Smallmouth Buffalo

Smallmouth buffalos are bottom-dwelling fish that can be found from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada. They live in the drainages of the Mississippi River, Ohio River, and Lake Erie. Anglers often catch these fish using several techniques, including bait casting, drift fishing, fly fishing, spin casting, and still fishing.

Smallmouth Buffalo

Region: West, Midwest, South
Habitat: Lake, Pond, River

How to identify Smallmouth Buffalo

Smallmouth buffalos look similar to the largest species of the sucker family, known as the largemouth buffalo. They do, however, have a few features that set them apart from largemouths, such as their dark green-bronze coloring and a flatter body. Smallmouths have horizontal mouths rather than the slanted mouths of the largemouth. They feed with a downward protraction of their mouths, which is typical of suckers.

Where to catch Smallmouth Buffalo

Smallmouth buffalos can be found in the Gulf of Mexico up to Canada in the drainages of Mississippi, Ohio, and Lake Erie. Introductions have been made in California and Arizona. These fish prefer fast-paced streams, though they can also be found in ponds and lakes with a lot of vegetation.

Range: West, Midwest, South
Smallmouth Buffalo Fishing Map

The following are habitats where you can catch Smallmouth Buffalo:

How to catch Smallmouth Buffalo

The smallmouth buffalo is a bottom-feeding fish. Anglers catch smallmouths using fly-fishing tackle with bait. Some anglers swear by spicy baits, such as chili peppers or baits dipped in hot sauce. When fishing for smallmouth, it is advised to set the hook, which means the rod should be closely monitored. These fish generally won’t strike immediately and will instead nibble at the food. It can take a bit of practice to learn the appropriate timing for setting the hook with these fish. The best methods for catching them include bait casting, drift fishing, fly fishing, spin casting, and still fishing.

The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Smallmouth Buffalo:

Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Smallmouth Buffalo

When fishing for smallmouth buffalos, most anglers opt for bait, such as corn, nightcrawlers, or dough balls, though some people swear by spicy bait, such as chili peppers.

The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Smallmouth Buffalo: