Two of the most highly sought-after freshwater catfish in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina are the bullhead catfish and channel catfish. Catfish have a similar appearance, and therefore it is challenging to determine the difference between bullheads and channel cats. However, here are the key differences between bullhead and channel catfish.
What Is A Bullhead Catfish
There are four varieties of bullhead catfish that live in freshwater throughout the southeastern United States, but catfishing in North Carolina is supreme. These include the black bullhead, white bullhead, yellow bullhead, and brown bullhead.
How To Identify A Bullhead Catfish
Depending on the variety of bullhead, the coloration can range between yellow, black, tan, and brown. A distinct marking that is easily recognizable is the rounded tail. Lastly, the teeth are small.
Is Bullhead Catfish Good To Eat
The meat of a filleted bullhead is pink in coloration. Although the fish looks unedible, it is, in fact, delicious to eat.
Bullhead caught from dark-colored waters tends to have a muddy taste, whereas those harvested from clear water are better eating. Therefore, when you are fishing for bullhead to eat, focus on clear water rivers and lakes.
How Big Do Bullhead Catfish Grow
The average-sized bullhead measures ten inches in length and weighs between one pound and two pounds. However, bullhead exceeds seventeen inches and tops five pounds. Be prepared for a tussle when an oversized bullhead catfish is at the end of the line.
What Is A Channel Catfish
Look for this type of catfish in clear rivers and streams. Channel catfish prefer clear water that flows however they are also common to reservoirs and ponds.
How To Identify A Channel Catfish
The channel catfish has a significantly different appearance to that of the bullhead. Unlike the bullhead, they are equipped with a forked tail. In addition, the coloration at the top of the fish is olive and fades to silver from the midline down. Lastly, along the sides are black dots sprinkled across the silver skin.
How Big Do Channel Catfish Grow
The averaged sized channel cat measures between twelve and sixteen inches. At this length, the average weight is from two to four pounds.
Unlike the bullhead catfish, they cats grow significantly larger. The channel catfish exceeds fifty inches and tops the scale over 50 pounds. Be prepared with stout gear when targeting them as opposed to bullhead.
Is Channel Catfish Good To Eat
Channel catfish are so good to eat that they are grown commercially in fish farms. However, wild channel cats are readily caught fresh for a delicious dinner.
The flesh is nutritious, white, and tender. As a result, the meat can be cooked in various ways, including catfish nuggets, grilled catfish, or broiled catfish.
What Is The Best Bait For Catfish
No matter if you are seeking bullhead or channel cats, both species lurk deep in the water column on the bed of the body of water.
When presenting baits, ensure that they reach the bottom where the fish are dwelling. When the baits are in the incorrect portion of the water column, the strikes from catfish are reduced.
The most popular baits utilized by catfishermen include shad, stink baits, worms, and even chicken. Secure any of these baits to the hook and send it deep to the bottom.
Head Out Fishing Now That You Can Identify The Difference
Channel catfish and bullhead catfish are easily distinguishable; therefore, you will not be confused by the two species of catfish. While the channel catfish is bigger in size, either put up great fights. Check the local regulations when planning to harvest catfish for dinner.