Top 10 barbel fishing tips & tricks to try now

Are you off barbel fishing this weekend? Then you might want to take a look at the top ten barbel fishing tips for you to try now before heading out onto the riverbank. Whether you are looking for bait ideas or just great barbel tips we’ve got you covered.


1) Match your baits to the water quality

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As a general rule, use small baits such as casters and 8mm pellets for barbel in clear water and big baits such as meat and boilies in coloured water.

2) Alternative flavours

Fish-flavoured boilies work well for barbel but, if you are looking for a change, try sweet cream, coconut or tiger nut flavoured boilies.

3) Get baits down quickly

A baitdropper is an essential piece of kit for getting small baits such as hemp and maggots straight to the riverbed.

4) Beat debris with a bow

When a river is carrying a lot of debris, cast upstream and pay out plenty of line once the feeder has settled to create a bow in the line. Any debris will then gather along the bow rather than the rig.

5) Keep your boilies still

If you are fishing with boilies you can prevent them from being rolled along the riverbed by cutting them into halves or quarters. The flat sides will help anchor the baits to the deck.

6) Try a Method mix

Groundbait is very underused for barbel, but a heavy Method mix can work well when fed through an open-end feeder.

7) Give them some spice


Spicy baits work really well for barbel. Simply cut a tin of luncheon meat into cubes and place them into an airtight bag with a teaspoon of curry powder. Leave in the fridge overnight.

8) Keep your hooks sharp

Make sure your rig uses a hook with an in-turned point when fishing gravel-bottomed rivers. This will prevent it from becoming blunted.

9) Head to a weir pool


Weir pools are a favourite hangout for barbel, especially when the water is running at low or normal levels. The biggest specimens can often be found right under the sill of the weir.

10) Correct pellet choice

Not all pellets are the same. Buy halibut or elips pellets as these definitely catch more barbel than coarse pellets.