Friday, July 19, 2024


“Cyprinidae” fish inhabit almost every stream, river and lake in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Sudan, and other Arab countries that have natural fresh water sources. Rivers and lakes in Arabia support thousands of “Cyprinidae” family.

In Iraq, and specially after the floods of mid eighties; thousands of the newly introduced Carp fish were swept from their fish ponds . later they were found and caught in the rivers, streams and lakes. This abundance and the resultant availability of carp fish made them excellent candidate for increased utilization especially fishing.

Tackle Selection
I usually test any new fishing equipment by “Cyprinidae” family than by any other fish. All Cyprinidae species "Barbus. Xanthopterus" (Kitan), “Barbus grypus” (shaboot), "Cyprinus Carpio"(Carp) are powerful, brutally strong fish that typically make long runs and have a propensity for thick vegetative cover. They all grow quite large. With this in mind, it is advisable to obtain equipment capable of handling large fish with these physical and behavioral characteristics. A medium-action, fiberglass rod, 6 feet long or longer, will improve the chances of landing a good fish.

Individual preferences will dictate the style of reel selected, either open-faced spinning, spin-casting, or bait-casting. Whichever reel type is chosen, it should be capable of holding 100 to 150 yards of 12 pound-test monofilament line, possess a good drag system, which will enable you to put increasing pressure on the fish, and have the capability for rapid line recovery should the fish decide to run towards the angler instead of away.

Most bait-casting reels possess these attributes, but with most bait-casting reels it is difficult for the fish to take line without offering some resistance."Barbus. Xanthopterus" (Kitan) for instance will pass up a bait which offers any resistance when ingested.Line strength and type depends upon water conditions, potential obstacles, size of fish, and angler expectations. In general, 12-pound test line is the least one should use.The size and style of hook used for freshwater fishing is influenced by the type of fish available.

Sinkers should be used only if the weight of the bait is insufficient to maintain position on the bottom or if additional casting distance is required. If sinkers are used, they should be slip-sinker style. A barrel swivel should be employed to prevent the sinker from touching the bait.

Rod Selection

The most appropriate fishing rod should depend on the type of fish and your style. To make the right choice when buying a rod, you need to understand the three main factors, namely (Power), (Action) and (Weight). Those three interlinked main factors will determine whether or not a specific rod is appropriate for your technic, type and the species you're after.


This means the actual strength of the rod. Rods are either ultra light, light, medium, heavy or ultra heavy. Some rods that have the same action might be different in strength and power, but their basic action remain the same. It is always advisable to use a powerful rod in order not to miss any big fish.

Action pertains to the way a rod bends. A fast-action rod bends mostly in the tip or upper part of the rod. While a medium-action rod, bends more deeply, often down through the rod's midsection. A slow-action rod bends over almost its entire length, well down toward the handle.

Accordingly, spinning and casting rods should have:
1. Fast actions when fishing with plastic or wooden light lures to allow fast, and powerful hook sets.
2. Medium actions will impose hard strikes and work best with reaction-style lures like spinner baits.
3. Slow-action rods are the best for casting live baits because their slow casts won't snap bait off the hook.


Lighter weight rods are more sensitive. You will be able to feel even the finest taps at your bait or lure. When comparing two fast-action light spinning rods of the same length, for example, check their overall weights as well. And be warned that lighter weights often mean high-tech rods at premium prices.

To sum up you'll need an ultra light, fast action spinning rod for “Cyprinus sharpey” (binni) and “ Barbus luteus” ( himri). A light, medium-action spinning rod will be the best choice fo worm fishing for “Asalus eorase” ( shilik), and a fast-action, heavy-power flipping stick will be ideal for pulling a big “Barbus xanthopterus” (kattan), a “Barbus grypus” (shabbout) or a “Silurus triostegus” (jirri) out of a heavy cover.

Bait Selection

The most commonly used baits are mentioned in the baits section of this site.

Angling Techniques

“Cyprinidae” freshwater fishing in lakes should be done with slack line. Allow the bait to sink to the bottom, then drag for a short distance to take the bend out of the line. The hook should be set as the line begins to tighten. Do not wait for the feel of the bite especially when fishing for “Barbus xanthopterus” (kattan).


In rivers and streams, the current will take the slack out of the line so the line must be kept tight. The hook should be set immediately on a firm bite or line movement. If snags or thick vegetation pose a problem, a longer rod will allow the angler to drop his bait in a more vertical fashion. Both of these techniques are satisfactory under the majority of conditions; however, as with most species, to catch more fish and bigger fish a few additional techniques shouldbe considered.

Greater distance can be achieved in casting by using a longer rod that allows for quick line pick-up and provides for a more forceful hook set. Excellent fishing may be found in early mornings and evenings From my personal experience on Cyprinidae fishing in the streams and lakes of Iraq, Turkey and Sudan I came up with a conclusion that the best fishing usually occurred between dawn and noon and from sunset to midnight. Freshwater fishing in Iraq is generally regarded to be the best during the months from May until September.

Where to find fish?

Where to fish may or may not pose a problem depending upon whether or not you prefer fishing in a stream, lake or river. In general, Cyprinidae may be found any place in a river where one might expect to catch fish.

Cyprinidae species represent a substantial portion of the standing stock of fish species in Iraqi lakes, rivers and streams. The selection of a fishing site must be done with some thought to fish behavior. Select a site in the shallower portion of a lake, relatively free of shoreline snags. Scattered weed beds within casting range is always desirable.


Success can usually be increased by chumming a likely fishing spot by throwing additional bait into the area as soon as you arrive and periodically repeating the procedure while fishing. Even better success often results from chumming an area prior to fishing. It is also advisable to mix some wheat flour and water or a mixture of bread and water in your fishing area.

Occasionally Cyprinidae may be observed feeding on the surface, especially during early morning or late evening. This is the perfect time to try surface fishing, and the best bait is a piece of bread. Two problems common to Cyprinidae fishing are fishing on soft bottom and too many other fish working the bait, that is why Basrah anglers tie two hooks. Both problems may be best solved by fishing with boiled dough or half-boiled potatoes.

Night Fishing

Night fishing, especially just before dawn can be very productive for all freshwater fish species in Arabia. The same techniques used during daylight are satisfactory. Since Cyprinidae have excellent hearing senses and the night-time hours are typically free of many noises, it is important to walk softly on the shoreline and to remain quiet. The rod rest must be placed so the tip of your rod hangs just over the edge of the water.