Five Awesome Dynamite Barbel Hookbaits
The 2022/23 river season is now in full swing and if you’re a barbel angler, the chances are you’ve already hit your local river to enjoy the magic of running water fishing once again! Over the last few years we’ve spent a lot of time tailoring groundbaits, pellets and hookbaits that trigger barbel to feed and they’re now producing the goods for thousands of anglers across the country. To help you put more barbel on the bank this season, here are our top five barbel hookbaits to try right now!
1. Garlic Specimen Tuff Luncheon Meat
To kickstart our list of barbel hookbaits is the brand new Garlic Specimen Tuff Luncheon Meat. It has only been in shops for a month but is already proving to a be an incredible barbel hookbait – particularly on the Trent. Garlic has long been a popular flavour with barbel anglers and a lot of you have probably fried Spam in chopped garlic butter or similar in the past to get the flavour into your bait! We’ve now done the hard job for you and created a pungent luncheon meat which contains actual garlic pieces and garlic essential oils. The result is a stinking, garlicky hookbait that will leave a mouth-watering scent in the water that barbel love. To get the most out of this bait, we recommend tearing off a chunk of meat from the block and attaching it direct to your hook or via a meat screw/quick stop. Unlike other luncheon meats, the Specimen Tuff meat, (like the name suggests) is super tough and will withstand vigorous casting before coming off. The meat can also be cubed and run through a feeder plugged with groundbait.
2. Garlic, Marine and Krill Pre-Drilled Hook Pellets
In our match hookbaits range you’ll find three gems that’re absolutely devastating in the warmer months when the barbel aren’t feeding on bigger baits. The hookbaits are 8mm in size, come in black and red colours and have a hole through the centre for easy hair-rigging. The reason why these are so good is because they’re packed with essential oils that trigger the barbel to feed. They absolutely stink as well with the Garlic version being the most pungent of them all! Fish one or two pellets on a hair alongside a swim feeder loaded with 3mm Marine Halibut Pellets and keep casting to get those small pellets dispersed around your swim. Don’t be fooled by the small size of the pellet either. They’ll slot effortlessly between the cracks in the gravel to create a more natural presentation. A lot of mid-double figure barbel have been caught on these baits… If you’re a float angler, these pellets can be banded easily and work particularly well when feeding 6mm or 8mm Robin Red pellets.
3. Big Fish River Durables
A hookbait that’ll catch you barbel and feed the swim at the same time sounds great right? Well, we feel like we’ve hit the nail on the head with our Big Fish River Durables. They’re available in 12mm sizes and three flavours which are to complement our Shrimp & Krill, Meat-Furter and Cheese & Garlic ranges. They soft enough to be hair-rigged or hooked directly but it’s their high-leakage and breakdown properties that make them so good. Over time the Durables will begin to shrink as the water slowly dissolves the outer layers of the bait. This creates a slick of scent and a slow release of particles into the water column that draws barbel from downstream to your swim.
4. Big Fish River Busters
For long sessions or overnight angling, the Big Fish River Busters are pretty hard to beat. Again, they match the Shrimp & Krill, Cheese & Garlic and Meat-Furter ranges but break down extremely slowly with a high leakage rate. They also come supplied in a pot with a 20mm layer of fish oil that not only preserves the baits but creates a flavour slick in the water, too. Whilst they work fine on their own, try trimming one down and wrapping it in a small amount of the matching paste for extra attraction.
5. Hot Fish & GLM Boilies
Hot Fish is a fishmeal based carp fishing boilie containing a unique blend of spices, garlic and of course GLM. Whilst it’s aimed at carp, barbel absolutely love it thanks to its spicy, garlicy scent! Available in 15mm sizes in the UK in 1kg, 1.8kg or 5kg bags depending on the length of session you’re fishing. We recommend you pick up a bottle of the matching liquid too and pouring it directly into the bag to give each boilie extra attraction. A lot of barbel anglers are having success fishing whole or trimmed 15mm boilies directly to the hair alongside a feeder or PVA bag loaded with chopped boilies and Marine Halibut groundbait.
To check out barbel river records and catch reports near you, tap here.