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Thread: How to catch bigmouth and smallmouth buffalo?

  1. #1

    Default How to catch bigmouth and smallmouth buffalo?

    I've been planning to give carp a whirl this year, but also know a stream that has some good size buffalo in it. They seem to station themselves in flowing water. Any suggestions on flies and techniques? I'm reading that they filter feed, but I know that's not entirely true as I've caught them on jigs and worms when fishing "the other way." I was thinking of drifitng some midge nymphs under an indicator.

    Thoughts or suggestions?

  2. #2

    Thumbs up Re: How to catch bigmouth and smallmouth buffalo?

    First remember carp can be spooky. Like trout they will zip away or go lock jaw if something is out of place. Next think of what carp eat. Ya almost anything. Leach patters are prob the best. I'll be tring a crawfish pattern this spring up here. Big bugs or natrual color streamers also work. Next you need to find active carp. This past spring I seen a lot of carp that were more intrested in sunning then eating. The warmer days (depending on your area) can put carp more to feed. It all depends on what the weather is in the spring. The next thing is to add a strong sent to it. Sent can add that little zip that they'll bite. Use a bit bigger fly then for trout. A 3"-4" leach prob be your best bet. These are things that I will be doing for this spring.
    <*))))>< Fish with teeth ... If I ty it a fish will hit it

  3. #3

    Default Re: How to catch bigmouth and smallmouth buffalo?

    I can't speak for the fish in your neck of the woods, but the carp on the headwaters of the Missouri River have showm me these experiences over the past ten years of fishing for them. The fish move into the river system and hold in shallow riffles and slow moving water near the bank. The fish that I typically get to eat are the fish that you can physically see mudding. Their tails generally are sticking up out of the water and there heads are down rooting in the rocks to get their food. They leave a trail of mud behind them as they stir up the bottom. The fish that are sitting stationary will eat on occassion but not very often. Fortunately there are thousands of fish in the river so one only needs to walk a bit to find the fish that are mudding.

    Fly patterns that work well for me are usually nymphs, streamers or bonefish flies. I do have some luck catching them on the surface from time to time with Hoppers and cicada patterns. Nymph patterns that have produced on a regular basis include Red Fox Squirrel Nymphs # 8-10, Pat's Rubber Leg # 8, Prince Nymphs # 8, GR Hares Ear # 8-10. For streamers I generally do best on Crayfish type patterns. Clouser Crayfish work very well but so do buggers. The bonefish flies have been a huge hit with the carp as well. Gotcha's, Pink Puff's, Bonefish Sliders and a fly we tie called the white trash fly works well too. My opinion about the Bonefish flies is not that they are really eating them for anything specific but all the patterns are easy for the angler to see in the water we fish. We are sight fishing the fish and being able to see your fly and where it is drifting makes for better success. Most of the fish I catch I will see the fly drift into their mouth or near their head. They can be very finicky and knowing where your fly is increases the chances for hookups.

    My rod setup is a basic 7 wt rod with a floating line and a 7.5 foot 2X Tapered Leader. I don't use an indicator and I like to have the flies weighted rather than adding lead to the leader. Since I am fishing moving water I can usually get pretty close to the fish and the cast are short. I keep a pretty straight line and use a high stick approach most of the time, rather than mending and putting a lot of slack line on the water. This allows me to see my fly and see wether the fish took it or not.

    I don't know if your fish are in similar water type but if they are I have had a ton of success using this approach. Carp are finicky and challenging, but they can be a big reward when you land one. Good luck and have fun.


  4. #4

    Default Re: How to catch bigmouth and smallmouth buffalo?

    Thanks for the replies.

  5. Default Re: How to catch bigmouth and smallmouth buffalo?

    One thing to remember is that Bigmouth and Smallmouth Buffalo are members of the Sucker family and not Carp although you may find them in the same water types. I have caught most of my fish by drifting streamers or nymphs through likely looking lies and they are a challenge. Best producing colors for a nymph are brown and olive while in streamers it is white with an olive bronze back.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How to catch bigmouth and smallmouth buffalo?

    Sorry I'm late with my reply, darkcahill. When you say drift, do you mean in the way you'd drift a nymph for a trout? That's sort of what I'm thinking with the midges.

    What nymphs and streamers? I have all the basic hare's ears, pheasant tails, princes, etc. Most of the basic streamers as well.

  7. Default Re: How to catch bigmouth and smallmouth buffalo?

    Dead drifting nymphs is a deadly technique for these fish. Same drift as when you are trout fishing. As for streamers I use the same style of drift that the Atlantic Salmon fishermen use. Quater the cast up stream and let the current drag the fly down stream and then I retrieve. Works like crazy.

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