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macgruber

buffalo tactics

37 posts in this topic

i took a trip to portland this last weekend and on the plane sat next to a gentleman who has been itching to target buffalo..... he was intrigued that i'd picked up a few on and near the mississippi over the last few springs, and wanted to come up from D.C. and try for them..... i had to warn him that while i had caught a few, i had no idea how to specifically target buffalo-- i've just caught them drifting nymphs to carp.......

so i figured this would be the best place to pick up tips, as i'm sure all of you are much more experienced in this department..... so are there any tips, tactics, etc. that work for buffalo, or would give you a better shot at nailing one? what type of water do you fish, what type of bait/flies/etc?

thanks so much....

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I would think smallmouth and bigmouth buffalo behave similarly, though my only experience is with bigmouth buffalo.

Scouting is definitely in order. You need to find where the fish lie before getting a line wet. They will move frequently so you need to know where there haunts are and where they migrate to.

The best success I've had with buffalo were sightfishing them. Not in so much as I watched them take the fly like many do for carp, but that you spot where they are lying in a stretch of water and drift a fly right over them. The fish I have found in this manner will usually take a fly quite willingly, especially on the first or second drift.

I typically will find them in slightly faster water than carp, and behind riffles. In early/late season, I will find them mixed in carp. You can also find them clooping in the shallows and in clam water areas during the summer, but I wouldn't waste your time. I've found that these fish aren't real interested in taking a fly when they are clooping, unlike a carp.

You can take buffalo on carp flies, but I typically fish smaller nymphs around size 8-12. Trout nymphs will work, but they are typically tied on lighter hooks. I tie on, at minimum, 2X strong hooks. I have some effective patterns listed on my blog, like my X Factor nymph, antron nymph, and buffalo soljah.

good luck!

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I would just drive around and hit one with the prop like I did. it was a ten pounder.

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I would just drive around and hit one with the prop like I did. it was a ten pounder.

come on now mad

why would you suggest such a thing? confusedfrown

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i know it sounds like a strange request, but this guy was as avid a fisherman as i've ever encountered..... it sounded like he'd caught just about every species of game fish in the country, and many out of the country..... said he made it his goal about twenty years ago to catch a fish in all fifty states, and he's accomplished that..... one of the species he hasn't caught was buffalo, and he wanted to find a spot he could try for one.... i told him down by the mississippi i'd caught a couple on the fly, and he was honestly contemplating a trip up here from D.C. to try for them..... pretty cool if ya ask me....

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Yeah definitely a cool challenge. I maintain a species photo lifelist. I also have another one I maintain for fly caught fish. Keeps it exciting, especially in the river. You never know if the next caught fish will be a new lifelist addition.

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MacGruber If you have his email or contact info feel free to send him my email I have spots that I go and target them specifically and hold it a tight lipped secret but to a guy who would make that trip I would bring him there.

Aaron Bye

Aaronbye81@msn.com

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I catch a lot of them on the MN river. I also have shot lots of them in the cannon river system.

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I went fishing last weekend and ran into some buffalo. I won’t go into to much detail but I think this well be helpful.

I was fishing below a dam. Around 50-70 feet down stream of the dam the water was deflecting off the bottom and hitting the surface. I started off throwing a 1/32 oz jig looking for Perch. I would throw out the jig let it set on the bottom. Then I would slowly reel in line just keeping the line tight. I would jiggle it and hop it once in a while.

Where the water was deflecting off the bottom (I’ll call it the boil) it was moving around up and down the stream in about a 30-40 foot area. When the boil would make it down stream to the furthest point I would throw my jig into it and I would feel fish hitting my line (not the hook). If the Boil wasn’t in the area I wouldn’t ever feel the fish being lined But when the Boil was over my line, well sometimes my jig would come back with a scale on it and I almost always felt fish.

So I think the fish were letting the deflected currant go over them and were picking off what ever was dislodged from the bottom. Moving with the Boil all the time.

Just something to keep in mind.

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I thought this one was a big walleye:

bigbuffalo.jpg

Most would've been disappointed that it wasn't...not me smile

Like ec30_06 said, we catch a lot of them in the spring and fall fishing for walleyes on the MN river. In some spots they are super thick.

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Like 9 wt said; smile Nice smallmouth.

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I had to come back. It is a nice fish but that slick near your left shoulder is very distracting.

Open water is almost to the Hwy 99 bridge in St Peter.

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smile

The big walleyes and cats like that slick too wink

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ive had great sucess bow fishing them me and my buddies usually get 20 to 30+ fish a day..

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Quote:
ive had great sucess bow fishing them me and my buddies usually get 20 to 30+ fish a day..

What do you do with them? Eat them? I hear they are good eating. The best of the rough fish I hear.

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we will usually buerry the big ones over 20" and keep the smaller ones to eat.. but its rare to get a good eating fish under 18", most are 25 to 36"

sick

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they make good fertilizer for the garden.

So are walleye!

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Oh oh walleye in the garden I can only imagine where this can go

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nothing better for the tomatoes than buried walleye. I prefer bass for my cucumbers and flowers though. I let my buffs go. In fact stillwateraaron, a fellow rough fish enthusiast and I got into sm buff, carp, and two types of red horse yesterday. Between the three of us lots of fish brought to the boat, admired and released.

I would love to find some smaller bigmouth buffs in cleaner colder water for eating. I have given some of the smaller ones to other shore anglers in the past, but the water they came from doesn't make me want to put them on the table.

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IMG_0118.jpg

Buffscales.jpg

Walleyes have nothing over the buffs!

It is no different killing a walleye for fun than a buffalo!

I do enjoy fishing for any type of fish but I do not tolerate wanton waste. I am a catch and release guy because I do not enjoy eating fish often. I do smoke some and I will keep some of my suckers this year for the smoker!

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i think he means walleye guts right??? i hope so...

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i think he means walleye guts right??? i hope so...

Aaron's point is that throwing a buffalo in your garden is no different than throwing a walleye in there. Buffalo are native fish and do no harm to the ecosystem (i.e. they are not carp). Just because Minnesotans tend to worship the walleye and know relatively little of the buffalo doesn't mean that buffalo should be killed for no reason (and I am a bowfisherman!)

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