Black or brown bullhead??

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fishinnick's picture
Black or brown bullhead??

Obviously not a yellow. Back in 2008 when I caught the fish I originally thought it was a brown, but now that I look at it more I'm also considering black. Mostly because of the lack of mottling pattern, though there does appear to be a little? It's not the greatest of photos with the lighting and all, but should be good enough to ID I hope. I've gotten for-sure browns since, and plenty of yellows. Not sure I've ever gotten a black.....unless this is one. What do you guys think?

If was caught out of the lower portion of the Rocky River on the west side of Cleveland, Ohio. Lake Erie tribuatry

drawer.bli's picture
Black. The pronounced

Black. The pronounced crescent on the tail is a dead give-away.

Corey's picture
Black Bullhead

With fewer than 21 anal fin rays, it can only be a black bullhead.


fishinnick's picture
Thanks guys!!! Greatly

Thanks guys!!! Greatly appreciated. In the past I haven't paid too much attention to detail when it comes to bullheads(don't have a ton of experience with them either). Just the basics........white whiskers on bottom=yellow, clearly mottled=brown, etc. but I'm gonna have to observe these things a little bit more. Good stuff!


I have some other pics of fish that I'm now cratching my head about. Not the greatest quality photos for observing those traits, but I may still post them anyway. Who doesn't like fish pics.....

andy's picture
Keep the pics coming!

I say black bullhead as well.  


Please do post more photos of questionable identification!  It's Winter, we have nothing better to do than look at new fish photos.


fishinnick's picture
Ok, here's a couple more. I

Ok, here's a couple more. I adjusted the brightness. Feeling confident that the first two are both browns. Was kinda considering black for the third, but I came up with an anal fin ray count of around that's that. All from the same body of water. Thought I had more pics from there but I guess not.




Wisfisher's picture
Best way to tell is by the

Best way to tell is by the chin whiskers. Blacks arevall black or dark grey. Browns have black tips and gray/whitish at the base. Yellows are all white.

Any fish species is worth catching.

Osprey's picture
Bullhead ID

The 1rst fish is a Brown Bullhead. Fish 1 & 2 are Yellow Bullhead Catfish. Generally, Yellow Bullheads will have white whiskers underneath their mouths. The body shape is different than the Brown Bullhead. The Yellows anal fin is longer than the Brown Bullheads containing more rays. Browns have mottling on their bodies which is absent on the Yellow Bullhead. After you catch enough of each one, studying & learning what to look for to distinguish the differences, you get really good at telling them apart and it becomes it 2nd nature.