Here are some of the best barbel fishing venues in the country. If you’re wanting to catch a double figure barbel this season.
River Aire, Bingley, W Yorks
The Myrtle Park section holds fish to over 10lb and it has been re-stocked with more barbel by the Environment Agency. Fairly shallow runs and deep pools provide fish-holding features to look out for.
Prices: £4 a day Bingley AC, Contact: 01274 59557400
River Don, Denaby Main, S Yorks
The big pool where the Dearne meets the Don is full of barbel. Luncheon meat fished over hemp always produces here.
Prices: £25 a year, Rotherham DUAA
Contact: 01709 862558
River Goyt, Stockport, Cheshire
Virtually the whole river is fishable for barbel with double-figure specimens landed every season. Try the weir in Vernon Woods.
Prices: £19 a year, Stockport Federation of Anglers
Contact: 0161 366 7253
River Ribble, Ribchester, Lancs
Two kilometres of single bank fishing extending from the Village to Red Bank containing plenty of barbel to around 13lb. Hair-rigged pellet on a running lead rig is a good tactic to employ on this stretch.
Contact: Something Fishy, 01524 792696
Prices: £5 from the Spar shop, Ribchester DAA
River Rother, Beighton, S Yorks
This free to fish stretch holds plenty of fish in the 8-10lb bracket. Both trotting and leger tactics account for plenty of specimens here using baits like meat or big pellets.
Contact: Pauls Tackle, 01709 862558
Prices: Free fishing
River Wharfe, Tadcaster, N Yorks
The club holds the rights above and below the town containing some big barbel well into double-figures. The pegs below the bridge where there is cover are a good place to try.
Contact: Tadcaster APA, 01937 833262
Prices: £2.50 a day from Chocolate Box newsagents, Tadcaster Angling & Preservation Association
River Avon, Barford, Warks
Barbel to 14lb are taken regularly from the spots below the weir all-year-round on feeder and pellet tactics. The Dead Arm is a good place to try as is the bottom end of the stretch below Sherbourne Brook.
Contact: Barford AA, 01564 777411
Prices: £45 a season, Barford AA
River Derwent, Borrowash, Derbys
Recent years have seen numerous big barbel to 17lb landed on this Earl of Harrington AC stretch on the outskirts of Derby. Big baits fished on a running line or static leger methods are all you need to catch one.
Prices: £5 from Nathan’s of Derby
Contact: 01332 515353
River Nene, Castor, Cambridgeshire
This area of river is becoming more popular amongst barbel anglers with fish to 15lb being reported. When the river is fining down during a warmer spell is the best time to go, using a roving approach with meat as bait.
Prices: £5 on the bank, Peterborough DAA (no night fishing)
River Severn, Hampton Loade, Shrops
Hampton Loade has 50 pegs of prime Barbel water situated 6 miles downstream of Bridgnorth on the left bank. The deeper pegs at the bottom end of the stretch are winter hotspots, fishing under your feet when the river is up and coloured.
Contact: Middle Severn Angling 01746 769070
Prices: £5 a day on the bank, Kinver Freeliners AC
River Wensum, Costessey Mill, Norfolk
Numerous re-stockings have taken place over the years on the Wensum and although the fishing isn’t as prolific as it once was, there are still barbel to be had in the weir pools around Costessey.
Prices: Free fishing
Contact: 08432 891368
Website: PW Angling, www.pwangling.co.uk
River Wye, Canons Bridge, Herefordshire
This Wye & Usk Foundation stretch either side of the bridge boasts deep glides, sweeping bends and fast, gravel lined rapids. If you don’t hook a big barbel here you’ll probably connect with one of the resident giant chub.
Contact: 01874 712 074, Wye & Usk Foundation
Prices: £15-£22 a day, four anglers on this stretch max per day
River Wye, Hereford, Herefordshire
The spots by the tennis courts below the bridge are good for specimen barbel as are by the flats at Bartonham, fishing from downstream of the oak tree. The first peg upstream of the old railway bridge is also a hotspot. A block-end feeder with bunches of maggots works well here.
Contact: Woody’s Tackle, 01432 344644
Prices: £7 from Woody’s Tackle, Hereford DAA
River Arun and Rother, Pulborough, W Sussex
The tidal stretch at Stopham is deep and fast flowing but holds plenty of double-figure barbel as well as enough smaller specimens to keep you interested. The club also runs a prolific stretch of the Rother the scene of Ian Duffy’s recent 18lb 9oz specimen.
Prices: £75 a season, Pulborough AS
Contact: 01798 831525
River Avon, Ringwood Fishery, Ringwood, Dorset
A fishery famous for its specimen barbel stocks. Where the main river splits and where side streams enter the river are always worth concentrating on so a roving approach will pay dividends.
Contact: Ringwood Tackle, 01425 475155
Prices: £10 a day from local tackle shops, Christchurch AC
River Great Ouse, Haversham, Bucks
The famous Adam’s Mill section still holds the record for the biggest UK barbel and although its glory days are past, there are still plenty of fish here to put a bend in your rod, thanks to numerous re-stockings. Try the spots between the bridge and the M1.
Prices: £43 a year, Milton Keynes AA
Contact: 01908 270000
River Ivel, Biggleswade, Beds
Arguably the best barbel river in the country the sections at Biggleswade Back Meadows and Common are the most heavily fished for barbel with fish being regularly caught in double figures. However there are other spots and the best advice is to go and walk the river, check it out, in truth there are barbel all along the river.
Contact: Ivel Protection Association, 01234 823959
Prices: The association has numerous member clubs offering different prices
River Lea, Kings Weir, Broxbourne, Herts
A fishery which showed good form for barbel to well over 15lb last winter. The pegs next to the weir are available to fish on a day-ticket and respond well to legered boilie or meat tactics in winter.
Contact: Kings Weir Fishery, 01992 468394
Prices: £12 a day in advance, Kings Weir Fishery
River Thames, Hampton, Middlesex
The swims at the far end of the stretch opposite Hampton Palace gardens contain plenty of barbel, which often fall to halibut pellets or meat fished on the feeder.
Prices: Free fishing,
Contact: 01784 461831
Website: Surbiton Angling Centre, www.prestoninnovations.com/en/dealers/389_surbiton-angling-centre