Family: Ictaluridae

Common Family: The Catfish Family

Common Name: Flathead Catfish

Scientific Name: Ictalurus olivaris


Flathead catfish are usually a mottled brown or slate color. They have a large, flattened head, with the lower jaw extending past the upper jaw. Flathead catfish also have a square tail and short barbels. They are the largest game fish in the state of Indiana with individuals reaching over 50 lbs.

Range and Habitat: 

Flathead catfish prefer large streams, rivers, and may also be found in several Indiana reservoirs.

Fishing Facts:

They feed mainly on fish, but will also eat crayfish, insects, and mussels. The most popular bait used to catch large flatheads are medium (4-6 inch) sized live fish.

Similar Species: 

No other catfish will have a flattened head between its eyes and a longer lower jaw.