Fishing For Buffalo

by Herb S.
(Southwest Michigan)

Now that carp rods are being listed on TenkaraBum I thought perhaps the following book might be of some interest to carp anglers and life-listers (definitely NOT micro!):

"Fishing for Buffalo: A Guide to the Pursuit, Lore and Cuisine of Buffalo, Carp, Mooneye, Gar and Other "Rough Fish" by Buffler and Dickson.

I have had the 1990 edition for several years and I see it's been reprinted and available from the University of Minnesota Press, Amazon and no doubt other vendors. This is an excellent book about the habits, ranges, diets, etc. of many species most of us have never heard of. It's not about fixed line fishing but it's valuable information nonetheless. I highly recommend it.

Comments for Fishing For Buffalo

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Sep 23, 2016
Just bought it!
by: Chris Stewart


I just bought it (from Amazon) in addition to American Coarse Angling. I started reading the American Coarse Angling first, so haven't started on Fishing for Buffalo yet. I think both books will prove to be quite valuable for anyone interested in fishing for anything other than game fish or micros.

I suspect most keiryu rods other than the ZPRO rods should be sufficient for most of the fish other than carp and buffalo (and some of the larger catfish and sturgeon).

It seems everytime I turn around I discover more fishing opportunities than I even thought of before.

Sep 23, 2016
Add Freshwater Drum ("Gasper gou") to the list
by: John Evans

My wife has caught several freshwater drum ("Gasper gou", sometimes spelled "Gasper goo") on a medium-weight tenkara rod at Pedernales Falls State Park in the Texas Hill Country. It was great fun and quite a struggle! I think they would fit into the "coarse angling" or rough fish category. They hug the bottom and put up a terrific fight.

Sep 23, 2016
They're in there
by: Chris Stewart

There is a whole chapter in Fishing for Buffalo devoted to freshwater drum.

Sep 24, 2016
Yup, Freshwater Drum are in the book
by: Herb S.

Not only are they great fighters they're also related to the saltwater members of the drum family - sea trout, redfish, black drum - and are just as good eating according to the book. Quite a few years ago a friend and I were pitching hardware off the South Haven breakwater on Lake Michigan and a couple of kids were catching freshwater drum on worms. Nobody knew what the fish were until some local "expert" said they were sheepshead and no good to eat. Well, the authors of Fishing For Buffalo talk about the many misconceptions about the three dozen or so rough fish in the book, including recipes.

Happy Reading!

Sep 24, 2016
A little more on Freshwater Drum
by: John Evans

I ordered a copy of the book. Sounds interesting! As I recall, my wife had dangled a nightcrawler off of a beadheaded nymph and was just bouncing the bait along the bottom, when the gasper gou struck. The fish was really too big for her tenkara rod, so it made an interesting stalemate. Robin just sat there with a nice bend in the rod, while the drum stayed right on the bottom. Eventually he got tired enough to surface, and she just scooped him up in her hand. As I said, great fun! It was like she was hung on a stump.

Sep 26, 2016
by: Chris Stewart

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Sep 27, 2016
Fishing for Buffalo
by: Tony Schollmeier

A great book for sure, very high overview American coarse fishing and upper-midwest focused but it remains a solid choice. Keiryu rods work great on many species assuming 5x is enough and they can handle the weight of the shot.

Some spots I run 1 or 2 SSG size shot (for drifting fast and deep runs) and too soft of a tip will feel mushy under the load. For heavy shot or heavy tippet Carp rods a decent option, generally I prefer them for Carp, Buffalo, and Catfish.

The biggest Redhorse are great for carp tackle too (most Redhorse are perfect for Keiryu tackle). Bowfin are carp tackle fish in my mind too, if only due to how dang hard it is to jab a hook in those bony jaws and then wrestle them out the snag infested swamps they often call home.

Quillback may be the ultimate Keiryu tackle fish in my neighborhood though, the vast majority of the Quillback I've caught have been landed on keiryu tackle and truly believe it is the most practical presentation for them when they are grazing on shallow flats

Sep 27, 2016
Two SSG shot?!
by: Chris Stewart

Wow. The most weight I have used to date is just 2 BB shot, which together weigh just half of one SSG shot! I am sure you are right about most keiryu rods having tips that are too soft for that weight. For that much weight, I would definitely stick with a carp rod or the Suntech FMX Keiryu extra stiff, which is right up in carp rod territory.

Sep 28, 2016
by: Tony Schollmeier

I'd bet most my fishing is done with BB, AB, and AAA but some of the high gradient runs I fish those aren't even worth shot for anything except SM Bass which will grab baits higher in the water. But when that won't do they I bust out the heavy stuff, especially true fast water loving bottom feeding species.

Mind you I'm typically shooting for steady bottom tapping drifts through gravel runs (Redhorse particularly). Which is definitely a different requirement than what I use with trout, bass, or mooneye.

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