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BROWN BULLHEAD

At-a-Glance

  • Scientific Name: Ameiurus nebulosus
  • Found in Illinois: not common
  • State Average: 8"
  • State Record: 2lbs/10.4oz (1993)
  • Best Lures: worms, crayfish, night crawlers, and cut bait
  • Best Lakes (based on average size): Fox Chain, Wolf, Shabbona

Angling Tips:

Like other bullheads, fish bait on the bottom near shorelines, preferably near dusk or at night.

Habitat: In Illinois, brown bullhead are somewhat rare and sparsely located throughout the state. Unlike black and yellow bullheads, brown bullheads prefer deeper, clearer waters with moderate amounts of aquatic vegetation, but can also tolerate muddier conditions with low oxygen.

Feeding and Habits: Like other bullheads, brown bullheads are opportunistic feeders and will eat a variety of food, including insects, fish, clams, snails, and plants.

Reproduction: Sexual maturity is attained at 3 years of age. Bullheads build nests in natural cavities or make saucer-shaped depressions near submerged cover, such as tree roots or sunken logs. 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.