Yellow Bullhead Catfish

Yellow Bullhead


Similar to brown bullhead but with light-colored barbels.


The Yellow bullhead catfish likes areas of clear, shallow lakes, reservoirs, ponds, and slow-flowing streams. They are more tolerant of polluted environments than most other members of the catfish family.


Though scavengers, yellow bullheads prefer to feed on minnows, snails, shrimp, and crayfish.

State Record:

5.05 pounds (15.25 inches). Big Catch: 14 inches or 1.5 lbs.

Fishing Tips and Facts:

Yellow Bullhead Catfish are easy to catch on cut bait, worms, crickets, doughballs, and a wide variety of natural and prepared baits.

Additional Information:

The yellow bullhead (Ameiurus natalis) is a bullhead catfish that is a ray-finned fish lacking scales. This particular species is a medium-sized member of the catfish family. Depending on the habitat, it is typically yellow-olive to slatey-black on the back and sometimes mottled. The sides are lighter and more yellowish, while the underside of the head and body are bright yellow, yellow-white, or bright white.

The rear edge of its caudal fin is rounded. The anal fin is much larger than many fish, having between 23 and 27 rays. The yellow bullhead though less common, can be easily distinguished from the brown bullhead and black bullhead by its white barbels or “whiskers.” Yellow bullheads are medium-sized bullheads, rarely getting more prominent than 2 lb (0.91 kg) but can reach up to 6.6 pounds, as the International Game and Fish Association documented.

This species is often misidentified on social media and the Internet. Yellow bullheads range in size from 6 to 15 inches but can reach 18 inches and live up to 7 years. Studies have found yellow bullheads ranging from 1 to 12 years of age. The study used over 200 fish from different habitats in the southern Florida everglades to conduct this experiment.

In the study, they used the total length of the bullhead as a function of absolute age, allowing them to compare the pectoral spine length and weight.1 Catfish and bullheads have sub-terminal mouths in which the end of the snout only projects slightly beyond the mouth of the fish.

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