Barbel in Holland

Over the course of the last few decades, the Dutch rivers have become much cleaner, and that led to the return of the barbel. This powerhouse of the river is quick, explosive and will put up a great fight.


Major rivers

In the Netherlands especially the major rivers with their strong currents, such as the Waal, the IJssel and the Grensmaas make for great barbel spots. Dozens of kilometres of barbel fishing spots where you can fish for specimens up to about 80 cm to your hearts content upon showing your VISpas. The ideal technique is to throw in your bait obliquely downstream right into the whirlpool behind one of the thousands of groynes while standing on the groyne itself. 

Barbel caught in a small stream

There the whirlpools create a deep hole with gravel and pebbles as a top layer. It’s a unique experience to see the tip of your rod bend down while standing at such a large churning river with passing ships. And that’s only the beginning of the whole fight! In the Netherlands, a piece of cheese – what else! – is still the best way of catching one of these ‘vacuum cleaners’ of our major rivers. But pellets, mini boilies and other types of bait are useful too. Plan your visit to these spots in the months from May to October, take the challenge and go after our ‘BIG-RIVER-BARBELS’!

Big river barbel

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