When they’re not going for a dip or a cycle ride, playing board games or driving their boat, fishing on the canal or the river is one of the favourite pastimes for our sailors who cruise the inland waterways.
The rivers and canals of Europe are full of fish. Angling and fly fishing can both be done without leaving your boat. You can fish just as well from the deck of your Pénichette® as from the riverbanks. The types of fish you’re most likely to find the canals, particularly in the north, are carp, mullet and barbel. Along the South of France canals, it’s more likely to be pike, pike perch, roach and various species of whitefish. In rivers, especially around the Lot, you might be lucky enough to catch a black bass or even a catfish or two!
The important thing is not to forget to take your fishing tackle with you when you go aboard your Locaboat self-drive boat (in Ireland, fishermen can hire a dinghy to get to the more remote spots).
Here’s a short list of things you’ll need to get the best from your fishing sessions: a few elongated floats, some round shot sinkers which give more flexibility to the line, and some 0.06mm – 0.12mm fishing line (you have to fish with a light line on canals!). The bait should be a neutral colour (brown or black), because the fish in the canal are cautions. And you don’t need to use a lot of bait; two kilos will be plenty for a five-hour fishing session. If you’re fishing for roach, adjust your line carefully so that it’s between 10cm and 30cm from the bottom, and it’s a good idea to fish one or two metres below where you cast the bait. For big fish, it’s better to let your line trail along the bottom.
A word of advice: on a canal, the strength and the direction of the current changes with the flow of water from the locks. So you have to remember to reset you bait. The same applies each time a boat goes past. If you don’t, the fish might follow the drifting bait.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get your fishing rod out and get ready to fry up something tasty!