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Monday, October 23, 2017

Tips for Catching Small-Mouth Buffalo

Where I live, it's fairly rare to catch a small-mouth buffalo. Although Lake Erie does have a population of the fish, we haven't been able to catch them with regularity like we have carp and catfish, so when one shows up in the net it's always a treat.

A recent small-mouth buffalo I caught
In this post I'd like to share some tips that I have learned that I feel help increase the odds of catching them.

How to catch more small-mouth buffalo
  • Target bodies of water with confirmed populations of fish.
  • Use baits with "hot" characteristics such as chili powder, hot pepper, hot sauce, etc.
  • Make some boilies from habernero, jalapeno or serrano peppers.
  • Watch your rods closely.
  • Let me repeat....watch your rods closely.
  • Buffalo bite very, very lightly on the bait, so you have to detect bites when they occur.
  • Buffalo very seldom ever take a bait and run with it, so you usually have to "set the hook".
  • Buffalo sometimes "mouth" a bait for 10, 15 or even 30 minutes.
  • It may seem like a fish is "bumping" the pack bait, but in reality it may be a small-mouth buffalo "mouthing" the bait.
  • It's quite possible that the fish is hooked, but still sitting there content to "hold" the bait.
  • I feel the longer they hold it without a hook set, the more chances they will "leave" without being caught.
I don't usually grab the rod and set the hook with every little bump, but if I have watched for a while and notice the line tightening and loosening 2 or 3 times in a short period I try to pick up the rod and reel in some line. Most of the time I find a buffalo on the hook.

When I first started catching them it was quite accidental. I caught them in spite of myself. I've heard people say it's bad luck to watch the rods while bottom fishing for carp, but I'm someone who likes to watch my rods and I feel it's helped put more small-mouth buffalo in the net as a result.

My niche in carp fishing seems to be catching small-mouth buffalo. Some people catch a lot of mirrors. Some catch a lot of two-tones. I seem to catch a higher number of buffalo. And I'm not complaining. I will continue to experiment and find new ways to swing the odds in my favor while bank fishing.

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