Popular techiques for catching Bigmouth Buffalo include drift fishing and strill fishing. However, bow fishing is also a popular method for fishing Bigmouth Buffalo as these fish commonly swim near the surface. Bigmouth Buffalo can be found in streams, rivers, shallow lakes, floodplains and backwater areas.
Habitat: Lake, River, Stream
How to identify Bigmouth Buffalo
Resembling a carp, the bigmouth buffalo has a similar dorsal fin that starts as a tall, pointed lobe at its mid-back and graduates in height almost to the tail. The bigmouth buffalo lacks fin spines.
When its mouth is closed, it resembles an upside-down smile; however, when open, it’s large and has no teeth. The bigmouth buffalo’s upper lip is at eye level. Smallmouth buffalo have a more downward protracted, sucker-like mouth that’s horizontally shaped when closed. The bigmouth buffalo’s body can range from a dark greenish-brown copper to a dark gray-blue, which graduates into white in the abdomen area.
Where to catch Bigmouth Buffalo
Native waters of the bigmouth buffalo include Lake Erie through the basins in Ohio and Mississippi, on to rivers in Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, Iowa, South Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, and Canada, and out into the Gulf of Mexico. The bigmouth buffalo has also been introduced to California and Arizona.
The following are habitats where you can catch Bigmouth Buffalo:
- Current Edges
- Dams and Falls
- Freshwater Lakes and Ponds
- Outside of Bends
- Overhanging Trees and Bushes
- Riparian Zones
- Rock and Boulder Pockets
How to catch Bigmouth Buffalo
Since they enjoy swimming near the surface, a common method for catching the bigmouth buffalo is to use a bow and arrow. Other methods that work well include driftfishing and stillfishing with a hook and line.
They are most active at night and can easily be mistaken for carps. To tell the difference, check the dorsal fin, which has a serrated line on the bigmouth buffalo. They can be very heavy, so be ready for a challenge when reeling them in. Due to their ability to snap the line, anglers should reel them in slowly once the hook it set.
The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Bigmouth Buffalo:
Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Bigmouth Buffalo
Since small crustaceans account for the majority of the bigmouth’s diet, these are good baits to use. These fish rarely eat other fish or insects/larvae. They aren’t generally attracted to live bait, but scented baits work well. The use of a small nymph may help to bring them closer.
The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Bigmouth Buffalo: