4 invaluable tips for getting started with shore fishing

The next high tides will take place from May 25 to 29, with a maximum coefficient of 103. It's time to finally learn to shore fishing. And there is still time to prepare effectively, before finally giving in to the call of the foreshore.

Embruns, sea air and serenity… Shore fishing is one of the favorite activities of holidaymakers on the Atlantic coast. The treasures left by the ocean at low tide offer anglers multiple opportunities to come home with a well-stocked basket. But finding cockles, knives, spiders and other fish or crustaceans in the sand or rocks is not as easy as it seems. From the Basque Country to Normandy, via Arcachon, the island of Oléron or even Brittany, fishermen on foot must know many tips to make the best fishing. We share with you some of their secrets to learn about shore fishing.

Getting to grips with shore fishing starts with managing safety

To fully savor its exit on the foreshore, the first thing to consider is security. The ocean is unpredictable. But it is always possible to anticipate a certain number of difficulties. This will reduce the risk of an accident. First, find out about the tide times. Watch the time and watch out for variations in relief. This could in fact isolate you in the event of rising waters. Finally, protect yourself against cuts and the cold. And if you are a beginner, or if you do not know an area, let the local fishermen advise you. This will save you from serious trouble.


The basic material consists of a bucket or basket, a claw or a rake, rubber boots, a landing net, and possibly neoprene gloves and a small hammer. The more seasoned will sometimes choose a wicker hood, a wide net with a long handle, or a dry suit. To enjoy the foreshore in summer, the equipment is therefore simple and inexpensive. This partly explains the success of this family hobby par excellence. The shore-based fishermen who are the most attentive to the preservation of the environment prefer manual collection.


By fishing on foot, your patience and your observation skills will be put to the test. At low tide, the seashells live in the sand a few inches from the surface. Watch out for small holes left on the sand, a sign that a shell is located below. Once the holes have been identified, gently rake or dig until the precious reward appears. For knife fishing, place a pinch of coarse salt on the 8-shaped hole left by the animal. Let the knife come out two-thirds, before grabbing it at its base and pulling it out slowly. To flush out some fish and shellfish, do not hesitate to lift the stones and stir the seaweed where beautiful catches may have been hidden.

Shore fishing in Oléron
Shore fishing in Oléron


Fishing periods, number of daily catches and size limits are the subject of regulations that all shore-based fishermen must be aware of. The basis of regulation is national. To these common provisions are added local rules which may vary from one region to another. The site Recreational shore fishing lists national regulations, as well as those specific to Picardy estuaries, the Opal Sea, Seine-Maritime, the Norman and Breton Gulfs, the Channel and Calvados, the Côtes d'Armor, the Pays de Morlaix, the harbor of Brest, the Finistère Sud, Morbihan, Pays de la Loire, the Gironde estuary and the Pertuis sea, the Arcachon basin and the Basque Country. Updates are very regular and allow you to keep informed of closings and openings.

“The regulation of recreational fishing on foot is relatively complex and complete and can be done at several levels: community (EC regulations), national (codes, decrees and ministerial decrees), prefectural (departmental and regional prefectures) and municipal (decrees municipal). It mainly concerns the quality of the catches (minimum sizes and health aspects), the quantities fished, as well as the periods, zones and authorized fishing methods. "

At low tide

Getting started with shore fishing requires equipment and expert advice. All you have to do is take the plunge and join the enthusiasts on the foreshore.