fish is silvery-gray above and white below. No scales are
found on the skin. Two barbels are located under the chin,
unlike the four found on hardhead catfish, and two more very
long barbels are at the corners of the mouth. The dorsal and
pectoral fins have long filaments on them. It has hard, sharp,
venomous spines in its dorsal and pectoral fins and should
be handled with care. Gafftopsail catfish not only feed on
the bottom, but throughout the water column, even at the surface,
where they predaceously pursue small schooling fishes.
They eat a wide variety of foods, especially blue crabs. Spawning
seems to take place in May, with the male holding up to 55
eggs in his mouth until they hatch, and then holding the young
fish for several weeks thereafter. Gafftopsail catfish are
covered with copious amounts of mucous and when hooked, will
leave a generous amount on the fishing line above the hook.