Fishing in the Limousin
Not being a keen fisherman, my knowledge of fishing in the Limousin was limited.
We had a guest staying with us, the author of ”avon days and stour ways“ who has kindly compiled a fisherman’s view of the fishing in Haute Vienne.
As well as the many small lakes and rivers, we have a well stocked lake locally at Etang du Montaletang . Three stocked lakes of 10. 5 and 3 hectares. This is just a few minutes from us. The owner is a very helpful and keen fisherman who can advise on anything fishing related. If you have never tried fishing in the Limousin then this could be the perfect place to try. It is something I have always wanted to do but never seem to find the time. I often look with envy at the people fishing around the lakes. maybe this year I will try myself. Saint Moreil Gite is located perfectly for access to all the fishing.
If the local fishing is not enough there is the massive lac vassiviere
Here is the review from the author of fishing in the Limousin
The Coarse/ Carp fisherman has two choices when visiting the area. He can seek out the private carp fisheries run as commercial concerns or he or she can fish the hundreds of waters covered by the regional or Department rod licence or ‘Carte’ at a cost of 30 euros per week. The local rivers also provide fishing for species of fish the UK angler would identify. The Barbel that exist on the Vienne could be the smaller silver southern variety that I suspect locals refer to as “catfish” whereas the Wels is called Silure.
If one chooses the private commercial fisheries these are often 50 euros for a twenty four hour session and in any event many of them only cater for a weeks booking at many hundred euros! As my fishing was limited I did not bother with the commercials and bought a licence for a week from the local tackle shop .
Regional fisheries covered by your licence fall into two categories:-
Category One fisheries are restricted to two rods and do not seem to allow for any night fishing. They also somewhat surprisingly have a season that finishes in mid September.
Category Two fisheries allow up to four rods and also some night fishing.The season normally finishes in December. I suspect that the difference in categories is something to do with the fact that Cat 1 waters augment the local water supply and have trout in them which are out of season after September, but I cannot be sure.
I fished a lake at Joncherre for a few hours one afternoon. This was a category 1 water and is probably about 14 acres or so. I saw one heavy carp crash out so I think this water has potential in excess of my results and would probably respond to repeat daily visits to establish a feeding area. These fish are not pressured as in the UK and I left with the impression that day fishing would not be an impediment to catching.
The second water I fished for twenty four hours and is therefore clearly a category 2 water. This was Etang S’Agnat at Bessines, a much bigger lake close to the little town. There are only 6 night swims and one has to phone a number to book the swim (or “post”) prior to fishing though the man in the tackle shop could do this. Swims One and two are on the East bank and a long walk from the parking spot. Swims 3, 4, 5 and six are on the west bank reached by driving over the dam wall and taking a left turn into the Rue d’ Forge.
The tackle dealer tells me the carp here run to 10 or 15 kilos. I had a very busy night with six carp from one fish of approx seven pound plus five low to mid doubles topped by a fish about 14lb. During daylight I tried float fishing for the tench that also inhabit the lake without any luck but I did catch an awful lot of roach and rudd up to about 8 ounces on sweet corn. The carp here did not seem fussy and were caught on a variety of baits such as pop up boilies anchored two inches above the bottom, snowmen type rigs with the top bait being buoyant and also Tiger nuts and maize. If I fished here again to maximise sport I would use Barbel type rods of !.5 or 1.75 test curve as there are very few snags, I suspect that the bigger fish the tackle dealer talks of do exist, but the numbers in the year class of fish I caught can make targeting the bigger fish difficult. The angler must accept that many waters in the region are upland waters or dams and are probably not as nutrient rich as the lowland french lakes which famously produce giant fish. Their are carp fisheries on the Vienne river that allow night fishing and these are close to barrages or dams where the water is impounded and the fish can be larger.
A very useful leaflet exists in the tourist office and tackle shop which shows the choices available to the visiting angler. I hope this is useful but please remember my experiences were limited by one very short session and one 24 hour stint.