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Home > Learn to Fish & Boat > Fish Species
> Smallmouth Buffalo
In many states where the smallmouth buffalo is found, it is ranked as one of the most important commercial freshwater species.
This species resembles its large relative, the bigmouth buffalo (largest of the sucker family), closely in most respects, but can be distinguished by a number of factors. It is generally lighter in color than other buffalos, having an olive-bronze cast. The body of the smallmouth buffalo is also somewhat more compressed with a higher arch in the back, and its small, subterminal mouth is horizontally orientated instead of slanted like the mouth of the bigmouth buffalo. However, when feeding, the smallmouth buffalo’s mouth protracts downward in typical sucker-like fashion.
The smallmouth buffalo is the second in size in the sucker family and is found in the Lake Eerie, Ohio, and Mississippi drainages from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The smallmouth buffalo has also been introduced very successfully into Arizona and California. The following list includes additional details on where to catch this fish:
A bottom feeding fish, this species will feed on insect larvae, algae, detritus and other bottom forage. They can be taken by anglers by using nightcrawlers, dough balls, cut bait and can often be caught with fly fishing tackle. This species will put up an exceptional fight and is known to be excellent table fare. The meat has a delicate firmness and is known to be an even better eating fish than the bigmouth buffalo. The following are fishing methods used to catch this fish:
The following are lures, tackle or bait that can be used to catch this fish:
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