Property near Fishing locations in France

Whether you prefer fishing in the sea, lakes or rivers, you are spoilt for choice in France. With 3,427 km of coastline, 192 rivers and literally thousands of lakes there is no shortage of properties near good fishing.

If you’re looking to buy a French riverside property (or even one some distance from a river) always go to the local Mairie (Town Hall) to see the plan of areas liable to flooding (zone d’inondation). This area could be wider than you think and it’s crucial to find out because redevelopment and rebuilding are severely restricted in these areas. Every mairie holds these plans.

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Buying a property with a lake provides an excellent business opportunity as you could provide fishing accommodation for paying guests. Carp fishing in particular is big business so if you could provide either gîte or Chambres d’Hôte accommodation, then you could convert your hobby into a thriving business. Could you get planning permission for lakeside chalets and permits for day/night fishing? Could you install holding tanks for fish breeding and create a fish farm?

A property with a lake is not suitable for families with small children; and if you’re buying a French property with the intention of adding a lake then you should know that a lake over 1,000 m2 requires planning permission.

Some regions of France are more blessed with lakes than others; the Brenne regional nature park in the Indre department of the Centre region has more than two thousand lakes of all shapes and sizes.

Instead of buying a property with a private lake, you might choose to buy near a publicly owned lake where fishing is permitted. Close proximity to such lakes can boost rental income considerably. In the heart of Burgundy there is excellent fishing in the Lac de Pannecière and the other man-made lakes of the Morvan regional nature park. In the Limousin, the 1,000 hectare Lac de Vassivière is stocked with pike, sander, roach, carp and tench and it can be fished all year round. What’s more, many of the surrounding rivers and streams are stocked with trout!

* You can buy a fishing licence (Carte de Peche) from cafés, bars, the local post office and, of course, in tackle shops. An annual licence and stamp (timbre) costs about £40; it means you have paid the French fishing tax for that county (département) and that you can fish all its public lakes and rivers. However, if you pay a little more and buy the ‘Entent Haliautique et Grand Ouest’ carte this entitles you to fish another 55 other departements throughout southern, central and north-western France!

There is also a fifteen-day ‘carte de vacances’ (holiday licence) which is about half the price of the standard licence. If you’re only fishing for carp then ask for “une carte de peche uniquement pour la carpe s’il vous plait” - or you will end up paying for stamps that you don’t need.

Private lakes are normally covered by a block permit but check with the site owner to see whether the national licence is also needed.

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