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Fishing for Buffalo

Fishing for Buffalo: A Guide to the Pursuit and Cuisine of Carp, Suckers, Eelpout, Gar, and Other Rough Fish

Rob Buffler
Tom Dickson
Copyright Date: 1990
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 224
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  • Book Info
    Fishing for Buffalo
    Book Description:

    Is a carpsucker a carp or a sucker? Where can you find the largest eelpout in the United States? Can you catch creek chubs and fry them for supper? These questions and more are answered within the pages of Fishing for Buffalo. Rob Buffler and Tom Dickson dispel myths and rumors about rough fish with credible biological information while also demonstrating the joy of angling for nontraditional fish. Its wealth of information qualifies this book as a fishing bible for the growing number of rough fishing enthusiasts in the United States and makes it easy to identify the rough fish you may catch. It even includes a sampling of Dickson and Buffler’s favorite recipes, such as Burbot Boulangère and Deviled Grilled Cisco. Rough fish may be a lot of things—ugly, unruly, or elusive—but they are definitely not boring._x000B_

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6821-2
    Subjects: Physics

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xi)
    TD and RB
  4. 1 Roughfishing in America
    (pp. 1-13)

    It was a nice day to be outside, but not if you wanted to catch roughfish. The weather was sunny and warm, but the sun was too bright on the water for the fish to be anything but cautious. To make matters worse, a wind blew in hard gusts, yanking our lines across the water surface so much we had no feel for the activity below.

    We were fishing the Namekagon River in northern Wisconsin on a stretch we hoped held trophy redhorse. Driving from bridge to bridge, we worked our way upstream from where the river merges with the...

  5. 2 Burbot
    (pp. 15-27)

    On a bitterly cold night in midwinter 1936, a Wisconsin fisheries scientist stood near a hole on a frozen lake and witnessed a sight few people ever see. “On the night of February 12 the interesting phenomenon of breeding was observed,” wrote A.R. Cahn. “At first, a dark shadow was noted at the edge of the ice, something which appeared to be a large ball. Eventually this moved out into view and it was seen to be indeed a ball —a tangled, nearly globular mass of moving, writhing lawyers. The fish were all intertwined, slithering over one another constantly, slowly,...

  6. 3 Suckers
    (pp. 29-53)

    It wasn’t actually an argument, but it did get down to one of us giving in. The problem? We had too many places to go sucker fishing. Rob wanted to return to the Cannon River, in southern Minnesota, where we’d caught dozens of quillback carpsuckers the weekend before. I wanted to try the Rush River, in southwestern Wisconsin, which I’d heard had a run of river redhorse from the Mississippi River in the early spring. And we both wanted to also fish tributaries of Lake Superior for the longnose sucker run.

    So many suckers, so little time. “Listen,” Rob said....

  7. 4 Freshwater Drum
    (pp. 55-65)

    In the spring of the year, a low rumbling noise emanates from certain lakes and rivers of the Upper Midwest. An angler hearing this mysterious rumble and accompanying grunts cannot find the source at first, but after careful listening will realize they well up from under water.

    It’s the male drum, croaking away as part of its mating ritual. The sound comes from a male drum rubbing a unique set of tendons and muscles across its swim bladder, similar to an inflated balloon. Fisheries scientists believe that during the spring, female drum swim towards the males they hear calling from...

  8. 5 Carp
    (pp. 67-97)

    People have long been singing the praise of carp. In China and Japan, this strong, intelligent fish has been a symbol for nobility, honor, and courage for centuries. In Europe it was a food reserved exclusively for European royalty during the Middle Ages, and today, it is still prepared meticulously bycordon bleuchefs in that continent’s finest restaurants and hotels. In Britain, more anglers pursue carp than pursue any other species. An English “carpman” fishes from 1,000 to 2,000 hours a year, and calls it a good season to hook and land a dozen of the wary fish.


  9. 6 Sturgeon
    (pp. 99-117)

    The sturgeon is monstrous, but only in size, not character. Reaching weights over 300 pounds, the sturgeon is the largest freshwater fish in North America. Yet it is also one of the most placid. Although shaped like a shark and armored with massive plates, the sturgeon is harmless to all creatures but the tiny organisms it consumes through its soft, toothless mouth. Biologists who’ve walked among 50-and 60-pound sturgeon spawning in the shallows say the fish will simply part quietly to make way, brushing lightly against their waders. “Even the small sturgeon will lie calmly in your hand,” says Dave...

  10. 7 Catfish and Bullheads
    (pp. 119-137)

    Tom says the bowfin is his favorite fish because it’s the only species that hasn’t shamed him. Of all the warmwater species, I’m partial to the channel catfish. I like how it looks, how it fights, and how it tastes. Most of all, I like fishing for channel catfish because of where the fish lives: in clear, fast-flowing streams.

    There are times, lazy times, when I like to fish the warm, still backwaters, where the air is hot and moist and I paddle slowly in my float tube, casting a doughball to buffalo or a rope fly to breaking gar....

  11. 8 Whitefish and Cisco
    (pp. 139-153)

    Whitefish live in beautiful, out-of-the-way places, I thought to myself, but this is ridiculous. I was standing 80 feet in the air on a narrow suspension bridge above a river in southern Ontario. Having carried a heavy pack for 6 miles, my legs were already tired. With my altophobia, they became so weak I felt I was going to fall. I wavered for a moment on the swaying bridge, wondering if I would have to turn back. Finally, the thought of fishing the pool I’d seen below gave me courage to cross.

    I had been planning this trip for several...

  12. 9 Gar
    (pp. 155-167)

    For some reason it was familiar, even though I knew it wasn’t like any fish Rob and I ever caught. It looked sort of like a small northern pike that had been tied head and tail to Clydesdales pulling in opposite directions. At first, I couldn't place where I’d seen one before, but later, thinking back on the strange stick-shaped creature gasping at the water’s surface, I remembered seeing something like it as a kid when our class visited the science museum. The difference was, the fish I’d seen in the river was very much alive; what I’d seen as...

  13. 10 Others
    (pp. 169-181)

    Just as writers of game fishing books lump species like carp, drum, and suckers together and stick them toward the back of the volume, we've had to gather the lesscommon roughfish and put them ignobly in the “Others” chapter.

    But just because bowfin, American eel, goldeye, and mooneye are near the back of this book doesn’t mean they aren’t as fascinating to catch and read about as the roughfish superstars. They are here because we’ve only caught a few and can’t tell too many fishing stories, or because so little is known about them they couldn’t stand as chapters on...

  14. 11 Recent Exotics
    (pp. 183-198)

    This fish is sobizarre. Where do you think it came from?”

    All anglers occasionally catch a fish that looks unlike anything they’ve seen before. Their first inclination is to believe the fish is some kind of exotic that was stocked by the state fisheries agency or dumped into the water from someone’s aquarium.

    But most of the time, the strange-looking fish you catch isn’t foreign at all; it is native to the waters you fish. You’ve never seen it before because you cither don’t know how to catch it or have never seen anyone else catch one. In the...

  15. References and Resources
    (pp. 199-200)
  16. Roughfish Life List
    (pp. 201-208)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 209-209)