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Don_Morey

Buffalo Techniques

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I know many of you catch buffalo using carp techniques. Some say there are buffalo techniques unlike the techniques used for carp.

I would like to know what techniques are unique to buffalo vs carp, not what techniques are the same or similar. So please don't debate similar or different and try to stay on topic.

I have never caught a buffalo while targeting carp and I've been "Euro Carping" for 17yrs, so you may see how this perplexes me. (Why haven't I caught a buffalo while targeting carp).

BFS0078 is a good witness, he would land buffalo at his honey hole and I would be right there next to him, landing only carp.

Same thing happens to me at Emma, catfish, carp and no buffalo, in that order. :)

It's been stated by a fellow angler that carp run off the buffalo. I has crossed my mind that I can quickly bring in the teen-twenty# carp fairly quickly, greatly reducing my chances of catching buffalo.

But I'm hoping there is more light to this subject.

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Please tell us how to only catch carp, the buffalo are a curse. I find buffs push out carp.

I catch them on small particles and sweet fruit flavors (banana seems best) but I also get them on 20mm boilies.

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Please tell us how to only catch carp, the buffalo are a curse. I find buffs push out carp.

I catch them on small particles and sweet fruit flavors (banana seems best) but I also get them on 20mm boilies.

I seem to have the reverse curse. Guess it just happens that way sometimes.

So for you sweet fruit flavors (banana) you wouldn't use for carp? I ask because I'm looking for techniques unlike what you do for carp fishing.

I guess you mean you are more likely to catch the buffs on those but still use them for carp?

If buff are your curses should I suppose you do target buffalo, that they are your incidental catch?

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I fish for carp, I happen upon buffs. They move in shoals and overrun a swim.

Small particles and strong sweet flavors is my tactic if I were to target them, but I don't. A buoyant plastic barely popped up should do the trick.

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Guest phonebush

Don,

I just bet you use a longer hooklink (hooklength) or longer hair. Indeed you should "foul hook" a buff, if they are in front of you, from time to time. I'd say the two species are about equally aggresive.

To catch a buff on purpose use a VERY small very very sweet bait. No, that's not sweet enough. Use a short coupling and small rig (#8 or #10 hook) Equally a bait that sloughs of and keeps buffs entertained is helpful. Few anglers can participate and "hook" a buff. Mostly they hook themselves whilst fiddling with your carp baits. To intentionally hook a buff is another disipline than Euro angling and obviously another thread.

The TX guys may be able to tell you if, from now til late fall, you need to use a pop-up. Bottom structure is a factor.

If it's not the overall length of your rig (weight to hair length) I'm afraid you may just be a "carp fisherman" - not multiple species.

Phone

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You make some good points. If it was sweeter than I thought, then I will have to locate a chemist, and I know of one on our TFF board.

I have consulted with Jason J. and look forward to more to come from him.

As for rigs (yes mine are not short enough or properly balanced) for targeting buffalo. You are right, because I'm a carp angler.

(I got my baptism in Euro long ago, it's how I spell everything) but I can be open minded and explore again.

For years I've been lurking, provoking answers, getting "it" all together, weeding out the bs, to get to the roots. Sometimes I feel God is the master angler and he keeps me fully aware of that.

I feel I've been around long enough to understand what you say without you coming out and saying it. The buffalo anglers have gone further than the pop-up here, they are educated. Rigs are getting better too, but still lean toward being newer UK carpy-adaptations. Eventually better American rigs will be invented.

Texans may be at the start of something. They usually are.

But the brains are everywhere.

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Guest Noknot

So come on guys,

Spill the beans, what are the best rigs and baits to catch the Buffs? How do they feed compared to Common Carp and what type of areas should you look for to catch these beasts consitantly???

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The best Buff anglers in the USA are here in NC. Same guy that wone the B-ville event holds the World Record 88lbs small mouth Buff record, Tony Crawford. Southern Paylakers are just simply the best. :P Undissputable. :D Problem is, we make it look too easy. :)

Tom.

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Why not just ask Tony himself this Sept at the CCC. :) I'm sure he would be more than happy to show you both the rig and bait used to catch the World Record Buff. You can even see a replica of the fish at the lake. There are even Buff in the lake we will be fishing. :D

Tom.

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Guest phonebush

Mr. Big,

I believe Tony snagged (foul hooked) that fish in Santee Cooper SC.

Gefilta,

Your link is for bigmouth buffalo. Not that it matters much but the smallmouth buffalo dominate CAG conversation. A distinction should be made since, at least for me, they are fished quite differently. Bigmouth fall to an "Americanized zig-rig". They are mesmerized by bird fethers woven into the hooklength and mainline.

Noknot,

Just FYI. The three sub-species of buffalo fish, bigmouth, smallmouth and black, constitute the largest biomass of fishes in North America. They are ubiqutious in N. America. They are not easily taken by angling. Certainly not on purpose as the specific target.

I'd say the most distinguishable difference for the angler is that smallmouth buffalo strip micro-organisms from plants. They feed in a verticle posture head down. They are bait wollowers and don't "strike". They do bolt when hooked on Euro equipment and kit. They've become quite popular "target" fish in Texas recently (5 yrs). I can't say for sure, because I'm not on the TX fishing fourm and haven't fished with the "TX BEST" personally yet. As an accomplished freeline buff fisherman I'd say you would have to shorten your Euro rig (2 - 3 inch hooklink with short hair); use very small boilies (8 - 10 mm) that are very very sweet. Also a boilie that "breaks down" or sloughs quickly would be an advantage. Still, you are just as likely to catch a carp as a buffalo using this setup.

Phone

Edited by phonebush

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There are people like Jason J. here in TX that target "only" buffalo and catch them on purpose while not persuing carp. Does he catch carp too? Not sure.

Yes, buffalo have become quite popular "target" fish in Texas recently (5 yrs). Not sure who "the best" is yet, but I believe it's a guy from Houston who never posts on forums. Some guys went fishing with him at Emma and took many pictures that they posted on TFF. I don't think he was using "Euro" tackle either.

I can't speak for anyone else but the fishing has been much tougher for me this year in TX,many long sessions and not much to show for it. It seems to have been raining much more this year than the last two years also. I'm sun cooked and tired of lugging rear.

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Guest phonebush

Don,

Between the lines, it looks like what's missing from your efforts is a really good fishing buddy. I mean that guy that will stick with you through thick and thin. Chin up my friend. Sometimes we forget fishing is the journey - not the destination.

Phone

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Nope, I got one of them too.

He fried with me for 13 hrs. yesterday (Bubba you rock!)~ we both blanked, not a single run.

It was a fun session, but I greatly appreciate the airconditioning I'm in now. "Yankee transplant"lol

Looking at weather patters now on Weather Bug and I may start trying some sessions between the hours of 1AM-7/8AM.

Phone: What tackle are you using for buffs?

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Mr. Big,

I believe Tony snagged (foul hooked) that fish in Santee Cooper SC.

Phone

I'm looking forward in your telling Tony that this Sept at the CCC. Please, make sure I'm present when you do. :P I'll even do the favor of calling 911 ahead of time. :):D

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Guest phonebush

Mr. Big,

Sometimes I get confused. Perhaps that was the buff that was caught on a trot line in VA.

Phone

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Mr. Big,

Sometimes I get confused. Perhaps that was the buff that was caught on a trot line in VA.

Phone

Legally catching a new world record is no small thing. While many things can be blown off, this isnt one of them. Please take care because your words do mean things. :)

Not to mention this guy has thrown out the red carpet for CAG. :D

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Guest phonebush

Don,

No one should have to use what I use. But I use it because I want to. My PB smallmouth buff (around 40 - 45 lb in the late 1970's [suspect marina scales]) was taken on a 9 ft Fenwick e-glass steelhead rod. Extremely soft or slow tip. I use Zebco 33 reels and I believe that is what I had on that day. It could have been a Abumatic 1270. I don't remember for sure. I've since used UglyStik Tigers but now (last year) switched to UglyStik 8'6" MH and Zebco Optima reels. I use 12 - 15 lb mono - the more stretch the better. I'm going back to 7 ft. ML UglyStik pretty darn soon. I can't cast that far anyway - I'll continue to use Zebco's.

Here's how to catch a buff - I PROMISE!! - I'll give it up.

First, as a rookie, you have to select a very calm day. Now put a tiny piece (ball) of your favorite bait (the one you have confidence in) on a #8, #6, #4 hook with the point exposed. (I honestly believe you could use a hair but I never have) While I'm talking hooks, be sure it is tied so the point is turned away from you when you cast. Be sure it is sticky sharp, Be sure the point points slightly away from the shank. If you crush the barb you can do it then, otherwise make a special effort. I never buff fish with a hook with a turned in eye. Use either a straight eye or an eye that goes away from the shank. It goes without saying I'm not in favor of circle hooks. Now, there may be one problem with carp hooks. I use wire hooks. I'm not sure if you can crush the barb or angle the point of a forged carp hook without damage. You would have to decide or someone else can answer. I just don't know.

Ok, you've been to the convience store and bought a bag of ice. The kind with a hole down the center. How far do you want to cast to your buffs. Put as many ice cubes on the main line as you will need for weight. Now tie on your hook. Add bait - - - and if you insist you can "overlay" a ping-pong ball size packbait or particle bait. It won't help but may make you feel better. I might also add, if the bottom is such that you are more confident in a pop-up that's ok too. Just define your hooklength with a small splitshot.

Now is the hard part. You can only catch buffs on purpose on the "bump". Tighten your line until you have about a 30 degree sloop. But be ready - the first wallow may come as the bait is dropping (remember, the ice is melting). A "strike" is when the line quivers in the water like you put your electric razor under a bowl of Jello. Throw a Texas Whip hookset - re-bait - repeat.

Buff fishing when you know that they are present is like lure fishing. At first you're just guessing the hook is in their mouth and you will be nearly right maybe 30% of the time. Of the 30% half the time you will not feel anything, half you will feel the fish and of those where you feel the fish, you will catch half (although half of the half will be foul hooked). A "fair" catch in buff terms is in the face in front of the gill plate as well as in the mouth. I've buff fished for 40 years and I can't "exactly" tell yet when to strike with 100% confidence. I'm probably 1/4 better than you but that is just simply timing. You will soon be able to tell if the buff is going to actually pick-up the bait and either drop back or take away slightly. That is a bonus if they do that. A dropback is equal to a pull - set the hook! If you miss seeing that first investigation by the fish your in for a series of muscle jerking mental indecisions. They'll slowly pick - then drop just about the time you decide to throw a TX whip at them. Eventually they'll either get your bait, get tangled in the main line or you'll get tired of waiting. Here's what I do, I just set the hook (just in case) reel in - rebait and recast. Fun can turn to frustration. All difficulties are all multiplied by choppy water. If the water is too rough to line watch - then just carp fish.

Or, I guess you can rig up Euro/buff and hope. I don't know how to do that.

Phone

Edit: I missed telling you to "lock" your ice cubes in place with a stick or blob of packbait so it doesn't knock your hookbait off.

Edited by phonebush

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I started fishing for buffalo in nc and sc long before targeting carp. Do I catch carp targeting buffalo? Of course I do since they are both in the sucker family even though they are distant relatives. Do I catch buffs when targeting carp? Yes I sure do but I catch more of whichever I target 90% of the time. I do use the same rig for both with the only exception being I use smaller weights for buffalo unless I'm fishing a current or further than 100 yards. I use a number 6 wide bend by eagle claw. I've tried every hook imaginable and to catch a buffalo intentionally I have found no better. I do occassionally go up or down one size. I always use a 4 inch hook leader attached to a barrel swivel and a sliding sinker for both carp and buffalo unless I fish a heavy current and will occasionally use a bolt rig. In calm waters I use an 1/8 oz egg sinker or 1/4 oz. In wind I go to a 3/8 oz and occasionally a 1/2 but if it's that windy the buffalo catch themselves instead of me jerking on the bite. Yes those are small weights but very effective for being able to see every bite and allows your jerk to move the hook as quickly as possible. This is especially important if you are wanting to catch them instead of them catching themselves. I've caught some nice buffalo (I prefer smallmouth since they are the bigger of the 3 buffalo and tend to eat baits you could or would use for carp more so than the big mouth and black buffalo) in my years of fishing. My top 3 are 80.1, 72.6, and 70.1. I couldn't begin to count the number of 50s and 60s. All these came from the wild waters of the Carolinas. Of course I've caught a ton in paylakes as well but they do not survive long in paylakes once they exceed the 45 lb mark. Most paylakes tend to now stock them up to 40 ponds with the majority under 30. As far as baits in the wild waters mine rank from 1st to last as soybean meal, grits or ground corn, and bread but in catfish plenty waters bread is hopeless. The catfish eat the other 2 I mentioned but bread even more so. I use mainly pack bait unless I'm in turbid waters. I generally use corn puffs cut in half with anise oil, cinnamon oil, or spearmint. The half puff goes on the hook and the pack bait goes around it. As far as flavors for my packbait you honestly do not need any in the wild. I catch as many on plain as I do on strong scents. I always hear others say buffs like fermented bait best but I have not found this to be true. I tend to catch more catfish when my bait ferments. I try to fish in the 12 to 18 ft range through spring and fall but close to 30 ft in summer and winter. Buffalo seem to suck on the bait until they feel tension. For that reason I fish a very slack line and will occasionally pick my rod up.and give it more slack to increase the hold time before setting the hook. I usually set the hook with a baseball type swing that sounds like a whip. Others use what's been called a slap jerk which I can do but I hook more with my altered baseball swing. You definitely can not be afraid to miss. If you are not missing more than you are hooking then you are not jerking enough. This is an old thread so I wont make it any longer than it already is but I hope I helped someone. Tight lines! JJ

To God be the glory!! 

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My local venue has common carp and SM buffs. They are caught on the same rigs, whether a hair rig or feeder cage setup. Recently, a friend fished there and caught 15 buffs to one carp. Later this year, it will be the reverse. Hard to separate them if they are both in the same place, IMHO. It was discovered that buffs are very light on the baits. Line movement is a straighten-tighten-slack without setting off an alarm. Rarely will one take off and set the alarm screaming. As a result, we set the hook when the line straightens. Our hookup rate went up tremendously. We don't care if it's a buff or carp, they are fun to catch and more funner to release to grow.😁

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