Black bullhead

Common name: Black Bullhead
Scientific name: Ameiurus melas

The Black Bullhead is a bottom-rover freshwater fish that belongs to the family Ictaluridae. They are native to Canada, Mexico, and the US.

This species of fish do not live in fast-flowing waters and are highly tolerant; they are a relatively small species of fish and have quite an aggressive nature.


The dorsal part of a Black Bullhead?s body is black or brown, while the ventral part is either white or yellow. Scales are absent, and they instead have about 100,000 taste receptors spread all over their body.

A black Bullhead?s head is broad and has long whiskers. The caudal fins are truncated, while the tail fin is almost square with a gray base and has 17 to 21 soft rays. Furthermore, the species has sharp spines at the base of their dorsal and pectoral fins, which act as their defense mechanism.

Their general size is about 8 to 14 inches but can grow up to 24 inches long and weigh from 1 to 4 lbs.

Habitat and Lifestyle

The Black Bullhead?s habitat is distributed in stagnant freshwater across the central US.

A Black Bullhead?s spawning months are between May and July. The fish is omnivorous and will eat anything they find; this includes insects, smaller fish?both dead and alive? and plants. They are most active during the night.

Finding and Catching

This fish can be caught from an inflatable boat or kayak.

You will find the Black Bullhead in swampy, stagnant, or slow-moving waters such as outlets of lakes and below dams. They can survive in any water condition, no matter how muddy or low in oxygen it is.

The best way to catch a Black Bullhead would be by using a rigid inflatable boat since they live in quite unpleasant areas.

Peak Season

Fishing reaches its peak season before and after its spawning season, i.e., between February and May and July and September.

Best Bait

  • Earthworms
  • Nightcrawlers