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Crayfish fishing in the Marais Poitevin

Crayfish fishing in the Marais Poitevin

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12 September 2018

A morning discovery of crayfish fishing with nets

The activity “Crayfish fishing with nets” can be booked on the Internet and is not suitable for late risers. At 9am the apprentice fishers gather at the rallying point in Marans (Charente-Maritime) in the Marais poitevin. Once everybody is present, we drive a few kilometres to Villedoux and its shores. Along the Marans-La Rochelle canal, the fishing guide gives us explanations about the specie and the ways to fish it, so no worries for beginners! With the help of a net (called “balance ») and a bamboo pole, the small group of people – a dozen – spreads on the edge of the small ditch, looking for the very harmful crayfish in the Marais poitevin. Its arrival in the early 2000s is recent, but the Louisiana Crawfish colonises nowadays the territory of the Marais Poitevin Regional Natural Park. Its invasion is so intense that it has been considered as detrimental to the balance of the marsh and its fishing is encouraged through initiations and discovery activities.

Peche à l'écrevisse de Louisiane dans le Marais poitevin

A crayfish

Crayfish fishing with nets, a child’s play!

Pêche de l'écrevisse à la balance dans le Marais poitevin

Crayfish fishing with nets

Crayfish fishing is so simple, even for children. After you put dry dog food in the bottom of the net, you dip it down with the bamboo pole. As a voracious specie, the crawfish cannot resist long enough to the food and get trapped, as the net is pulled out of the water a few minutes later. The first catches are done very quickly around us. Youngs and adults quickly get in on the act. The bravest help the others to seize the catches and put them in the bucket. Watch out for the claws! If the Louisiana crawfish is not big, it is however very vivacious, and you’d better not let your fingers in the net too long. The animation is cheerful, and laughs accompany the more or less productive weighing.

The PassPêche, valid for the morning activity and given to you by the guide, allows fishing and, for those who wish, bringing back home the catches to taste them. As the minutes fly, the buckets are filled up. After an hour and a half pf fishing, the first people to leave get advices to kill the crawfish that are important if you want to carry it. As a harmful specie, you cannot carry it alive. So, you take the middle tail and pull it to extract the stomach. You’d better not wait too much time before eating it because, according to our expert, the Louisiana Crawfish sours quite fast – even if you carry it in a cooler. Cooked in broth, in a sauce, seasoned, the crawfish of the Marais poitevin is delicious. I am sure you will like it!


famille faisant une partie de peche dans le marais poitevin

fishing party in the Marais poitevin

Don’t’ hesitate to book your session of crawfish fishing with nets!

Other fishing techniques are used in the Marais poitevin: pike, zander, carp, but also sea fishing, etc. The Marais poitevin is a paradise for fishers!

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