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  • Scientific Name: Ameiurus melas
  • Found in Illinois: Statewide
  • State Average: 8"
  • State Record: 5lbs/6oz (1988)
  • Best Lures: worms, crayfish, night crawlers, and cut bait

Angling Tips:

Fish bait on the bottom near shorelines, preferably near dusk or at night.

Habitat: Black bullheads can tolerate a wide variety of habitats and oxygen levels, but are commonly found in shallow, turbid waters that contain little to no vegetation.

Feeding and Habits: Like many other species of catfish, they are opportunistic feeders and their diet will consist of live and dead food items. While bullheads will feed all day, they forage more actively at night.

Reproduction: Sexual maturity is attained at 3 years of age. Depending upon the size and condition of the adult fish, between 1,600 to 13,000 eggs are laid from April to June. After an incubation period of 5 to 8 days, the eggs hatch and the fry school up and appear as a black "ball." The female guards the young until they are near 2 inches in length.