Fishing for Barbel, also known as the Baber.
Catfish Fishing in South Africa, Fishing for Barbel.
The African Sharptooth Catfish, more commonly known as the “Barbel” or “Baber”. Can be found throughout South Africa. This fish grows up to 40 Kg with the average weight caught being around 8 Kg. The barbel is a large heavy boned fish with a flattish head and long barbs around the mouth. The diet of these barbel include baitfish such as tilapia (kurper), carp and papermouth, as well as worms and young birds falling from their nests. All of these baits are used with great success when fishing for barbel.
When it comes down to fishing for barbel a wide range of techniques as well as bait can be used to catch these fish. This includes bait fishing with live as well as dead baits, lure fishing and fly fishing. The baits used to catch the barbel is live baits such as tilapia, carp and paper mouth of these fish’s heads, other baits to use include frogs (platanna), bread, worms, mealies (corn pips), day old chickens and meaty baits like normal braai meat or raw chicken livers.
Your tackle needs to be strong because the African sharptooth catfish is an excellent fighting fish and will drag your line to the bottom, with strong runs in between. It will also wrap around any available obstruction in the water such as rocks and trees and other water plants. It will at times also twist itself around the line in order to break you off, so a line with a higher braking strain is in order. Like mentioned earlier, your tackle needs to be strong enough in order for you to lift the barbel from the bottom and to counteract the runs and to guide it to where you want the fish to go.
The barbel is often caught on boilies and other carp baits in between your carp angling sessions, so if they are feeding aggressively they will pick up almost any bait. This is a great fish to catch seeing that it is an excellent fighter and very strong in and out of the water as you will feel after landing the barbel.
View video below to see a barbel caught in the orange river, South Africa