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White Catfish

Illustrator
Duane Raver, Jr.
Season
Open Year-Round
Size Limit
No Size Limit
Daily Limit / Person
No Limit
Delaware Range
Statewide
Abundance in Delaware Waters
Common
General Habitat and Food Preferences
White Catfish are primarily a tidal water species rarely found in freshwater ponds. They prefer sluggish, mud-bottomed pools, open channels, and backwaters of small to large rivers.

Although fish are their favored food, they also eat larval aquatic insects, crustaceans, fish eggs, and aquatic plants.
General Description
White Catfish usually have a distinctly bicolor (two toned) body, darker on top and white, or nearly white, on the lower sides and belly.

Catfish have four barbels ("whiskers") that hang from the lower jaw, two from each corner of the mouth and two from the top of the head near the mouth.

The White Catfish has white chin barbels.
Did You Know?
White Catfish are the smallest of the large-North American catfish species (not including bullheads).

They may feed at night, but are not known to be nocturnal, as are other catfish species.

White Catfish have no scales; their bodies are naked.

Catfish have spines on the dorsal fin and pectoral fines near the head. Anglers often get punctured by these spines when handling catfish. The spines have mild venom, however it is not deadly. Be careful when handling.

The barbels ("whiskers") have taste buds that assist catfish in finding food.
Common Fishing Lures and Baits
Fresh baits such as worms, shrimp, chicken liver, processed bait, and cut fish are popular for catching White Catfish.
Typical Sizes Caught
White Catfish are commonly caught in the range of 10 to 14 inches in length by Delaware anglers.
Citation Minimum Lengths/Weights
Length: 25 inches (for Live Release Award only)
or
Weight: 6 pounds

White Catfish are eligible for the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament "Catfish" citation, but due to their smaller size, catching one large enough to qualify is unlikely.

White Catfish are not currently eligible for an individual species citation.
Delaware State Record
24 pounds 10.4 ounces
Thad Palmer
2017

White Catfish are eligible for the general "Catfish" record, but due to their smaller size, catching one large enough to qualify is unlikely.

White Catfish are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.