Barbel is a fish of the carp family. The name received due to the presence of a fairly long mustache. Bottom fish, leading a schooling life. The fish is quite voracious, quickly gaining weight, so it is highly respected by amateur fishers.

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Barbel Fishing

Overview of barbel

The barbel can reach a length of more than 1 m and a weight of 15 kg. But usually, the fish caught are about 50 cm and 4 kg. In appearance: the lower mouth, the presence of a long mustache, designed to search for food, it is not difficult to assume that the fish feeds on bottom invertebrate animals and plants. At certain times, the barbel can behave like a predator. In winter, inactive, often hibernates. Some ichthyologists note the peculiarity of the barbel – the loss of activity during periods of turbidity.


The fish, quite mobile, in search of food, in habitats, often moves through a pond, but does not make long-distance migrations. It is highly survivable in the absence of water. There are several subspecies, for example: Crimean (Barbus tauricus) and Kuban (Barbus tauricus kubanicus Berg) barbel.

Reproduction habit of barbel

Fish ripen at the age of 2-5 years. Females are somewhat later than males. To spawn it rises to the headwaters on rocky rifts. Spawns stretched, portioned, occurs in May – June. Caviar is not sticky, drifts with the flow. It is necessary to be extremely careful with caviar, as with some Central Asian closely related fish species, it is poisonous.

Barbel fishing guide: Techniques, bait and gear

Barbel fishing techniques

As already mentioned, the barbel prefers a near-bottom lifestyle, therefore, fishing is built on the same principle. The main types of gear are bottom and float. Given that the fish responds well to bait and various flavorings, the use of feeders and bait mixtures is very important. During periods of “autumn zhora” or when searching for trophy specimens, you can use spinning gear. It is possible to catch active fish for fly fishing.

Catching barbel on bottom gear

This fish is best caught at dusk and at night. Despite the fact that the barbel often “gives out” its presence on the pond: it likes to behave noisily on the surface of the water – jumps out or rises to the upper layers, the fish is very cautious and picky.


Barbel reacts to a large number of different nozzles and baits, both plant and animal origin. The most optimal, modern gear for catching a barbel, should be considered a feeder or picker. Feeder and picker fishing are very convenient for most, even inexperienced anglers. These gears allow the fisherman to be quite mobile in the pond, and because of the possibility of spot feeding, he can quickly “collect” fish in a given place.

The feeder and picker, as separate types of equipment, currently differ only in the length of the rod. The basis is the presence of a bait tank-sinker (feeder) and interchangeable tops on the rod. The tops vary depending on the fishing conditions and the weight of the feeder used. Various worms, larvae, dough, cereals, boilies, pastes, granules, etc. can serve as a fishing nozzle.

This fishing method is available to everyone. Tackle is not demanding on additional accessories and specialized equipment. This allows you to fish in virtually any water body. It is worth paying attention to the choice of feeders in shape and size, as well as bait mixtures. This is due to the conditions of the reservoir (river, pond, etc.) and the food preferences of local fish.

Catching a barbel on a spinning rod

In the second half of summer, the barbel often responds to imitations of fry. When choosing gear you should focus on the size of the lures. Fish responds to small spinners, wobblers and silicone baits. The appropriate test is to choose and gear. Spinning rods with a weight test up to 7-10 g are suitable for this. Specialists in retail chains will recommend a large number of different lures.


The choice of cord or Monofilament line depends on the desires of the fisherman, but the cord, due to its low extensibility, will enhance the manual sensation of contact with the biting fish. The reels should fit, in weight and size, to a light rod. But here it is worth considering that the barbel is very lively and stubborn fish. When fishing in cramped conditions, it is very important that you have good light gear.

Barbel fishing bait

A variety of natural lures and baits for fishing barbel, comparable only to cyprinids. When traveling to a specific body of water, in the choice of nozzles, it is necessary to take into account local features. Nevertheless, such fishing can surprise with surprises and do not neglect the original lures.

In literature, since the time of Izaak Walton, fishing for barbel with cheese, lard, ham and so on is described. Nevertheless, barbel is also caught on more traditional baits: worms, invertebrate larvae, clam meat and more. No less popular are vegetable baits: peas, wheat, barley, corn, boiled potatoes, etc. In stores you can buy specialized nozzles, both various canned, and in the form of granules, boilies and pastes.

Where to catch barbel

The main place of life of a barbel is considered Central and Eastern Europe, East England. The natural habitat of the barbel is rather small in the western part of the Europeanand in the Black Sea region. Fish can be attributed to heat-loving species. Due to the construction of hydraulic structures in the Dnieper basin, the distribution area has decreased. Earlier, in the upper reaches of this river, the barbel was considered a commercial species.

The barbel also lives in the Baltic states – the Neman and its tributaries. It is considered a river fish, preferring a rocky bottom with a fast current. In the river adheres to the lowering of the bottom, but feeds on smaller areas. Winters in pits, deep washouts and even burrows, while leading a low-activity lifestyle.

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