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Yellow Bullhead

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
Uncommon (more common in Sussex County)
General Habitat and Food Preferences
Yellow Bullheads are found from murky shallow water in ponds and ditches to deeper ponds, streams, and rivers.

They feed on aquatic insects, crustaceans, and vegetative matter.
General Description
Yellow Bullheads are a smaller catfish and have a slightly rounded tail.

They are yellowish brown above and bright yellow to white underneath.

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 four barbels ("whiskers") on the underside of the jaw of the Yellow Bullhead are whitish. This distinguishes it from the Brown Bullhead which has blackish barbels.
Did You Know?
Brown Bullheads are much more common in Delaware than the Yellow Bullhead.

Yellow Bullheads are typically smaller than Brown Bullheads.

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 .The whiskers are harmless.

Catfish possess excellent senses of smell and taste because their entire body is also covered in taste buds. They help the catfish find food in dark or muddy water.

They are more tolerant of polluted waters than most other members of the catfish family.

It is thought that bullhead populations may grow as ponds age and water quality declines, since these fish are better than many other native species at living in warm water that has little oxygen.
Common Fishing Lures and Baits
Good baits for Yellow Bullheads include any of the numerous "catfish baits" that can be purchased, or worms.
Typical Sizes Caught
Yellow Bullheads are commonly caught in the range of 6 to 10 inches in length by Delaware anglers.
Citation Minimum Lengths/Weights
Live Release Award
Adult: 25 inches minimum
Youth (age 15 and under): 23 inches minimum

Sport Fishing Tournament Award
Adult: 6 pounds minimum
Youth (age 15 and under): 4.5 pounds minimum

Yellow Bullheads are eligible for the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament and Live Release "Catfish" awards, but due to their smaller size, catching one large enough to qualify is unlikely.

Yellow Bullheads are not currently eligible for an individual species citation.
Delaware State Record
36 pounds 3.2 ounces
Jordan Walker
2017

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

Yellow Bullheads are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.