Fishing in the Charente

I love to fish in the river Charente because it gives me the complete angling experience. Every angler loves to catch fish, but to do this in beautiful surroundings makes it even more enjoyable and the region provides endless opportunities to do just that.


It is hard to keep your eyes on the float when you’re surrounded by vineyards or fields of sunflowers and waiting for that elusive big fish to come along is so much more enjoyable when it’s done in a medieval riverside village, a mysterious forest lake or where a Romanesque church in the distance prompts a silent prayer for the fish of a lifetime. Even on those days when the fish refuse to feed I return happy after sharing my fishing trip with the heron, the kingfisher, the ducks and swans and all the other birds and animals who accept the patient fisherman as a visitor to their environment.

Our stretch of the Charente is a secondary class river and holds a wide range of fish and can be fished all-year round.

Which fish?


Roach, Bream, Rudd and Perch are in every waterway and provide good sport all through the year.


Tench and various varieties of the other larger carp strains such as mirror, common and leather carp are common with the latter running to over 25kg. These are best fished for in spring or summer as are the Barbel.


Pike and zander found in the Charente-those summer days when they feed near the surface and can be caught by fly fishing are the best.


Bleak, little silvery surface feeders that are often used as bait fish, are everywhere in Poitou-Charentes and while they can be annoying when seeking bigger game they also provide welcome bites during times of flood and frost.


Chub and dace are usually found in the shallower stretches of river and provide year round sport.


One fish to look out for is the American catfish or poisson-chat. These small fish and are voracious feeders during hot weather. They have sharp spikes on the gills that can inflict serious wounds, so it is essential to handle them with care.


The other catfish likely to come the angler’s way in the region’s rivers and lakes is a much bigger beast, the Danubian Wels or silure. It can reach over 50kg and has a mouth of such frightening proportions that it is the subject of many a tale about the variety of unfortunate creatures it is alleged to have consumed!

Before you fish – get a carte de peche

Throughout Poitou Charentes there are many hundreds of kilometres of public domain rivers waiting to be fished – but only after a carte de peche has been purchased. From June to September it is possible to buy a visitor’s carte de peche that covers seven days and costs 30 euros and is available at fishing tackle shops, supermarkets and many bars and newsagents and the booklet that comes with it provides useful information on what is available in the department where it was purchased.


Know your fish – in French

Fishing has a universal language,  but to help out here’s what the fish you catch would be called by a French angler:

Bleak Ablette
Bream Breme
Roach Gardon
Rudd Rotangle
Tench Tenche
Perch Perche
Carp Carpe
Zander Sandre
Pike Brochet
Chub Chevesne
Dace Vandoise
Crucian Carassan
Trout Truite.

cool in the charente  *****

Written by Gwill on August 8th, 2013

Booked for a week and still here 2 weeks later... peaceful, relaxing, laid-back, excellent and clean facilities, no disco & no kids great for getting away from it all and seeing the real France. All hosted by the easy going Tracey & Peter. 

Written by Phoebe on January 1st, 2014

We stayed in August '13, had an unforgettable time.  A true escape.  Relaxing atmosphere after a warming welcome from Tracey and Pete.  Made us feel at ease enjoying a drink together in the evening.  Friendly fellow campers.  Felt comfortable on site.  Great facilities.  We used their canor along the river one day and it was so tranquil and secluded, unforgettable paddle with the damsel flies.  We are looking forward to a return in the future!!

fantastic   *****

Written by Johnandjane on August 11th, 2013

We stayed for two weeks in August.  The site is peaceful, calm and laid back.  Quiet, as it is adult only which we like but hard to find in France.  There are no 'set' pitches so you have the freedom to locate where you want and there is enough space no to be on top of  each other.  There is an above ground pool which is great when it gets hot.  Tracey and Peter are great hosts, they can't do enough for you but give you lots of space.  Exactly what you want on a campsite.  The location is great, in a stunning part of the Charente.  The stars at night are breathtaking as there is no light pollution.  We have really enjoyed our stay and would highly recommend this site.  

peace and quiet  *****

Written by Chris on September 7th 2013

We stayed in July/august.  This is a superb rural site within easy reach of Confolens and many small French villages.  Not too far away are some superb swimming lakes.  The site is very well kept by Pete and Tracey who make you feel very welcome and find nothing too much trouble.  The facilities are first class with plenty of hot water and space to get changed.  As this is an Adult only campsite you can enjoy the company of other like minded people with plenty of space around you.  The swimming pool is superb for a dip to cool down in the day or late in the evening.  You can find a nice relaxing spot down by the river to read a book or do a spot of fishing.  It is even possible to borrow the campsite canoe.  All in all I thoroughly recommend this campsite to anyone wishing to get away from it all and enjoy the beautiful rural countryside.