types of catfish

11+ Types of Catfish to be Grossed Out By

For those who love fishing, catfish are one of the oldest and most fascinating-looking fish to encounter. This fish got its name due to its whisker-looking resemblance to a cat. Not only do they come from a diverse species, but they are also included in some of the most commonly consumed dishes in the world! Currently, many different types of catfish exist, and we are going to tell you more about them!

Here is our list of some other types of unique catfish:

  • Armored catfishes. These nocturnal catfish seem to be the largest family of catfish and they reside in freshwater habitats in South America. They are an invasive species and have noticeable suckers on top of their heads.
  • Bristlenose catfishes. This species of nocturnal catfish are also located in freshwater habitats in South America. They got their name “Bristlenose” by having a big bristle-looking head.
  • Cory catfishes. These types of catfish are known for being very small and peaceful creatures that inhabit freshwater environments. They typically swim close to the bottom of the water as well.
  • Shark catfishes. The Shark catfish species can be found in freshwater habitats all across Southern Asia. They are also typically one of the largest known freshwater fish in their environment as well.
  • Electric catfishes.  Unlike the peaceful Cory catfish, this very unique species of catfish are known for being highly aggressive. They have the ability to produce a slight electric shock that can only feel like a tingle if touched by a human! Electric catfish can be found in habitats in tropical Africa.
  • Driftwood catfishes. The Driftwood catfish, also known as wood cats, can be found in the rivers of Panama to Argentina and in some parts of the United States. This species of fish are also known to be a very sociable and peaceful group of fish, so no need to worry if you encounter one. The Driftwood catfish is more than double the size of the Cory catfish and they can grow up to 11 inches in length.
  • Stream catfishes. These fish can be found in deeper parts of freshwater habitats all across Southeast Asia. Stream catfishes are also known and identified as “Akysids.”
  • Loach catfishes. The Loach catfish mostly reside in tropical Africa and can be found in freshwater streams. They are able to resist the fast and powerful streams by hanging onto the rocks below them. The Loach catfish species are narrow-bodied, small creatures and have scales embedded underneath their skin.

There is still so much more fascinating information on catfishes that fishers should know more about, such as learning how to identify a catfish if you were to encounter one! Keep reading to learn more about the amazing catfish and how to spot one when fishing!

How Do I Identify A Catfish?

how to identify a catfish

Imagine you went out fishing or went by your nearby lake and you’ve suddenly spotted an interesting-looking fish. However, you can’t seem to know exactly what it is. We can help you determine if it is a catfish by helping you identify some of its basic features!

One of the most common ways to determine if it is a catfish or not is by looking for the whisker-looking features on its face. Once you’ve determined it to be a catfish, you can also narrow your identification to which species of catfish it is by looking at its tail, spots, and even its color.

Although there are many different catfish species out there, there are quite a few that have been spotted in the United States. If you’re interested in learning which ones there are and where they live, keep reading to find out more!

How Many Species of Catfish Are In The United States?

Researchers have found nearly 3,000 unique catfish species all around the world! Only a fraction of that number, however, resides in the United States of America. If you’re curious to know how many different types of catfish species there are in the United States, we’ve got the answer for you!

In the US, there are only 30 different catfish species that have made their home here. Some of these include the White catfish, the Blue catfish, the Black Bullhead catfish, the Flathead catfish, the Yellow Bullhead catfish, the Channel catfish, and lots of other species!

Now that you’ve seen just how many different species of catfish are out there, let’s take a look at some of the most commonly found ones!

What Are The Most Common Catfish?

Many fishermen across the United States of America find tons of different catfish, but there are approximately three most popular and commonly found ones out there!

The three most common catfishes spotted in the United States are as follows:

  • Blue catfish. The Blue catfish are the largest species of fish found in North America, reaching a weight of about 150 pounds. They are also most commonly found in Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri, and many other states in the U.S. Blue catfish have a noticeably larger anal fin from the Flathead and the Channel, so you can identify it more easily than the others.
  • Flathead catfish. This species of fish goes by multiple other names, such as the mudcat, yellow cat, or shovelhead cat. The flathead catfish are also flat-headed and are typically a yellow and brownish color that can be found in freshwater habitats.
  • Channel catfish. The Channel catfish is by far the most common catfish to fish in North American freshwater habitats. Not only is this species the official fish of Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska, but they are also considered the most-fished catfish by anglers in the United States as well!

Now that you’ve learned more about the three most common catfish in the United States, let’s take a look and find out if they can be eaten in seafood dishes.

What Types of Catfish Can You Eat?

For those who love to eat seafood, you may be wondering if catfish can be prepared and eaten. The short answer is yes, and many people mostly love the firm texture and light flavor of catfish! Although all catfish are reasonably safe to eat,  only certain ones are the most popular for consumption.

Here are the most popularly consumed catfish in the United States and why:

  • Flathead catfish. The Flathead catfish is by far the most popular catfish to be eaten in the United States. Many fishers believe that the reason for this is because of the Flathead catfish’s diet. Fishers usually prepare the Flathead catfish by cleaning it, battering it, and deep-frying it. The fish can also be grilled, poached, steamed, and more.
  • Channel catfish. As the most common catfish to fish in the United States, this type of catfish is also the most commonly consumed as well. According to some fishers, the Channel catfish is very good to eat especially if the environment they inhabited previously had great water quality.
  • Blue catfish. The Blue catfish is another most common and great-tasting fish in the United States.  As long as the fish is cut properly and isn’t too large, the Blue catfish can be seasoned and grilled to make for an amazing seafood dish.
  • Bullhead catfish. Although the Bullhead is not one the most commonly caught catfish in the United States, many people still enjoy the taste of it once caught and prepared.  The reason for this is mainly because of the quality of water the catfish was when caught.

Additionally, catfish are not only a very tasty seafood dish but they are packed with healthy fats, vitamins, and nutrients. Although they provide low calories, they also have low sodium and tons of protein. Let’s say that you love all of these factors but you don’t have any catfish. There is plenty of other fish that are the perfect substitutes for catfish.

What Types Of Other Fish Are Similar To Catfish?

Whether you love the texture or flavor of catfish, there are plenty of other fishes out there that have the same characteristics for you to enjoy as well. If you’re looking to find out more, we’re here to help.

Here are 7 different fish that are great substitutes for catfish dishes and how they’re similar:

  • Tilapia. The Tilapia fish is one of the most popular choices in seafood dishes and is also used widely as a substitute for catfish by many people. The reason for this is that they both have a firm texture and light flavor to them. So if you are unable to get a hold of any catfish, then tilapia is your next best bet!
  • Cod. The Codfish is next on our list for the perfect substitute for catfish due to their same texture and savory flavor. Although you may need to prepare it differently than the catfish, you can still use the same cooking techniques for the Codfish as well.
  • Flounder. One of the best things about Flounder being a great substitute for catfish is its amazing adaptability in certain dishes. The Flounder has a lightly sweet and firm texture that is similar to the catfish, so you wouldn’t be able to really mind the difference!
  • Sole. Due to the Sole fish’s lightly sweet flavor and its firm texture, this fish is another amazing substitute for the catfish. Not only does it typically have a lower risk for mercury levels, but the Sole fish is also packed with great vitamins for your diet such as b12 and selenium.
  • Haddock. The Haddock fish is arguably one of the best fish on this list to substitute the catfish due to its rich, enhanced flavor. Considering its similarities in texture and flavor to the catfish, the Haddock surely will not disappoint.
  • Basa. If you are looking to spice more of your seafood recipes up with fish other than catfish, then the Basa is another amazing choice. Widely popular in Southeast Asian cuisine, the Basa has a light flavor with amazing texture to it that you will surely love.
  • Green Stripe Bass. The Green Stripe Bass is the last type of substitute on our list, and it’s just as great as the rest of them. Although this type of fish is primarily used for the similar appearance of catfish than flavor, it is still a high-quality fish to eat.

Most importantly, it is essential to note that preparing your fish safely is the number one priority before cooking your meal! Always make sure that is it properly cleaned and cut before ever consuming your seafood dish.

Types of Catfish Recap

The catfish is one of the most popular and fascinating types of fish to ever learn about. Their long line of different species and their history over time make them a great type of fish to catch for fishermen as well. It’s important to learn more about the type of fish you’re catching because you never know all the different uses you could have for them too!