Gafftopsail Catfish Bagre marinus
Common Name's: Bandera, Sailboat Cat, Gafftopsail Sea Catfish, Gafftop Cat, Tourist Trout
Description: The Gafftopsail Catfish is bluish-gray overall with silvery sides and a white belly. It has a robust body with a depressed broad head featuring a few flattened barbels. The dorsal and pectoral fins have greatly elongated spines. Similar Fish: Sea Catfish Feeding
Habits: Gafftopsails prefer crabs, shrimp, and various small fish, but like all catfish, they have broad dietary interests.
Range: These fish range along the western Atlantic coast from Cape Cod to Panama and throughout the Gulf of Mexico, being abundant along Louisiana and Texas. They are absent from most of the West Indies and Caribbean Islands but are present in western Cuba, and extend to Venezuela and possibly as far south as Brazil.
Habitat: Gafftopsails prefer deeper channels, particularly brackish water in bays and estuaries with sandy bottoms of high organic content. They prefer water temperatures between 68° to 95°F. Typical Size: The average size of the Gafftopsails is usually less than 1 pound to 1½ pounds and up to 17 inches in length, but they can reach up to 10 pounds and 36 inches.
World Record: 9 pounds, 10 ounces (IGFA)
Hardhead Catfish Arius Felis
Common Name's: Hardheads, Sea Catfish, Tourist Trout
Description: Hardhead Catfish have three pairs of barbels, lack scales, and can vary in color, from dark brown to dark blue.
Similar Fish: Gafftopsail Catfish Feeding Habits:
Hardhead Catfish eat crab, shrimp, and smaller fish.
Range: The Hardhead Catfish are found along the Atlantic coast, from Massachusetts to southern Mexico.
Habitat: The Hardhead Catfish can be found in muddy and sandy bays and shallow coastal waters.
Typical Size: The Hardhead Catfish can reach up to 16 inches long.
World Record: 3 pounds, 5 ounces (IGFA)