The flat bullhead is a small species of catfish found in the southeastern United States from Virginia down to Georgia. As its name suggests, this species has a distinctly flattened head. It sports a black blotch at the base of the dorsal fin. Flat bullheads are elongated, thin-looking members of the bullhead tribe, with whitish chin whiskers and a yellowish coloration on the upper parts of the body. The flat bullhead displays some speckling and mottling, with dark spots on the lighter body. The flat bullhead has 21 or more rays on the anal fin, compared to 20 or fewer for the very similar snail bullhead. Flat bullies are found in streams, small rivers, and ponds of the southeast, from the Roanoke River of Virginia down to Georgia's Altamaha and its tributaries.
Typical of bullheads, the flat bullhead can't resist a juicy nightcrawler, especially at night.
Barbels and Spiny Fins: All bullheads have eight barbels around the mouth - which are used for tasting and smelling the water. The barbels are harmless. However, bullheads also have three sharp spines one at the front of each pectoral and the dorsal fin. Watch out for those spines! The spines can deliver a painful sting - they are coated in an irritant toxin that can cause pain and swelling around the wound. Immersing the wound in water that is as hot as the wounded person can tolerate will detoxify the irritant and relieve the pain.