The effect of growth and physical condition on the level of heavy metals accumulated in the organs of common bream (Abramis brama L.) populating Lake Balaton was investigated on samples collected in October 1999 and May 2000 from two well-separable sites regarding their trophic state and pollution impact (western and eastern basins). The average metal concentrations in the organs of fish varied in the following ranges: Cd, 0.39-1.98; Cu, 1.73-57.3; Hg, 0.02-0.13; Pb, 0.39-3.15; and Zn, 12.7-159.3 microg/g dry weight. The highest Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn concentrations were detected in the gill and liver of fish, whereas the highest Hg concentrations were measured in the muscle. The maximum metal concentrations in the muscle of bream were on average below the maximum permissible levels for human consumption. Significant positive correlation was found among the heavy metal load of bream and their instantaneous growth rate; hardly any connection was observed related to the physical condition of samples. The relatively low metal concentrations of the ambient water and their poor correlation with the heavy metal load of bream, indicates that for the mature stages of this fish species the metal uptake from food is predominant, and thus the heavy metal load of fish reflect more the pollution state of the sediment and its biota, rather than that of the ambient water.