HookedinFishing » Freshwater Fish » Brown Bullhead Catfish

Brown Bullhead Catfish Species Breakdown

Scientific Name: Ameiurus nebulosus

Also Known As: Mud Pout, Hornpout, and Mud Cat

Brown bullhead catfish are bottom-dwelling omnivores with a great sense of taste and smell. They feed on insects, snails, clams, algae, leeches, worms mollusks, crustaceans, crayfish, fish eggs, smaller fish and plants.

How to Identify a Brown Bullhead Catfish

Brown bullhead catfish have smooth, slimy skin with a squared tail and broad flat head. They have a brown body with a yellowish belly. Their dorsal and pectoral fins have sharp spines that can be painful if not handled carefully.

Brown Bullhead Catfish Size

Brown bullhead catfish can grow up to 20 inches long and weigh up to 8 pounds. However, they are more commonly found in 8 – 12 inch range weighing 1 – 3 lbs.

A trophy size brown bullhead catfish is 5 pounds or larger.

Brown Bullhead Catfish Size Chart – Length to Weight Conversion

6″0.6 lbs
7″0.8 lbs
8″1 lbs
9″1.4 lbs
10″1.9 lbs
11″2.5 lbs
12″3.1 lbs
13″3.7 lbs
14″4.1 lbs
15″4.6 lbs
16″5.4 lbs
17″6.2 lbs
18″7 lbs
19″7.8 lbs
20″8.9 lbs

Brown Bullhead Catfish World Record

The largest brown bullhead catfish ever caught was 7 pounds 6 ounces on Mahopac Lake, New York in 2009.

Where Brown Bullhead Catfish Are Found

Brown bullhead catfish are native to the Atlantic and Gulf Slope drainages of North America. Today, they can be found all over North America, New Zealand and many European countries.

These fish inhabit lakes, ponds, drainage, river backwaters, reservoirs, ditches and slow moving streams. They prefer slow moving bodies of water with muddy bottoms and plenty of vegetation.

They thrive in water with low oxygen levels and are often found in murky waters.

Lifespan of a Brown Bullhead Catfish

The lifespan of a brown bullhead catfish is typically 6 – 8 years but can live up to 15 years. They reach maturity in 3 years.

Brown Bullhead Catfish Age Chart

1 Year Old6 inches
2 Years Old12 inches
3 Years Old15 inches
4 Years Old16 inches
5 Years Old17 inches
6 Years Old18 inches
7 Years Old19 inches
8 Years Old19.5 inches
9 Years Old19.8 inches
10 Years Old20 inches

Fishing For Brown Bullhead Catfish

Are Brown Bullhead Catfish hard to catch?

Brown bullhead catfish aren’t very hard to catch with the right bait. Refer to the baits below and with a little patients you will be able to catch a catfish.

Best Bait for Brown Bullhead Catfish

Because their nostrils are very sensitive, odor-sensing organs, “stink bait” is known to lure these fish in. That includes, rotten cheese, dog food, old rotted shad, and chicken livers.

They can also be caught using worms, leeches, shrimp, small cutbait, corn and marshmallows.

What Size Hooks for Brown Bullhead Catfish

The best hook size to catch a brown bullhead catfish are the 3/0 & 5/0 circle hooks.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are brown bullhead catfish poisonous?

Brown bullhead catfish are not poisonous. Their spines located on the dorsal and pectoral fins contain a mucus that can cause infection if it punctures the skin. Learn how to safely handle catfish.

Are brown bullhead catfish good to eat?

Catfish are some of the most underrated fish in the country since they grow large, put up a good fight, and taste great.

Do brown bullhead catfish eat other fish?

Brown bullhead catfish will eat other fish. They are not picky and will eat what fits in their mouth.

What time of day is best to catch brown bullhead catfish?

Brown bullhead catfish are best caught during low light hours – just before sunrise and just after sunset.

Are the barbs dangerous?

The barbs on brown bullhead catfish’s dorsal and pectoral fins can be painful if they stab you. The mucus covering the spines may cause infection, it is best to avoid the spines. Learn how to safely handle catfish.

Do brown bullhead catfish jump?

Brown bullhead catfish can jump out of water when hunting for prey or escaping from predators.

Do brown bullhead fish have predators?

Brown bullhead catfish can be eaten by turtles, larger fish and large birds such as eagles and osprey.