Fishing: Bullheads

Bullheads, known as “hornpout” in Maine, are found in vast numbers throughout the state. A small variety of catfish, bullheads are easily taken on worms or dead minnows. When evening falls, bullheads come to the shallows to feed. One evening’s still fishing can result in dozens of tasty bullheads. These fish average less than one pound, but the occasional specimen may approach 3 pounds. Any tackle that can toss out a baited hook and small sinker is adequate, but ultralight spinning gear provides the most sport.

Fishing: Bullheads Photo Gallery



The reef top is heavy with kelp and young seal pups zip around everywhere. The surrounding cliff walls of the plateau are covered in anemones and soft corals and dense shoals of coley (Pollachius virens) often swarm around the reef top, while large cod, conger and ling can be found under the overhanging ledges and crevices. Behind the reefs, this is a reasonably sheltered dive on the bottom of the flood when most of the Knavestone is visible above the surface, but it is best avoided on the ebb and especially on spring tides because you can quite easily end up on the wrong side of the island. On the ebb tide, the current splits into two, going around the island in two different directions, and if you get too close to the eastern end of the Knavestone and try to surface, you are whipped around the corner before ever reaching the surface. You wouldn’t be the first or the last diver who has been picked up by another boat or, worse still, gone adrift from this site. When the island is showing it is difficult to see anything on the north side and a diver on the surface would very quickly disappear into the distance in these strong currents. On the eastern edge of the plateau, 75 metres from the seaward corner of Knavestone, there is a nice gully and reef wall which runs away in an arc to the southwest. It has lots of interesting overhangs, boulders and large rocks where you can usually pick up a nice crab or two. Cod, ling, conger, ballan wrasse, squat lobsters, whelks and a host of other critters can be found for those with a torch and an eagle eye, but more interesting still are the swarms of lovely juicy prawns, measuring up to about 7.62 cm (3 in.

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