Best lakes in France

6 french lakes not to be missed

Apart from its natural beauty, France is often associated with beautiful lakes. They are scattered in just every French region you can think of, from the Dombes Plateau, to the Auvergne plateau, southwest Atlantic coast, Limousin, and the Alps. In this guide, we have chosen both small and large lakes in France, some of which are quite popular while others are lesser-known.

  1. Bills Lake
  2. Dreamlakes France
  3. Rainbow Lakes
  4. Lake Annecy
  5. Lake Soustons
  6. Beausoleil Carp and Cats

Most of the French lakes are easy to access, and you’ll be glad to know they are the perfect spots for angling and fishing. So if you have an interest in trout, salmon, and exotic fish varieties, we have rounded up the top six lakes across France to bait a hook at.

1. Bills Lake

If you fancy catching some huge French carp, Bills Lake, one of the best carp lakes in northern France is the place to go. Set in northeastern France, around 200 miles off Calais, Bills Lake offers numerous varieties from big, commons, to grass carp over the 50lb bracket. Seasoned and novice anglers come here often, breaking new records each week. It is a real pleasure casting a reel at a tree-lined water body. With a good selection of larch, birch, and willow trees around the border, Bills is one of the most authentic lakes in France. The lake is 10ft deep with gravel and silt at the bottom, and luckily, there’s no weed or snags, making your fishing more enjoyable. Towards the end is an island that many fish go to feed.

Stocked with: Big carp up to 74lb, catfish, and sturgeon

Another reason to visit: Benches for setting picnics

2. Dreamlakes France

The Dreamlakes is a fishing complex of five lakes, located a short distance from Orconte in the Champagne region. Being a habitat of big carp, the lakes offer the ideal satisfaction of a relaxed fishing holiday and the excitement that any angler would ask for. Tackle items for angling are readily available from hooks, market floats, and lead. There’s plenty of space and comfort backed with modern facilities, dining options, and lodges in these small exclusive carp lakes in France. The available guesthouses provide hot showers, clean toilets, and Wi-Fi so you can stay connected to the world.

Stocked with: Mirror carp, grass carp, common carp, and catfish

Another reason to visit: Outdoor seats for sunset

3. Rainbow Lakes

If you’re looking to do carp fishing in the Aquitaine region, Rainbow lakes in France must be on your travel itinerary. Also known as Lac de Curton, it is a 46-hectare lake in the south of Bordeaux and regarded as the top continental carp water body. It is known for producing world record-breaking carp, hence attracting anglers from across the board. Because many swimmers come to Rainbow Lake all the time, be sure to book your swim in advance. With the right bait and technique, rest assured when breaking the rod considering the many sturgeons that the lake holds. They are great to capture and friendly so you can take good photos. After catching enough fish, take a short drive to the swimming area. Some swim locations are secluded and you can choose one that appeals to you.

Stocked with: Mirror carp up to 99lb and common carp up to 92lb

Another reason to visit: Swimming

4. Lake Annecy

Sitting in the middle of snow-capped summits including Tournette Mountain, Lake Annecy has been named the cleanest lake in Europe and the biggest French lake. If you visit in summer, swim in the grassy and sandy beaches along the lake as you take in beautiful views of Annecy city. Holidaymakers enjoy a wide range of water activities like scuba diving, water skiing, paddle boarding, catamaran cruises, and wakeboarding. Thanks to safe routes alongside the lake, you can cycle and try other things like biking, hiking, mountain climbing, paragliding, and canyoning. For a fishing excursion, you’ll need a tourist fishing card that is sold by local retailers. There’s a chance to see birds while fishing e.g. mute swan, common merganser, mallard, great crested grebe, and coot. A more proactive way to scout the lake is via dinghies, pleasure boats, pedalos, and windsurfs. Later, you can embark on a museum tour to learn the history of the medieval town at Annecy’s historic centre.

Stocked with: Trout, carp, roach, whitefish, bleak, perch, char, bream, and pike

Another reason to visit: Water sports

5. Lake Soustons

Lake Soustons covers 380 hectares of land in the southwest of France between Soustons and Azur. Fed by several rivers from the north, it is a vast freshwater lake that drains into two nature reserves at Seignosse. A beautiful waterside setting a few metres from the Atlantic coast offers a tranquil spot for fishing, water sports, and sunbathing. Lake Soustons is engulfed by pines, making it a great spot for dingy sailing, canoeing, kayaking, and windsurfing. Most of the fishing happens at the small island, marshes, and streams.

Stocked with: black-bass, tench, perch, pike, and pike-perch

Another reason to visit: Self-guided boating

6. Beausoleil Carp and Cats

This is a 4-acre lake nestled in the Mayenne, northwest of France, and only a 90-min drive from Saint-Malo ferry port. Beausoleil Carp and Cats stocks a good number of catfish up to 120lb and carp slightly under 50lb. Mature trees surround the lake and the fishing island is set at the centre. Swims are reasonably established with the right facilities. Summertime is the best time to stalk the carp, and your baiting should be easier because there is no weed.

Stocked with: Monster catfish and big carp

Another reason to visit: Self-catering accommodation

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