The Burgundy Canal is a great destination for course fishermen.

The lakes, rivers, reservoirs, canals and small trout streams have large numbers of species, allowing all types of fishing.

Underneath the water’s surface, you’ll be able to catch Pike, Zander, Bream, Perch, Tench, Carp; and on the Saône, you will even find Wels Catfish “Silurus Glanis”.

On the faster-flowing rivers, there are Trout and Aspe.

Obtaining a permit is very simple and can be purchased in many bars, newsagents etc. The French law concerning fishing is based on a federal system, the license you buy will give you the right to fish in specific zones and on certain waters.

Here are some of the simple rules and politeness to respect. You should keep at least 50 meters away from the locks both up and downstream. Fishing is not permitted in the lock, this is also for safety reasons. Avoid fishing from bridges and mooring sections. I have seen some local fishermen become annoyed because a barge wanted to use one of the few bollards to moor up! There is a rule of no more than three rods and one spinning rod, be careful as there is a control for permits, minimum fish size and quotas.

Fishing on the canal is a calm affair, many fishermen use a simple rod, float and a fixed-line, with no reel. However, much skill is required to land large fish with such techniques. Ledger fishing is a recent practice in the area, but some fish for the heavy carp using sweetcorn or small potatoes. Spinning is used for the perch, pike and sander. Live bait is also used for the pike and sander. You can obtain maggots (‘asticot’ or ‘tima’), worms and minnows from nearby shops.

Although the water is calm on the canal, there is a ‘turbulence’ caused by the filling and emptying of the locks; and when the large barges pass by.

In the nearby rivers, both the Ouche and Armançon, the trout season is very popular, with good brown trout stocked during spring.

The River Saône offers more diversity and large fish. There are impressive records for many species.

Types of fish in the canal and nearby waters

Here is a basic and non-exhaustive list of the fish which can be found in the region.
On the left is the English name, then the French name, then the Latin name in brackets.

  • Barbel : Barbeau commun (Barbus barbus)
  • Bitterling : La Bouvière (rhodeus sericeus amarus)
  • Bream : Brème (abramlis brama)
  • Carp : Carpe (cyprinus carpio)
  • Dace : La Vandoise (leuciscus)
  • Pearch : Perche (perca fluviatilis)
  • Pike : Le Brochet (esox lucius)
  • Rudd : Gardon (rutilus rutilus)
  • Silure : Silure (silurus glanis)
  • Tench : Tanche (tinca tinca)
  • Zander : Sandre (stizostedion lucioperca)

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