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Ice fishing in France

It was finally cold enough for the much anticipated ice fishing season to launch in central France.

Conditions ripened during the first days of March when temperatures plummetted to -18 degrees celsius as the Siberian system dubbed 'beast from the east' swept across Europe.

For the first time in two years, the ice was thick enough for residents to safely drill holes and fish for hours.

The Auvergne region's Lake Guery, 26 hectares wide and 17 metres deep, is the only one in France where ice fishing is feasible. Hobbyists have been coming to the area for the past 50 years, some from as far as Russia.

This year, between 20 and 25 centimetres of ice was measured, the perfect set-up to a weekend catching an array of different fish, such as rainbow trout and salmon.

In contrast to river fishing, ice fishing requires staying rooted in one spot, allowing friendly exchanges between fellow fishermen, turning the activity into a buzzing social event.

Amateurs and professional fishermen travel to Lake Guery to try out the frosty pastime, with over 500 fishing licenses being sold this year.

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