Skip to content

Ultimate Guide to Carp Fishing Holidays in France: Best Lakes & Strategies Revealed

Carp fishing holidays in France

Ready to master carp fishing in France? From uncovering top destination lakes to unlocking effective tactics, this article guides you through the essentials for perfect carp fishing. Find out the best times to fish, understand the required permits, and explore family-friendly spots that make a fishing holiday at carp lakes in France unforgettable.

With no fluff, just facts, let’s reel in the details of your next big catch in France’s freshwater havens.

fishing holiday catch
Fishing holiday catch

Carp France Fishing Key Takeaways

  • Prime carp fishing seasons in France bring unique opportunities, with late March to mid-May, summer, and September to November offering optimal conditions for different carp behaviours.

  • A family-friendly and luxurious carp fishing holiday in France awaits in Dordogne, France, with accommodations boasting private lakes and comfortable amenities, alongside easy-to-obtain fishing licenses for public and private waters.

  • Carp anglers can explore, with friends, family or on your own, diverse carp fishing destinations from natural to man-made lakes, experience varied accommodation options, with the welcoming lake owner on site with angling services, or off site, a perfectly stocked lake, and access specially tailored local baits that comply with French regulations.

Carp Fishing Seasons in France

Carp fishing in France during different seasons
Carp fishing in France during different seasons

When to Fish those Carp Lakes?

The uniqueness of carp fishing in France is primarily attributed to the influential role of seasons in determining the carp’s abundance and activities. Late March to mid-May, for instance, is a prime time for carp fishing.

Why, you ask? As temperatures climb from a chilly low of 10°C to a pleasant 14°C, the mild weather conditions provide a comfortable habitat for the carp to thrive.

Summer Carp Fishing Holidays

However, the thrill goes beyond this. The summer months introduce a fresh dynamic to the carp fishing expedition, bringing some exciting news. Imagine witnessing the carp going through periods of intense feeding activity, followed by periods of fasting. Now, that’s something that can’t be missed!

Moreover, the time frame from September to November shouldn’t be overlooked. As the carp prepare for winter, they bulk up, which can lead to altered feeding patterns, leading to ideal opportunities for anglers.

Why a Family Fishing Holiday in Dordogne, France

Family fishing holiday in Dordogne, France
Family fishing holiday in Dordogne, France

Regarding carp fishing in France, Dordogne emerges as a standout location due to its allure for families. Imagine waking up in a luxury villa overlooking a private fishing lake.

You step out onto the terrace with your coffee, the morning sun warming your face, and your fishing rod at the ready. It’s not just a dream; it’s a reality in Dordogne, France.

Fishing at Your Own Private Villa and Carp Lakes

With luxury villas offering:

  • private heated swimming pools

  • hot tubs

  • terraces overlooking the lake

  • private fishing lakes for the lake owner

Dordogne is the embodiment of comfort and convenience for both anglers and their families. These fantastic accommodations come with the added benefit of private gated access, ensuring a safe and controlled environment for your family.

Private Fishing Lakes
Your Own Private Fishing Lakes

Water Temperature Preferences

You may question the reasons behind Dordogne’s suitability for carp fishing holidays. Essentially, it boils down to the water temperature. You see, carp thrive in water temperatures between 18°C to 24°C, which is crucial for their optimal growth and reproduction.

During the spring and autumn seasons in France, the average water temperature hovers around a delightful 15.5°C to 20°C, perfectly aligning with the carp’s preferred temperature range. This makes Dordogne a hotspot for carp fishing during these seasons.

Add to this the positive impact of changes in weather conditions like temperature, air pressure, and cloudy and windy conditions, and you’ve got the perfect formula for a successful carp fishing trip.

Licensing and Regulations

So, you’re convinced about embarking on a carp fishing holiday in France. But before you pack your bags and head off to the beautiful French countryside, let’s talk about some essential things – licensing and regulations.

In France, fishing permits are required to fish in publicly owned rivers or streams. The good news is that acquiring a fishing license in France is as straightforward as can be.

Carp anglers fishing license
Carp anglers fishing license is a priority on public waterways

Where to Get Your License

These licenses can easily be purchased:

  • online

  • at local sporting goods stores

  • at cafés

  • at tourist offices.

The pricing for fishing licenses in France offers a range of options to suit different needs. Here are the options:

  • For adults, annual licenses range between €70 and €100

  • For minors, licenses cost €10 to €20

  • A Carte Vacances, a holiday license valid for 7 consecutive days, is available for around €30

But what about private lakes? Well, you’re in luck! No fishing license is required for private lakes in France.

And our fishing lakes are completely private – and can also be EXCLUSIVE to only your fishing holiday group. Ask for details.

Private carp fishing lakes in France
Private carp fishing lakes in France

Public Lakes

Bear in mind that for fishing in public lakes in France, acquiring a fishing permit or “carte de pêche” from the local AAPPMA (Associations Agrées de Pêche et de Protection du Milieu Aquatique) is obligatory.

The costs vary, with a one-day permit costing 10 euros, a one-year permit costing around 60 euros, and a two-week vacation permit costing 30 euros for children under 16.

Now you might be wondering, “Where can I easily purchase a fishing license in France?” The answer is simple. Fishing licenses can be purchased online on the official website of the French Fishing Federation or locally at sporting goods stores, cafés, or tourist offices.

The icing on the cake? The beautiful public lakes of France also welcome children to partake in the joy of fishing.

Carp fishing lakes
Private carp fishing lake

Private Venues

Moving on, let’s discuss fishing at private venues. If you’re someone who prefers a more exclusive and serene fishing experience, then private venues might just be the perfect fit for you. The best part? No fishing license is required! That’s right, you can enjoy fishing without the hassle of obtaining a license.

Fishing Holidays in Peace

Private venues not only offer a peaceful and pleasurable fishing experience but also boast a commitment to conservation for a well-maintained environment. Some incredible private carp fishing venues in France include those with luxurious accommodations like Best Carp Fishing in France with Luxury Accommodation, Small Exclusive Carp Lakes in France such as Morliere, Lamber Lake, Champagne Lake, and Beausoleil.

Top Carp Fishing Lakes in France

Scenic natural carp fishing lake in France
Fantasy Fishing

Having covered the basics, let’s explore the exhilarating realm of the best carp fishing lakes in France. From the naturally captivating Lac de Saint-Cassien to the robust populations of carp in man-made lakes in the Limousin region, France offers a variety of fishing lakes that are as diverse as they are beautiful.

The reputation of these lakes is not just built on their natural allure, but also on the significant catches they have produced over the years. For instance, Lac de Saint-Cassien is renowned for yielding a record-breaking mirror carp that weighed 37.1 kg (81.6 lb), caught by angler Martin Locke in 1987. With these lakes teeming with a variety of carp species, anglers are in for a thrilling fishing experience.

Natural Lakes

Natural lakes in France offer an unparalleled fishing experience. The picturesque and wild setting, the abundance of natural food sources like daphnia, and the presence of wary carp that live in shoals – all these elements combined create a truly distinctive angling experience.

Mirror Carp, Common Carp, Koi, and Grass Carp are a delight to find in the natural lakes of France. The record captures range from 66 lbs to 81 lbs, showcasing the exceptional opportunities these lakes offer to anglers. What’s more, anglers are allowed up to four lines, helping to manage fishing pressure and sustain the carp population.

Fishing and playing
Boy on a boat

Man-Made Lakes

Now, let’s turn our attention to the man-made lakes in France. These lakes are efficiently managed by dedicated fish farmers who conduct regular lake nettings and ensure the lakes are abundantly stocked with quality carp. In fact, they have successfully fished these lakes to maintain a healthy ecosystem.

The common carp (Cyprinus carpio) is the primary species found in these lakes, adding to the beauty and diversity of the aquatic life there. The growth of carp in these lakes is greatly supported by the abundance of food and the perfect water temperatures, creating the best conditions for carp to flourish and survive carp lakes.

Accommodation Options for Carp Anglers

Accommodation options for carp anglers in France
Accommodation options for carp anglers in France

Let’s discuss accommodation options. France offers a wide range of options for carp anglers, from basic cabins to luxurious houses and lodges. Whether you’re looking for a rustic experience or a lavish stay, there’s something for everyone.

Family Fishing Holidays

Family fishing holiday in France packages usually include:

  • Delightful log cabins beside fishing lakes

  • Charming lakeside holiday properties

  • Cosy holiday cottages

  • Luxurious villas or lodges

These accommodations come with additional facilities like swimming pools and private carp lakes for an enhanced holiday experience.

drive and survive fishing holidays in France
Family or Drive and survive fishing holidays?

Family-Friendly Options

If you’re considering a family fishing holiday, there are plenty of family-friendly options to choose from. These include luxury villas with private pools and gated access, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay for all.

These accommodations not only provide unparalleled comfort but also offer a range of amenities including:

  • Multiple bedrooms

  • Games rooms

  • Swimming pools

  • Hot tubs

Plus, with the added benefit of private gated access, you can ensure a safe and controlled environment for your family.

Family fishing holidays
Family fishing holidays

Budget-Friendly Options

For those looking for a more affordable experience, there are plenty of budget-friendly options available. These include smaller cottages, maybe shared swimming pools, and the convenience of dropping a line nearby. But you don’t have the luxury or the private lakes of a higher-end carp fishing in France venue.

carp fishing

You Get What You Pay For

You can find a variety of these accommodations on websites like Majestic Carp and Angling Lines. From simple cabins to luxury lakeside houses, there’s something to suit everyone’s budget.

Bait Restrictions and Recommendations

You’ve chosen your destination, secured your accommodation, and are all set to face the French carp. Hold on, what about the bait? In France, there are certain restrictions on the types of bait you can use for carp fishing. Don’t worry, though – we’ve got you covered. Approved baits for carp fishing in France do not contain animal by-products like dairy and meat.

On the other hand, the list of approved baits is quite extensive. You can choose from:

  • Hardened hookbaits

  • Non-fishmeal baits

  • Plastic baits like the Carp Spirit Imitation bait range

  • Boilies

  • Hemp

  • Sweetcorn

  • Other particles

  • Maggots

  • Casters

There’s plenty to choose from.

Fishing baits

Prohibited Baits

It’s vital to realize that some baits are banned in France. These include baits containing animal by-products such as dairy and meat and plastic baits. There is also a restriction on quantity for particle baits, limiting them to 2kg.

The prohibition of certain baits in France is aimed at preventing the introduction of meat or dairy products into the country and regulating the use of baits that contain fish, animal, or plant products to ensure environmental and ecological safety. So, it’s always a good idea to check the local regulations before bringing bait from the UK.

Better yet – buy locally in France. Most fishing lakes offer bait.

Local Bait Providers

When it comes to procuring bait in France, local bait providers like Proline offer a diverse range of options, including:

  • Boilies

  • Hemp

  • Sweetcorn

  • Other particles

  • Maggots

  • Casters

They use top-notch ingredients and develop cutting-edge bait formulations customized to meet the specific needs and preferences of carp in French waters.

Some other fantastic local bait providers for carp fishing in France include:


  • Hexabaits

  • Pacific Peche

  • Solar Tackle

  • Nash Tackle

These providers excel in supplying suitable alternatives for prohibited baits by offering a diverse range of options.

carp fishing in France
Carp fishing in France

Ferry Crossing Discounts and Tips

Next, let’s shift focus to a significant part of your carp fishing holiday – Getting into France – ferry crossings or EutoTunnel. Some carp fishing holiday providers offer discounted ferry crossings, and planning ahead can help save on travel costs.

Carp fishing holiday providers such as and Abbey Lakes are known for offering fantastic discounts on ferry crossings. Additionally, P&O Ferries also has some great deals for carp fishing trips to France. Also, DFDS Ferries are usually the cheapest for the Dover – Calais route, without any discounts.

It is simply worth checking all available options, all ferries (DFDS, Brittany, P&O) and EuroTunnel.

Ferry crossing or Eurotunnel
Ferry crossing or Eurotunnel?

Also weigh in how quickly you want to get there; EuroTunnel takes 30 minutes. The same journey by ferry takes 1 hour 30 minutes, plus with a ferry you need to make absolutely sure you are there in time to get your crossing. (With EuroTunnel, if you miss your specific train, you just get the next one, usually). So by ferry, you need to be there usually at least an hour before your crossing.

If the Dover Calais route is not your nearest and most obvious option, consider the total journey time, total petrol cost and total toll-booth cost (yes, the best roads in France are not free, but they are TOTALLY worth paying for).

Miles travelled by ferry are slower than you would drive on the road – especially the fast and mostly-empty French motorways.

Discount Offers

Several discount offers are available for ferry crossings. For instance, reserved seats can be availed at an amazing 50% off, cabins at a fantastic 25% off, and discounted fares for specific departures., in collaboration with P&O, is dedicated to providing fantastic discounts for ferry tickets from Dover to Calais for anglers.

Additionally, anglers can also enjoy discounts during events such as National Ferry Fortnight and on specific routes with companies like Brittany Ferries.

Travel Tips

Some travel tips for ferry crossings to France include booking in advance, considering less in-demand routes, bringing water, sandwiches and snacks, checking port updates, and being flexible with arrival ports.

If it is a busy route or time, consider paying the £10 extra or so to be the ‘priority’ first few off. It can make quite a difference, if there are even just a few cars whose driver hasnt returned to their car yet…

Bring headphones or ear-plugs so you can sleep on the EuroTunnel or ferry, so you’re ready for the drive in France.

The best times for your ferry crossing to France from the UK are from March to October. During these times, booking a ferry early morning in an off-peak sailing time can help you secure better prices and avoid overcrowding.

In addition to the popular Dover to Calais route, you can also consider:

  • The Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais

  • Alternative ferry ports like Newhaven to Dieppe

  • Portsmouth to various ports including Caen, Cherbourg, or St Malo.

Again, most importantly, consider the total journey, in terms or time, ease and cost. Would you pay maybe £20 extra to shave 2 hours off your journey?

Non-Angling Activities and Attractions

Exploring local towns and villages in France

Undoubtedly, a trip to France isn’t solely about fishing. A vast world of non-angling activities and attractions awaits exploration. Some of the highlights include:

  • Iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris

  • Canoeing in the Dordogne Valley

  • Discovering historic cave art and some chateaux

  • Exploring the charming French towns and villages

  • Enjoying the stunning landscape

There’s something for everyone in France.

La Roque Gageac Dordogne France
La Roque Gageac Dordogne France

Top Cuisine While Carp Fishing in France

And let’s not forget about the food. While visiting France, tourists can look forward to trying exciting classic French dishes like:

  • Tartiflette

  • Various French cheeses

  • Truffles

  • Baguettes

  • Croissants

  • Snails

  • Soupe À l’oignon

  • Coq Au Vin

  • Beef Bourguignon

  • Cassoulet

to fully experience the renowned French cuisine.

fisherman caught stocked carp


As we wrap up our journey into the world of carp fishing in France, it’s clear that whether you’re an experienced angler or a novice, France has something unique to offer. From the diverse seasons and water temperatures to the variety of natural and man-made lakes, the licensing requirements, the wide range of baits, and the convenience of ferry crossings and EuroTunnel, and relaxing in tranquil nature, every aspect of the carp fishing experience in France is unique and exciting.

So, pack your gear, book your carp fishing holiday with accommodation, and get ready for an unforgettable carp fishing holiday in France. Experience the thrill of reeling in a robust carp, the serenity of the French countryside, the comfort of luxurious accommodations, and the joy of a family holiday. France is waiting for you!

Carp France Fishing
Carp France Fishing

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I carp fish in France?

You can go carp fishing in France at many lakes, such as Cavagnac Lake, Belenos Lake, and Cheshire Lake, or any of the huge number of carp fishing lakes in France, all offering great opportunities to catch carp of impressive sizes. Enjoy your fishing adventure!

How much is carp fishing in France?

Carp fishing in France can vary in price depending on the season, and the luxury of your accommodation.

What is the best bait for carp in France?

The best bait for carp in France is boilies and pellets, which are all you need to catch carp or catfish. Give them a try on your next fishing trip!

Which carp lakes in France have 70lb carp?

You can find 70lb carp in Sky Lake, Villefond, Old Oaks, Jonchery, Fullys lake, and Evaro in France! Many other lakes have large carp, and more varied, beautiful settings. Start planning your fishing trip now.

What are the best seasons for carp fishing in France?

The best seasons for carp fishing in France are late March to mid-May, the summer months, and September to November, offering a wide window for successful fishing.

Get carp fishing in France here <<

Ready to Book? Contact us here to call or message us with any requirements you have, and to place your booking. Check availability here. Any problems or queries whatsoever, just call us here.

How useful was this page?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this page.

As you found this page useful...

Share this on social media!

We are sorry that this page was not useful for you!

Let us improve this page!

Tell us how we can improve this page?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.