- Species Name: Ameirus nebulosus
- Common Names: bullpout, mud pout, horned pout, hornpout, mud cat
- State Record: 3 lbs. 6 oz. Caught in Hubbardton Pond in 1976 by Frank Barker.
The “horned pout” are the most common member of the catfish family in Vermont. They have smooth, olive-brown to dark-brown flanks with a sharp, stout spine on the leading edge of their dorsal and pectoral fins. They have a broad, flat mouth surrounded by six whisker-like barbels.
Where to Fish
Brown bullhead are found in many of the shallower lakes, ponds and rivers throughout Vermont. In contrast to many fish species’, bullhead can thrive in diverse habitats, including bodies of water with muddy conditions and low oxygen levels.
Some popular Vermont bullhead fisheries include lakes Champlain, Memphremagog, Carmi and Hortonia, as well as the Poultney River, Cogman Creek, Connecticut River and Curtis Pond.
How to Fish
Brown bullhead, like other species in the catfish family, are nocturnal bottom feeders. So, while they may sometimes strike moving lures such as spinnerbaits and crankbaits, slow bottom presentations such as jigs, weighted night crawlers, minnows or cut bait fished at night tend to be more successful.
Even better, still-fishing with a rod propped up on a stick is a relaxing, yet effective, technique. Other proven bullhead baits include chopped chicken livers and dough or bread balls.