Hardhead Catfish

Hardhead Catfish

Ariopsis felis

Life History

Description and Diagnostic Characteristics: Barbels adorn the underside and corners of the mouth. Back and upper sides are gray to almost black, with white or silvery undersides. Tail is deeply forked. First spines of dorsal and pectoral fins are stiff and sharp and coated with venomous slime that can make a puncture excruciatingly painful.

Size: Generally less than a pound, but can get up to around 3 pounds

Age at Maturity: Before the age of 2

Range: From Florida to the Chesapeake Bay and straggles to New England.

Habitat: Soft bottom areas of coastal waters, bays, harbors and estuaries.

Angling Information

Bait and Tackle: Any light tackle including cane pole, spinning and baitcasting. Prefers shrimp and cut bait but will sometimes strike artificial jigs or plugs

Fishing Method: Drift, still fishing

Food Value: Pretty good

Marine Fishes of Georgia Posters

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