Latin-Barbus barbus

The Barbel-Barbus barbus

Although found in still waters, the Barbel is usually more common in gravel-bottomed rivers where they like to feed. The Thames valley and the River Severn are ideal spawning places for the Barbel.

The Barbel live up to 15 years or more, growing in weight to double figures but 4-5lb (1.8kg-2.3kg) is average and the length is about 3ft(90cm). Barbels are slim and streamlined having green or brown backs, pale bellies and golden bronze flanks. The fish have long pointed heads and pointed mouths which are ideal for digging around in the gravel and well adapted for feeding on larvae, weeds and worms in fast flowing rivers.

Most types of baits can be used to catch the Barbel. Worms, grubs, Bread, Cheese, particle baits such as sweetcorn or tinned meats.