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Bigmouth Buffalo (Ictiobus cyprinellus)


The Bigmouth Buffalo or Ictiobus cyprinellus have many different names including Gourdhead, Redmouth Buffalo, Buffalo Fish Roundhead, Common Buffalo and Brown Buffalo. These fish are commonly found in many places in North America including place like Iowa, Texas, and Alabama.

This freshwater fish varies in color from bluish green to a bluish grey. It has a large head with thin lips. The Bigmouth Buffalo looks very similar to the Smallmouth Buffalo. You can tell the difference between the two though by their mouths. The Bigmouth Buffalo's mouth face straight out, while the Smallmouth Buffalo is always facing downwards, like most other suckers.
The Bigmouth Buffalo is the largest of all the different Buffalo Fish and can reach lengths of over 4', weighing in at almost 75lbs! Their large size make them a fun fish to catch, but a lot of anglers consider the meat of a Bigmouth Buffalo a bit bony, much like the Northern Pike. If you can get past the bones though the meat of this fish is quite tasty.

They are often caught in shallow standing water such as lakes, marshes and even the backwaters of rivers. These fish normally start spawning after the water temperatures reach 60 degrees F. They are group spawners that form large schools over grasses in shallow water only 2-3' deep. During this time these monsters are very vulnerable to spearing.

If you have any recipes or angling techniques that you would like to share about the Bigmouth Buffalo please do so in the comments below...

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