Brown Bullhead

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Brown bullheads, also known as hornpout or catfish, are a popular fish found in numerous rivers and lakes across the state of Maine. Brown bullheads are native to Maine, though have been artificially introduced in certain areas, largely for the purposes of offering fishing opportunity. However, where found naturally, brown bullheads are in healthy supply and have a lot to offer those willing to venture out at night where fishing of this species remains most productive.

Adult brown bullheads are typically in the region of 10-12 inches in length and weigh around 1 pound. Larger fish are occasionally caught, though you are unlikely to find anything much larger than 14 inches in Maine’s waters. Brown bullheads tend to be either dark brown or olive green across their backs with a creamy coloured belly. It is also not uncommon to find brown bullheads with white or speckled patches on their sides. Their bodies tend to be fairly thick and rounded, with a flat, broad head sporting a number of barbels.

Brown bullheads prefer deep, weedy waters, where they tend to feed on small insects or larvae. They also prefer to feed at night, which is when they provide the best fishing opportunity. Though many rivers and lakes in Maine stock brown bullheads in relative abundance, the best fish can be caught by concentrating on the deepest, murkiest waters. However, brown bullheads are also renowned for their ability to survive in warmer waters where there is less oxygen available, hence their great ability to adapt to new environments where artificial stocks have been introduced.

Night fishing will provide the greatest yield of brown bullhead, though this species can be caught throughout the day. In terms of bait, brown bullheads can be caught using worms, scraps of meat, small pieces of fish or commercially produced baits. Shore fishing is particularly popular, though the best brown bullheads are more likely to be caught in the deeper waters using weighted lines.

The Belgrade chain of lakes are some of the most popular spots for fishing brown bullheads, though their relative popularity across the state of Maine makes them hugely accessible to beginner and seasoned anglers alike. Family orientated fishing spots are also a good place to find brown bullheads, as they are deemed to be a relatively easy catch much like perch or white pickerel.

The popularity of the brown bullhead makes it very easy to catch, and with only the most basic of equipment and bait, you can land plenty of fish. As an added bonus, the brown bullhead is also considered to taste delicious and is a popular food, particularly amongst anglers.

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