Buffalo, Bigmouth

<p>I FINALLY WENT FISHING TODAY!!&nbsp;</p> <p>Year after year the mini mite proves itself to be no fluke. Unfortunately, the area I find these buffalo was devastated by a horrific (and avoidable) fish kill about two or three years ago. What used to be a school of giants has now become swarms of little guys. Hopefully they will be allowed to grow into giants again one day. In the meantime, the little ones are just as susceptable to the mini mite as the adults were. Still a good share of them foul-hooked in the snout, I even had one that was hooked in the mouth but from the outside in. Perserverance pays off and I was able to score two fair hooked buffs today, after losing a few that were visually confirmed as fair but shook loose before I could land them. The smaller of the two had some of the darkest coloration I've yet seen - both have amazing color in their scales and I'm glad the photos captured it well!</p>
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Comments

Gunnar's picture

Can't wait to get up there this year. Was weird to see only small ones last year, but at least the numbers were still off the charts. 

 

Redhorse ID cheatsheets, gars, suckers: moxostoma.com


2020: 10 days fishing 11 species 0 lifers. 2019: 34/45/13 2018: 39/40/5

Graceclaw's picture

Glad to see you got out after some bigmouths! The small ones are such beauty-cuties! 

Gary's picture

It is nice to see them in the numbers that are there, but the situation that led to the change was really heartbreaking. A lot of fish suffered and died that didn't have to. Not anything on the scale of what's happening down in Alabama with the Tyson plant dump into the Warrior, but still hard to have to witness. 

 

I think buffalo have some of the truly most amazing scale coloration of any freshwater fish when you really take the time to look at them. All bronze and black and blue, there's nothing quite like the really dark ones. 

And by the way, rubber nets are the bomb. Absolutely love how fish don't get shredded and you never get your hook snarled in them. Wish I would have started using them years ago already...

Do not meddle in the affairs of BAGMAN, for thou art crunchy and good with Old Bay seasoning...

 

andy's picture

Awesome catches Gary!  The dark one is especially beautiful.

Gary's picture

Thanks man, quality over quantity this year. My time is coming... June 23 starts my week vacation! I'll make a run all the way up the board into the teens! LOL

Do not meddle in the affairs of BAGMAN, for thou art crunchy and good with Old Bay seasoning...

 

Graceclaw's picture

I have long been a proponent of rubber nets, but mine recently got a large hole and I am having trouble keeping it fixed

Gary's picture

Have you tried using zip ties to close the hole? Just make sure that when you clip the tag, you don't leave a sharp edge that could hurt you or the fish. 

Do not meddle in the affairs of BAGMAN, for thou art crunchy and good with Old Bay seasoning...

 

Gunnar's picture

It was brutal. We made our first trip up there that year and it was not a pretty sight. 

 

Redhorse ID cheatsheets, gars, suckers: moxostoma.com


2020: 10 days fishing 11 species 0 lifers. 2019: 34/45/13 2018: 39/40/5

Gary's picture

The worst part is that it was avoidable, but the powers that be that were working on the project didn't give a damn about the fish that were there. They could have opened up the dam and provided flow in the 100 degree heat over the weekend that work was not being done, but just left it off out of complete disregard for all the animals that lived there. It wasn't just buffalo, either. Huge pike, muskies, crappies, walleyes, hell you name them, they were in there. A travesty that no one will ever be held accountable for. Still makes my blood burn thinking about it. 

Do not meddle in the affairs of BAGMAN, for thou art crunchy and good with Old Bay seasoning...

 

Peeling Line's picture

Great catches, really nice coloration on them.  I am going to try your technique to catch them.  Never used those mini mites before.

Gary's picture

Mini mites are like some sort of secret weapon. Fish that don't normally hit jigs crush them. Fish that do hit jigs can't resist them. The challenge comes in landing large fish on them, because the hook is small. It's nice to be able to target buffs without being at the mercy of perfect fly fishing conditions when they are clooping at the surface. 

Do not meddle in the affairs of BAGMAN, for thou art crunchy and good with Old Bay seasoning...

 

Peeling Line's picture

That's cool.  What line do you use with them?  

Gary's picture

My setup is a medium action pole rigged with 10lb braid with a 6lb flouro leader. If I want a less visible approach I will use a double uni knot to tie the lines together instead of a swivel. The leader is usually a foot long. It's pretty much what I use no matter what I'm fishing for, as it's invisible enough to not spook smaller fish but strong enough to battle larger fish. Rarely I will use a different pole scaled up or down for tiny fish or for hunting giants, but 90% of the time it's the same rod with the same setup, and I just adjust the drag on the fly for whatever I'm fighting. 

Do not meddle in the affairs of BAGMAN, for thou art crunchy and good with Old Bay seasoning...

 

Goldenfishberg's picture

awesome buff action dude! It’s a damn shame a lot of them big old adults had to die but looks like you made the most of it! Superb photos as always man buffalo are rad!

Ya just Can't catch um from the couch.

Carp Chaser's picture

Great catches Gary and I agree the colors on buffalo are amazing. The majority of people just don't take the time to look at and appreciate the details with things like that.

"There's always a bigger fish"