake Pelisse in Lot-and-Garonne

Between the valleys of the Dordogne and the Lot, about thirty minutes from Bergerac, come and get a big breath of fresh air on Lake Pelisse. In the middle of nature, take a romantic trip on a row boat to reach your home sweet home: a floating hut in the middle of the lake. All that's left to do is settle on the terrace with your fishing rod. No worries if you don't get a catch: dinner and breakfast are delivered by boat.

While you're there, why not try a good bottle of bergerac or monbazillac. Pick one up beforehand at the local market, or directly at one of the producers in the neighbouring vineyards. In moderation, of course!

Chalutier à l entree du port de Capbreton

The most “open sea”: offshore fishing on the Atlantic Coast

Embark with your fishing guide to take on the ocean! He'll tell you all you need to know about the deep waters of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Atlantic Coast, teeming with tuna, bass and cod. Many ship owners will take you along the coast to guarantee a day rich in exciting moments.

The most “adventurous”: trout fishing in the Pyrenean Valleys

Welcome to the kingdom of the fly fishers. Whether in the Valley of Aspe or Ossau, or even in Basque Country rivers, there's no shortage of small streams and rivers for fishermen who want to wade through the waters, all the while keeping an eye on the breathtaking Pyrenean mountains.

There's nothing quite like a fresh trout for dinner, followed by a thick slice of Ossau-Iraty cheese and home-made Espelette Pepper Gélée.

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The most “family-friendly”: family fishing in Pescalis - Deux Sèvres

You'd love to introduce your kids to the joys of fishing? You're fed up with your partner moaning about you spending hours fishing? Head for Pescalis, the biggest fishing and nature activity park in Europe.

On the "fishing" side: an area of more than 250 hectares of nature including 100 hectares of lakes dedicated to different types of fishing (fly fishing, pawl fishing, sport fishing).

On the "relaxation" side: a restaurant, a freshwater aquarium, lakeside walks on foot, by bike or on horseback, a games area, a mini-golf, a mini-farm, a multi-sports field (football, basketball...) ping pong, tennis courts and of course, a swimming pool!

So, no more excuses, reach for your fishing rods!

The most “V.I.P.” (Very Important 'Poisson'): sea lamprey fishing in the Gironde estuary

You've heard of the lamprey, a prehistoric animal, hybrid between a fish and an eel? Don't be put off by its unusual appearance, you're looking at one of the most noble fish in the Gironde Estuary. Highly saught after by gourmets, it owes its noble gastronomic reputation to the red wine sauce that heightens its flavour. Its rarity makes it an exceptional dish.

“Waiter, do you still have some Bordeaux-style Lamprey?"

Carrelets a Royan

The highest “perched”: square net fishing in the Gironde Estuary

Square net fishing is a fishing method that uses a horizontal net mounted on a square wooden frame, dipped into the water from a platform on stilts.

Once the net is in the water, all you have to do is wait. Why not use the time for an aperitif between friends. On the table: Pineau de Charentes, Entre-deux-Mers white wine, Marennes-Oléron oysters, white shrimp from the Anis Estuary, "mouclade" of mussels...

The most “mysterious”: eel fishing in the "Marais poitevin" (Poitevin Marsh)

In the heart of the legendary Poitevin Marshlands, along the canals, home to countless legends, lives an equally mysterious fish: the eel. Often referred to as an "aquatic snake", the eel has come a long way from the cold waters of the western Atlantic to set up home in "Green Venice".

Here, we fish eel in the traditional way, "à la vermée". Without hooks and with an umbrella! Yes indeed. But be careful to follow the instructions of the Fishing Federation: the eel is a protected species!

The most “High tech”: fishing with a “Float tube” on the Vienne

In Nouvelle-Aquitaine fishing knows how to keep one step ahead too! As proof, the "Float Tube" technique that's spreading all along the Vienne river. The idea is simple: you settle down in a floating craft, that looks like a large buoy, propelled by underwater fins and of you float, just above water, in search of carp and other big fish.

Like a fish in water!

For more information:

www.peche-nouvelle-aquitaine.org/

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