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Smallmouth Buffalo (Ictiobus bubalus)

The Smallmouth Buffalo or Ictiobus bubalus is one of the largest sucker fish in the entire world growing to about 36" in length maximum and weighing in at an impressive 82lbs!  The only sucker fish that can grow bigger is its close relative the Bigmouth Buffalo.  These freshwater fish look similar, but you can always tell them apart by their mouths.  The mouth of the Smallmouth Buffalo is facing downward, typical of a sucker, while the mouth of the Bigmouth Buffalo faces forward.  The Smallmouth also has a much more slanted back than the Bigmouth.   
Another fish that is often confused with the Smallmouth Buffalo is various species of Carp.  The easy way to tell these fish apart is the lack of barbels on the Smallmouth.  The coloration of the Smallmouth Buffalo is often gray or olive with its underbelly being yellow or white.   
Smallmouth Buffalo fish are found exclusively in North America in places like Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Tennessee, Alabama, Michigan and Pennsylvania.  They go by a few different names depending on where you are including the Razorback Buffalo, Hump-Back Buffalo, River Buffalo, High-Back Buffalo, Roachback, Thick-Lipped Buffalo and the Channel Buffalo.  While they are considered edible, they are often used as fish food.

If you have any additional information of fishing tips for the Smallmouth Buffalo please share...

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