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When it comes to French fishing, you’re spoiled for choice – there’s literally thousands of available venues to fish, each with their own story. To help you narrow down your research we’ve selected a handful of the best public reservoirs in France. These venues each boast a good head of large fish, because let’s face it – you aren’t travelling to France to catch a 10-pounder! 
Without further ado, here’s a list of the best public reservoirs in France… 
Lac de Pareloup 
This is a huge public reservoir located in the south of France, close to Montpellier and Toulouse (so you know the local food is going to be great!). At 1290 hectares it’s bigger than most of the public reservoirs in France, but of course the advantage here is the lack of crowds and plenty of available space. 
There’s a large stock of carp (60% mirror, 40% common) and plenty of fish heading over the 25kg (55lb) mark. Fishing is allowed across most of the lake and night fishing is permitted. Do your research beforehand though – there are designated ‘no fishing’ zones designed to protect the fish. 
Visit the official Pareloup website for more information. 
Lac de Vassivière 
If you fancy something a little closer, you can do a lot worse than fishing Lac de Vassivière in the centre of the country. It’s another large water at over 1000 hectares, but it’s an absolute beauty. You’d head here for the scenery as much as the fishing. 
There’s a solid stock of fish, with the current lake record sitting an impressive 29kg (64lb). Day and night fishing is allowed with more information coming from the official website. One thing to be aware of however is that Vassivière can be an unforgiving place and it’s worth doing your research on swims, baits and tactics if you want to pull a few carp out! 
Even if you don’t catch much, you’ll still have a great time at such an impressive lake. 
Lac de Venables 
This is an interesting public reservoir, attached directly to the Seine River in the north of the country. It’s a much smaller water than the others featured here at only 190 hectares, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in catches! 
An average weekend will see you pull out around 20-30 fish in the 20lb and above range. If you’re less bothered about specimen hunting and more interested in volume catching, this is the place for you. Don’t assume there aren’t any whoppers in Lac de Venables by the way – there have been several carp over 55lb caught here. The lake is linked directly to the Seine, so new fish find their way into the lake all the time! 
Night fishing is allowed, just check with the local authorities about day passes and permits required. 
Lac de Montbel 
If you prefer your fishing trips with a little more sunshine, heading to Lac de Montbel is a good idea. Situated in the deep south of the French Pyrenees (not far from the Spanish border), it’s an artificially-created water of over 570 hectares. Lac de Montbel actually consists of four separate lakes so it’s worth doing your research on the different waters before you travel. 
Fishing is permitted across different areas and night fishing is allowed, although do check with the particular area of the lake you’re going to visit. The waters are well-stocked and there are many carp over 45lbs. 
More information on the lake can be found here
The Best Public Reservoirs in France: Concluded 
France has some of the best carp fishing in the world and it’s a short flight or drive away. Using these recommendations as a guide, you can do your own research, explore the area and enjoy the fishing trip of a lifetime! 
Access to waters varies in terms of designated locations (although all of them in the list are public), but you also need a French fishing licence, called a ‘Carte de Peche’. It’s available here and is a legal requirement. 
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