Welcome to Barbel Fishing World

Barbel (barbus barbus) are one of the most beautiful and powerful fish that live in the British Isles. They thrive in clean, fast flowing, well oxygenated rivers that have gravel bottoms. Barbel are not well suited to still waters (although controversially, some fisheries do choose to stock them in lakes and ponds).

The barbels underslung mouth has four ‘barbules’ around it. The barbel uses these to search for food. The barbels torpedo shaped body helps it hold its position in fast flowing water.

Weir pools are regarded as good places to find barbel due to the well oxygenated water. Barbel also like stretches of river that have good overhead cover (trees and bushes), and stretches that have lots of weed growth.

The current British rod caught barbel record is 21lb 2oz caught from a Sussex river in 2019. Sadly, barbel populations in many of the UK’s smaller rivers have declined. Many attribute this to predation from otters, which have thrived after being reintroduced over the past 10 years. Over abstraction and  poor water quality are also causes of declining barbel numbers on some rivers. Bigger rivers such as the Wye, Trent and Severn continue to hold large populations of barbel.

A lovely River Nene barbel complimented by a BFW polo shirt!

See all the latest Barbel River Records here

Barbel Fishing World (BFW) was established in 1996 by Andy Frances and was originally intended as a hobby. When the site first went live, Barbel Fishing World had just a handful of members who visited and posted on our message boards, as well as contributing articles and details of their catches.

Through the continued support of these visitors and many new members over the years, Barbel Fishing World has become established as the most popular barbel fishing website on the internet!

Go Straight to barbel forums

barbel fishing

The current British barbel record – 21lb 2oz

Click here to see the full and updated barbel river record list. 

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