Fishing around Bretignolles by Mat Taylor
There's is pretty much everything to fish for round here - perhaps with the exception of carp, although I suspect even they can be found in the wetland drains if you know where to look. Principally bass is the fish to go for. They can be caught along the beaches, the rocky sections of coast and around the river mouth at La Ganches, south of the Les Dunes or along the rocky breakwater at St Gilles de Croix. Having said that, they aren't easy and you need to do some reading before you go. Take the right lures and tackle with you because it's quite expensive in the supermarkets and I couldn't find any tackle shops. You'll also need to forgo the bbq because it's a first and last light exercise, anything else is a waste of time. Having said that, a disposable and a bottle of red on the beach can help while away the hours.
If bass prove too hard, then head for St Gilles and find your way to the breakwater. Prepare for a long walk from the on-road parking at the top of the town before the dunes. There doesn't seem to be any particular hot spot, though you'll see the same locals in the same spots endlessly catching tiny silver fish about the size of a minnow. They must taste good because none go back and a bare gold hook with a little ground bait thrown round it seems to be all you need. After that, it seems to be matter of lifting the rod up and down. I went down with a couple of mates with the sole aim of catching tea and the easiest target looked like being garfish - a long green fish with a long beak and looks like a stretched out seahorse. I used a fairly light weight spinning rod because it packs down small. You can try a range of methods which would be less simple with a beachcaster. We started with a small piece of mackerel strip under a float and it wasn't long before dinner was on it's way. Not big, but surprisingly meaty - a bit like mackerel but the striking thing about this fish is the bright green bones! I caught three before it went dead, perhaps the tide had changed. I was ready to call it a day and get the bbq going but the guys wanted more so I decided a small Mepps spinner might find a mackerel. Anyway, Robbie went first [keen but no idea] and after much thrashing and tangling handed back the rod. I had a final few casts and the last one turned out to be belter when a 6lb sea trout threw itself on the hook. I've never seen one before and no one will be seeing that one again I'm afraid as it fed two of us for three meals with grilled fillets, sushi and soup made from what was left. No waste and a most memorable fish.