If the nase is the queen of coarse anglers, the barbell is, in a metaphorical sense, at least the princess of the coarse angling. In Slovenia, this fish from the group of cyprinids is relatively common, it is found mainly in the middle sections of smaller and larger rivers. Summer is probably the best time for their fishing. We researched how and where to fish them most successfully.
Barbel (Latin Barbus barbus) is a medium-sized freshwater fish from the family Cyprinidae, which grows on average up to about 70 cm in length, rarely more, and reaches the age of 25 years. Fishermen very rarely report catches of amazing specimens 90 cm long or a little more.
The adult barbel is characterized by specific physical characteristics, so it cannot be confused with another freshwater fish species. When it is younger, however, it is very similar to a Mediterranean barbel. It has a long, cylindrical body sprinkled with smaller scales of gold, dark silver or even dark green. It has a large muzzle, adapted to eating at the bottom, and has two pairs of fleshy mustaches in the corner of its mouth to make it easier to detect aromas.
Smaller barbels are shoal fish, and older ones are solitary fish. Due to their exceptional fighting spirit, all of them are the desired prey of many fishermen. The hooked barbell will fight violently, numb with the head, body, unwind quite a few meters of fishing line and provide a good dose of adrenaline. A larger specimen of barbel (say one over 60 or 70 cm in length) can easily tear off a thinner line or even straighten a hook.
The first and probably the most common way, at least traditionally, is coarse or ground fishing. We start fishing with a float wherever the water depth does not exceed 2 m, so that we can successfully detect the catch and hook the fish. Such fishing is extremely beautiful in the pre-Alpine faster watercourses, larger streams and smaller rivers, or more precisely in the jets of these watercourses.