Angler Reels In 60-Pound Smallmouth Buffalo in Texas

Texas-based angler Austin Anderson makes a speciality of catching a species of fish that many people don’t even know exists: smallmouth buffalo. The underside-feeding species is a big carp-like fish that’s native to giant tributaries of the Mississippi River from Montana east to Pennsylvania and West Virginia, in addition to Gulf Slope drainages from Alabama to the Rio Grande. Anderson primarily targets buffalo in Texas’s reservoirs—and not too long ago caught one of many largest ones of his life, a 60-pound, 14-ounce behemoth.

Anderson runs CarpPro Texas Guide Service. He was fishing with David Graham and Josh Dolin, who traveled to Texas’s Lake Fork to focus on smallmouth buffalo beneath Anderson’s steering. Graham and Dolin have been recording footage for an online sequence that they plan to run on Amazon Prime. “Lake Fork is arguably the Nation’s prime bass fishing lake, however unbeknownst to many, it might be the nation’s prime lake for buffalo as effectively,” explains Graham. “Sadly, they’re a comparatively unknown species. Nonetheless, within the tight-knit ring of anglers who pursue a wide range of species, the buffalo is an actual treasure and a troublesome fish to grasp.”

Anderson acquired to the lake a number of days earlier than Graham and Dolin to arrange a campsite and “pre-bait” a bit of the lake with deer corn to attract the buffalo in. “I’ve been fishing for them for about 15 years,” says Anderson. “After I first discovered to fish for them, I simply noticed these giant fish within the water and wished to catch them. I used to be primarily a fly fisherman at the moment, however I discovered that bait fishing is much more efficient for them.”

On Anderson’s journeys, anglers keep on the lake in a single day, holding traces moist 24/7 whereas fishing a European carp-style hair rig with a corn-based bait. After Dolin and Graham acquired to the lake, they fished exhausting for 2 days with out a lot luck. However the fish simply weren’t biting. On March 5, the third day of the journey, partly due to excessive winds that made casting difficult, they thought of switching spots. Fortuitously, they didn’t.

The Fishing Took a Sudden Flip for the Higher

man with beard holds large smallmouth buffalo
Dolin acquired in on the motion with this torpedo of a fish. David Graham

“Simply as I used to be taking my tent down, one of many rods went off and we caught one,” says Anderson. “After that, it was simply madness. It was fish after fish after fish. It was in contrast to something I’ve ever seen earlier than.” All through the day, the buffalo stored getting greater and greater. Ultimately, Graham caught a 52-pounder, which the anglers thought was prone to go down as the largest fish of the journey.

man holds smallmouth buffalo
Graham’s smallmouth buffalo weighed a strong 52 kilos. David Graham

Anderson usually doesn’t fish throughout his guiding journeys, however since Graham and Dolin have been producing video content material, he labored into the rotation—and attached with a brute later that afternoon, whereas Graham manned the digicam. “I lifted into this factor, and it was identical to hitting a brick wall,” Anderson says. “You suppose you’re snagged, but it surely’s shifting. It’s in contrast to the rest in freshwater—they only pull so exhausting.”

Anderson was utilizing a 12-foot rod outfitted with a surf-fishing type reel spooled with 40-pound braid. After a 10-minute combat, he introduced the buffalo to shore. The fish weighed 60 kilos and 14 ounces and was over 40 inches lengthy. Anderson says it’s the most important buffalo he’d caught in a decade and the second-largest he’s ever landed. He caught his private finest, a 63-pound 12-ouncer, in 2012.

man holds smallmouth buffalo
Smallmouth buffalo are present in most giant rivers and reservoirs in Texas. David Graham

“I assumed it was an enormous one, however I had no concept it will be a 60 pounder till I noticed it in my web,” he says. “I used to be completely speechless.” The trio continued fishing for the remainder of the day however needed to head out early the subsequent day as a result of the climate acquired nasty. Regardless, they went house having crossed paths with a powerful specimen, even when it’s one which isn’t broadly pursued.

Learn Subsequent: Angler Catches a New Record Paddlefish in Missouri

“I believe lots of people don’t know you can catch smallmouth buffalo, or that they combat so exhausting,” says Anderson. “You realize, there are individuals zooming by on bass boats all day at Lake Fork, which is an incredible bass fishing lake, and the 5 largest fish that they catch in a day couldn’t even contact the load of 1 fish that I’m fishing for.”

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