The carrelets

These strange little cabins perched above the water are called “carrelets” and are used for fishing. René Bénéteau gives us a demonstration of this amateur fishing technique.

Along the cliff of Talmont-sur-Gironde stands about fifteen “carrelets”. A “carrelet” is a fishing net stretched over a rectangular frame and by extension the same name, of “carrelet”, has been given to all the fixed installations, pontoons and cabins built for this use. Practised on the Gironde estuary as well as along the coast of Charenete-Maritime, this fishing technique is also widely used in the estuaries of the Charente and Loire.


René Bénéteau welcomes us onto his “carrelet” to give us a demonstration :

"When we arrive we have to untie it at each end, as it is moored for the wind. Then the two rings are put onto the posts to hold the net in place, which is then lowered using the winch to ground level. Then we wait for 10 to 15 minutes and pull it back up to see if there are any fish inside. If we haven't had any luck we’ll lower it back down for another 10 to 15 minutes.

We’re not here to make a profit, we’re here to kick back. It's all about

having a nice time with friends.

And then, depending on the catch, we can tuck in to some mullet, eel, a bit of sea bass, shrimp or even some sole. A good day’s catch is just down to pot luck!"

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