Buffalo, Bigmouth Casey Shanaberger

Buffalo, Bigmouth
Grays Lake IA
Date Caught: 
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Caught on bread on the bottom
Strains, Subspecies, and Hybrids: 


andy's picture

Black buffalo maybe? Just looking at the fish on my phone, but it looks black-ish.

Casey Shanaberger's picture

I'm not sure what kind it was either. I felt the lips and they felt like a common carps. His coloration may have been blacker because of the clear water of the lake I was fishing also. I mentally crossed out black because I thought that the likelihood of catching my first buffalo would be a black. 

TonyS's picture

Pretty darn sure it isn't a SM Buff

Could be a Black 

Could be a Bigmouth with a weird mouth and the hook pulling it into a strange position, my soft lean is in that direction, based on me imagining what I think it would look like if the mouth was was closed. I would think the lips would pull up and back given the way it looks in the picture


Did you have any other pictures?  Ideally with the closed as well?





Casey Shanaberger's picture

Sadly I don't have any other pictures but I can tell you that the mouth was definitely pointed down. In the pictures on the SM buff page they had the smll hump above the mouth. I didn't see those on the BM page. 

Also, if it means anything, I caught this with a piece of bread on the bottom. 

Graceclaw's picture

Sure looks BM'y to me. Body shape, sheen on the scales, not convincing-enough lips. Head-body ratio. Nice catch dude! You're tearing it up recently.

Edit: Mouth location is giving me second, third, and fourth thoughts.

Outdoors4life's picture

Josh has a great eye for fish ID I would love to see his thoughts. 

My opinion and it is just an opinion with no counting or measurements of any sort. It looks like a Smallmouth with a funny mouth placement. Lips are too thin from what I see to be a black.  Def not a Bigmouth Buff.

Jknuth's picture

My gut says its a derpy bigmouth buff. 
It happens from time to time where bigmouth buffs get a more downward angled mouth. 
Its too small in my opinion to have the typical tubular body of a black. generally that trait develops past the 28" mark 
The lip thickness is way to thin as well.  Its mouth is way too big for a smallmouth and the body proportions rule that out. 
Gary got a very similar looking bigmouth buffalo last year.
Its important to disregard the word black in black buffalo, they are no more black than the other 3 we have in the US. in fact coloration for all three is nearly identicle. As for the bait bread has brought in many bigmouth buffalo. 

Ill share the pic of Gary's derpy bigmouth. 

Jknuth's picture

The smoother lips like you said "felt like a common carp" is also a tell that it is a bigmouth rather than a smallmouth or black. 

Casey Shanaberger's picture

Thank you sir! I believe you may be right after seeing that picture of the one caught by Gary. I'll change the the species over to bigmouth!

Outdoors4life's picture

I had it backwards from what Josh and I talked about. Derpy should be in the description! Thanks Josh.