New Hampshire Slanguage: Hornpout

No self-respecting New Hampshire fisherman (or woman) can ply their leisure pastime for long…

before they end up with a hornpout on their line. At this point if you are wondering what the heck it was that I caught–in New Hampshire “hornpout” is just our local name for a catfish,   and it is also known as a bullhead, and horned pout.

These freshwater fish are native to eastern North America, and you identify them by their large head with barbels (sometimes called spines, that are actually their taste organs which they poke and probe the pond or lake floor to find food).  When the spines penetrate your flesh, you can get a nasty cut that hurts something horrible.

Treatment for the pain is to immerse your wounded flesh into HOT water, then wash the wound. After the bleeding stops, the pain and swelling will go away on its own in anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days.  Infections are not uncommon, so see a doctor.

Apparently these fish are utilized for sludge management.  AND, if you are ever bucket-bathing in the Amazon, do it in daylight.


**Additional Reading**

Take Me Fishing: Southwestern New Hampshire Fishing Guide and Fish Identification Chart (PDF) –

Brown Bullhead Details (PDF)

-Catfish Spine Envenomation-

Catfish Sting Treatment


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