In Charente-Maritime, you can also rent a fishing “carrelet”

If you’re dreaming of buying a fishing “carrelet”, now is the time to get started. A dozen are currently available, put back into play by the Charente-Maritime prefecture. But buying a blank is not cheap, and you also have to maintain it. So why not rent it? The prefecture officially lists seven “educational” squares authorized for rental. But it’s better to book in advance, because demand is strong. Illustration in Fouras.

At the end of the pontoon, Françoise Valade, treasurer of the Fourasine History and Heritage association, owner of the magnificent “educational square” located in the south of the town, a stone’s throw from the Charente estuary. “So, this is our castle” jokes the retiree, behind the construction of this square. Françoise lives right next door. So much the better because she spends her time going back and forth to hand over the keys. 60 € for 7 hours : it’s complete, or almost, until the end of summer.

Breathtaking view

The Fouras educational net is not the best place to catch fish. But it is undoubtedly the one which offers the most beautiful view. © Radio France
Julien Fleury

I have to say that the view is splendidimpregnable on the island of Aix and Fort Boyard. “That’s why people come back, analyzes Françoise Valade. In fact, we don’t necessarily fish a lot here, but people come to picnic. We even have some who come to play cards. It’s having a good time in a slightly unusual place.”

But there is also, if we want, the large square fishing net which gives its name to the squares. It’s David who arrives with family and friends for an afternoon of fishing. The aperitif and the roast chicken are in the cooler. For David, who grew up and still lives in Fouras, there is transmission in the air: “I fished as a child and now I take my son and his friends.”

It was Françoise Valade who had the idea of ​​creating this educational square. Way to make traditional fishing accessible to all budgets.
It was Françoise Valade who had the idea of ​​creating this educational square. Way to make traditional fishing accessible to all budgets. © Radio France
Julien Fleury

“For children, it’s very fun”

Last year, Gaby and her parents went on a shrimp raid.
Last year, Gaby and her parents went on a shrimp raid.
David Porcheron

David who debunks a myth: no, fishing with nets is not a lazy person’s business. It’s even very sporty: “It’s interesting. We don’t wait for hours for the cork to disappear. It’s dynamic: we go down the net, the wave comes, we go back up and we see straight away what we’ve caught. For children, it’s very fun.”

Children of 9 and 10 years old busy playing cards in the adjoining cabin, with rudimentary comfort: there is no question of making the place habitable, it is forbidden to sleep on a square. “We had never been on a square” say Jules and Marcel impatiently, excited to soon catch shrimp to eat in the crowd. Gaby already discovered the place last year. See the net filled with fish and shellfish being brought up, “It’s fascinating, incredible” he assures.

On the square pontoon, there's no time to get bored... While waiting for the tide to arrive, you can play cards, have a picnic... like Gaby and her friends.
On the square pontoon, there’s no time to get bored… While waiting for the tide to arrive, you can play cards, have a picnic… like Gaby and her friends. © Radio France
Julien Fleury

As for David, Gaby’s father, he does not for a second consider buying a blank – even if opportunities are frequent in Fouras: “I would like to, but no. You have to maintain it, that’s what’s expensive.. Redo the posts, all that. You have to be retired…”

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Blankets for sale

If you wish to acquire a blank – it is currently possible. 12 dealerships are open : 1 in Esnandes, 1 in Yves, 2 in Saint-Laurent-de-la-Prée, 4 in Fouras, 1 in Port-des-Barques, 1 in Saint-Georges-d’Oléron, 2 in Saint-Palais-sur -Sea. You have until June 17 to submit an application.

The annual fee for occupying the municipal public domain is rather reasonable (€379). On the other hand, you have to buy the wooden structure from its former owner or even have it rebuilt (the new cost varies from €20 to €50,000).

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