The Barbel (Barbus barbus)
Scientific Name of The Barbel: Barbus barbus
Maximum Weight: 17lb (7.7kg)
Maximum Length: 3ft (36cm) (90cm
Average Size Caught: 4-5lb (1.8-2.3kg)
Life Span: 15 Years
The Barbel are very slim and streamlined making them well suited to fast flowing rivers. You can also find them in slower rivers and they have been introduced into some stillwaters in the last few years. Barbel tend to feed mainly on the bottom. Their natural foods are insect larvae and crustaceans such as crayfish, freshwater mussels and shrimps. The best baits to catch them on are Hemp, Luncheon Meat, Cheese, Maggots and Casters. Barbel spawn between May and July. The female creates a redd (a depression in the gravel for the spawn) where the eggs are fertilised. The Barbel has got to be one of the hardest fighting fish you will ever catch. They won't give up until they are totally exhausted. So take this into account when returning them to the water. Hold them in their natural position until they are ready to swim off. Failure to do this especially in rivers could cost the Barbel its life. This applies to any fish that has fought hard.