BARBEL (Catfish)
Clarias gariepinus

There is no half measure when it comes to this indigenous fish, it is either loved or hated. Despite the fact that it undoubtedly qualifies for the title of Mr. Ugly the barbel has some remarkable attributes. It is our largest indigenous freshwater fish and for sheer strength and endurance it has no peer. It can be caught with any natural bait found in the area where you are fishing. It is an excellent angling fish and can be caught on artificial lures and flies as well as natural baits.

The barbel is extremely hardy, has a dual breathing system and can consequently withstand reasonable levels of water pollution. Barbel are usually caught only in the summer months and are normally found where there are concentrations of fry because the catfish withstands the cold better than the small fry, which remains virtually motionless in cold water, the larger catfish feeds throughout the winter. The smaller catfish ingest mud off the bottom and its stomach extracts the nutrients present in the mud. Log onto the flyfishing section and read what Terry Babich has to say after his recent incounters with the larger catfish during the summer and winter months. Fly Fishing Section click here

Its ugly looks put most people off eating this fish but it has the highest protein value of our fishes, and the least amount of bones. Properly prepared its flesh is extremely tasty. Some people prefer to skin and air dry the fish in the shade before cooking.

says Man who abuses the facilities at angling venues is doing himself and his sport a disservice.