Catfish, Hardhead

Food Quality:

Catfish, Hardhead

Avg. Length


Avg. Weight


World Record

3lbs 5oz

FL Record

3lbs 5oz

View Regulations

Scientific Name

Arius felis

Common Names

Marine catfish, Sea Catfish, Seacat, Bagre


The Hardhead Catfish has a coloration that ranges from dark grey to lighter grey with a white belly. They have four barbels protruding from their lower jaw and the corners of the mouth. Their name comes from the hard plate between their eyes. They also have venomous spines on their dorsal and pectoral fins.

Habitat & Behaviour

Hardhead Catfish can be found in coastal areas around manmade structures such as piers and bridges. They also are known to penetrate up brackish rivers where sandy or muddy bottoms can be found, venturing as far as freshwater. As the winter months arrive they move into deeper waters.

Natural Prey

Hardhead Catfish subsist on a diet of invertebrates and other small fish.

Handling Tips

Beware of spines on dorsal and pectoral fins; they are coated with a bacterial slime that can make them hard to handle. Grab by the mouth or use fish grippers and be careful. ***tip – if you get grazed/stings and you are harvesting the fish, take a fillet knife and scrape the slime off the side and the bottom and run it down into the wound, it will neutralize the sting. It must be the same fish that you use to scrape the slime off. Slime dries out and seals the wound, will stop it from bleeding until you can get home and treat it properly. Hot soapy water is also good for stings – immerse the sting in the hot soapy water.