Like many rough fish such as carp, buffalo fish provide great sport if hooked but are very difficult to catch. The bigmouth buffalo feeds mostly upon zooplankton caught by filtering water through its gills but is occasionally caught on set lines and with other bait-fishing tactics. Other varieties, such as black and smallmouth buffalo, feed upon insects, crustaceans and mussels. These fish detect artificial baits easily and shy away from heavy gear but may sometimes take boilies--or dough-ball baits--on light lines.
Place 1/4 cup brown rice in blender and chop to a coarse flour. Add the rice grits to the flour and soy flour in the small mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Place 1/2 cup of dried shrimp in the blender and chop until the shrimp forms a rough meal. Add the shrimp bits to the dry ingredients and stir.
Break four eggs into the large mixing bowl. Add molasses and three drops of liquid red food coloring to the eggs and stir. Blend by hand with a fork but only until the mix is uniform in color.
Add 1/4 of the dry mix to the liquid ingredients in the large bowl and stir until uniform. Add another 1/4 and mix again, forming a stiff batter. Add the remainder of the mix a little at a time while kneading by hand. Knead until a stiff dough forms. The dough should form a large evenly textured ball that holds its shape well. If pieces of the dough stick to your hands, add flour and knead until smooth.
Divide the dough ball into four equal pieces. Roll each into a sausage-shaped cylinder about 3/4 inch in diameter. Break off a section 3/4 inch long and roll the dough between your palms until it forms a small, round ball. Form the rest of the dough into balls of roughly the same size.
Boil 1 1/2 qts. of water in a 2-qt. pot. Add dough balls up to 20 at a time and boil for two minutes. Use a slotted spoon to lift the dough balls out of the pot. Place the dough balls on a dry cloth. Arrange the balls so they dry without sticking together. Give the dough-ball baits--or boilies--at least half an hour to dry before sealing in zipper bags and storing in the freezer until needed.
- Make small batches of bait balls and be prepared to change the recipe frequently. Fish quickly learn to distinguish new baits as hazardous but can be enticed to sample new flavors.
- Approximately half the natural diet of buffalo fish consists of crustaceans--shrimp, shrimp paste and anchovy extract all make good flavorings for buffalo boilie baits.
- Add food coloring cautiously--too much could give the bait a bitter taste.
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