News Columns & Blogs

Buffalo without wings, horns

Several times a year someone sends a photo of a big fish with something like “what the heck is it?” in the text.

Kendall Shaw sent such an image of his son, Caden, with a huge fish over the weekend.

As usaul, the fish was a bigmouth buffalo.Caden Shaw got this 51-pound bigmouth buffalo while bowfishing near Manhattan last weekend.For a fish seldom seen by anglers bigmouth and smallmouth buffalo are amazingly common in many Kansas waters. Commercial fisherman J.D. Bell has netted hundreds of tons of the fish from within several reservoirs. He’s sold truckloads of the fish in markets as far away as New York.

Freeing the lakes of such amazing densities has opened a lot of growing room for other species of fish, including bass, walleye and crappie.

Both species of buffalo can grow to impressive sizes. The state record bigmouth buffalo is 58-pounds and Kansas’ largest smallmouth buffalo 51- pounds.

World-records are about 73 and 68.5-pounds, respectively.