Buffalo Carp Fishing

Buffalo fish and Carp fish are not the same. Those who didn’t know it will be surprised, no doubt. But the fact remains they are not the same. Actually, they have vast differences. However, from a laypersons’ view, when they are angling a buffalo fish, they are basically investing themselves into buffalo carp fishing. Even the anglers, the experienced ones, go with the flow and continue considering buffalo fishes, both Big and Smallmouth ones as buffalo carp. The reason is simple; it is going for too long, so hard to stay true to the real name. All have exerted buffalo carp as an alternative name of buffalo fish.

Buffalo Carp Fishing
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Buffalo Fish Being Buffalo Carp

The buffalo fish, considered as one kind of carp, has legit reasons behind it. Both the buffalo and carp share the same order, which is Cypriniformes. Hence, many categorizing buffalo fishes as one kind of carp is not so wrong, especially when everyone is used to it. Didn’t we have all said every fish looks the same? Like, who even cares about how a fish looks? Yes, we caught you. Quite frankly, whom we are even kidding with because most of us have said this once at least. Therefore, do not get those wrong who call it a buffalo carp or doubt their knowledge because buffalo fishes look pretty similar to carp fishes.


Buffalo fish are North American native fish. North Americans are familiar with it from the very start. Whereas carp fishes are native to the Asian continent. Then it got it well deserved respect as both a game fish and meat in Europe. A few decades ago, carp fishes were finally introduced to the United States, including North America, and distributed throughout the region.

Even though from two different continents, carp fishes have somehow trespassed and invaded pretty severely. No wonder carp fishes are known to be dominating and intimidate other fishes. So much so that the robust, long-living, massive fish species like Buffalo fish live under the shadow of a ‘carpy’ name. These are considered as one of the many kind carps.

Clearing The Misconception Once And For All

Those of you who are still confused about whether buffalo fishes and buffalo carps are the same fish or not, then chuck all the doubt as they are the same. To make things more clear for you, we are further going to talk about the similarities. After a glance at it, you will understand why they are considered the same, even though they are not. And if they are not, how to differentiate and recognize a buffalo fish.

Point #1 – Looks

If it is a big mouth buffalo fish, it will mostly be brown, with a dash of olive. It will have a long, dusky dorsal fin.

The smallmouth buffalo could be of varied color. It could be silverish, grey, brown, pale yellow, coppery green to something very different. However, the dorsal fin will be there.

Frankly, carps also have the same long dorsal fin and suckerlike mouth, so you need to be a very experienced angler to understand whether the hooked fish is buffalo or carp. Now you know why it’s buffalo carp.

Point #2 – Same Story Different Fishes

You can call these fishes underdogs. Both, for some reason, have the same sad story and rising from ashes kind of vibe. Buffalo is native to North America, yet it is one of those fishes that are considered pretty much worthless. They were not angler’s favorite and were inedible. Isn’t it ringing a bell for you? Yes, because history is the same for carp fishes. Even though beautiful, massive, and were found in abundance, carp fishes were not considered worth angling or edible. These fish stink, so all the more reasons not to angle them. None eats a smelly fish. But now both buffalo and carp fish dishes are available in posh restaurants.

Point #3 – Fierce

Buffalo fishes are huge, can be over 100 pounds, are fierce, and put up a tough fight when hooked, yet anglers are not interested in angling them. Same with carp fishes. These are fierce, basically brute. Yet for a long time, kept at the bottom in the list of game fishes. It’s only now that the carp fishes are being considered as one the top most fierce gamefish. And are high in demand among the anglers. Anglers are angling the buffalo carps for reasons alike.

Point #4 – Body Structure

The body structure of both the fishes is very similar. Common carps, particularly, have the same form as a buffalo fish.

Point #5 – Bottomfeeders, Not Well Revered

Both the fish are bottom feeders. Not just that they will eat everything that gets into their mouth. Though buffalo fishes are not as omnivorous and despised as fishes, just like carp fishes, their eating habits and how they are treated are close.

So, other than a close look, it is hard to differentiate both the fishes. Due to that, many tend to put them into the same fish category mistakenly. And it has become a tag.

Where To Find Buffalo Carp

It is a freshwater fish. Therefore, it will be everywhere in the freshwater water bodies like lakes, ponds, rivers, dams in North America. Actually, all around the USA.

Best Bait For Buffalo Carp

Buffalo carp loves minnow as bait. No matter if it’s alive or just a replica. As getting live baits is not too convenient, we prefer baiting a buffalo carp with a replica minnow. If you somehow managed live minnow or live baits, then the chances of luring the buffalo fishes sooner get high. You can get a few buffalo fishes in a single day through proper luring. Insects, worms, maggots, algae, or simply live minnow, these are the best bait for carp fishing.

Easy Steps To Fishing Buffalo Carp

Buffalo carps are enormous in size. Even the smallmouth ones. And they will put up a tough fight, just like any gamefish does. So, there is no alternative to a long sturdy fishing rod.

Now, just set up the mainline rod after attaching the hook and sinker to the line. Keep in mind that these fishes mostly live in the bottom, so the bait must reach the bottom, not bottom per se but deep in water. Hence the sinker.

Attach the weight right above the fish hook and get the end of the line through the loops. And then the reel. Wrap it, tighten it, mainly get the fishing rod ready for cast in. But before that, hook the bait. You are prepared to cast in and wait for the buffalo carp to get lured by it and hooked.

Please make sure you are well-prepared. Otherwise, you might fail due to the force the buffalo carp will put into saving itself. The huge size will be another hurdle for you to tackle. Apply all your might and techniques you know to get this fierce carp fish under your control.

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