Texas Fishing Forum

Hey Osbornefishing! Black Buffalo question

Posted By: Caribou

Hey Osbornefishing! Black Buffalo question - 05/03/21 04:21 PM

What do you think, small mouth Buffalo or black? My wife caught this at Tawakoni, and if it’s a black, would have been a state record at 35.55 lbs as far as I can tell. We released it, but would be nice to know. General consensus on Facebook is that it probably is a black, but we don’t know for sure.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: banker-always fishing

Re: Hey Osbornefishing! Black Buffalo question - 05/03/21 06:58 PM

Barry will give you a 100 percent I.D. Nice fish. CONGRATUATIONS to your wife on an AWESOME catch. flehan



Side Note: That picture is "PRICELESS" ! cheers
Posted By: Fly Fishing Scout

Re: Hey Osbornefishing! Black Buffalo question - 05/03/21 08:31 PM

Memories!!!

Awesome picture.
Posted By: Osbornfishing

Re: Hey Osbornefishing! Black Buffalo question - 05/05/21 01:40 AM

Oh boy, where to start, where to start? First let me say congratulations on a beautiful buffalo catch.

Now for the species question. I am getting ready to give you much more information than you probably want, but I don't know any other way to answer the question. I have been debating the black buffalo/smallmouth buffalo issue with record keeping organizations for over a decade. The final answer to the species of your buffalo is that I cannot tell for sure. The black buffalo/smallmouth buffalo issue falls into the needs more research category. I have been told by TPWD and the Biodiversity Center in Austin, that even is you send in a tissue sample of the fish that they do not have a good baseline and cannot identify the fish to species. If TPWD cannot identify the fish to species, then they default to a smallmouth buffalo.

For records, I try and only send in fish that are clearly one species or the other. The criteria that I use are:

1. The depth of the fish (dorsal to belly) is 2.8 times the length from the nose to the base (not the tip) of the tail in black buffalo. Black buffalo are longer and not as round as smallmouth buffao.
2. The mouth of black buffalo is big and fleshy when compared to the smallmouth buffalo. With the mouth closed, from the nose to the back of the mouth is usually smaller than the width of the eye in the smallmouth buffalo and much bigger than the eye width in the black buffalo.
3. The black buffalo is really black in color when you catch it. This criteria is the least reliable.

So for your fish, Criteria 1 indicates the fish is a smallmouth buffalo, based on the depth/length ratio, but it is a really fat fish. Criteria 2 indicates it is a black buffalo, because the mouth is bigger than the eye. For Criteria 3, it would be a smallmouth buffalo with dark characteristics.

I think you could make an argument that it is a black buffalo. I believe your fish is a hybrid. Specimens identified as hybrids have been recognized in several states. I have submitted several specimens to the Biodiversity Center in Austin with hopes that they will do some research to answer the question once and for all.

I know this is clear as mud...but that is all I have for now. I hope it helps.
Posted By: Caribou

Re: Hey Osbornefishing! Black Buffalo question - 05/05/21 04:01 PM

Thanks! That’s fantastic info. We didn’t bother to certify anything, we wanted to take no chance that a fish of that size was out of the water for too long, but were just really curious. Finley was leaning Black Buffalo, so that made me wonder. I appreciate you taking the time to type that all out.
Posted By: Osbornfishing

Re: Hey Osbornefishing! Black Buffalo question - 05/05/21 11:58 PM

Originally Posted by Caribou
Thanks! That’s fantastic info. We didn’t bother to certify anything, we wanted to take no chance that a fish of that size was out of the water for too long, but were just really curious. Finley was leaning Black Buffalo, so that made me wonder. I appreciate you taking the time to type that all out.


First, always listen to Finley about buffalo and carp. woot

Here are a few pictures to compare the species. The first is a typical body type of a smallmouth buffalo and a picture of the size of the lips. The black fish shows the typical elongated body type of the black buffalo. The mouth is much bigger compared to the eye. Also the fleshy lips are huge.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
Posted By: TXMulti-Species

Re: Hey Osbornefishing! Black Buffalo question - 05/19/21 04:41 AM

Such an amazing fish, and great ID tips Barry!
Posted By: TXMulti-Species

Re: Hey Osbornefishing! Black Buffalo question - 05/26/21 04:56 AM

Just had another look at this thread and those are some mondo lips on that Black Buffalo Barry! I've got some photos of Caribou's
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Posted By: Osbornfishing

Re: Hey Osbornefishing! Black Buffalo question - 05/26/21 01:33 PM

Yep, they have some big o lips. You can see how a range cube would fit in there pretty easily. roflmao
Posted By: Pot licker

Re: Hey Osbornefishing! Black Buffalo question - 05/26/21 02:34 PM

Congrats to your wife! cheers
© 2021 Texas Fishing Forum