What’s Different About Catching White Bass

Another good lure is a 1/8 oz. jig head with a grub, or Sassy Shad-type plastic body. At times, Sand Bass can become a bit selective as to size and color, and these jigs make it easy to quickly change sizes and colors without having to tie on a new lure. You just change the body. My best colors have always been a natural shad color (grey over white) and chartreuse. White and yellow work well, too.

Once you have settled on a lure, you can just cruise likely spots off of channels, sandy points, bays and cove inlets. Watch the SONAR and when you find a school, shut off the motor and cast right through the school with a straight retrieve. When the action slows down, try to re-locate the school, or find another one. Another option is to just troll until you catch one, then stop and work the school as long as you can stay in contact with it. That’s all there is to it. It is not uncommon to boat 100 or more fish a day like this.

Another method is called Jump fishing. You need a good pair of binoculars for this. Oftentimes, a school of Sand Bass will catch a herd of shad near the surface. They attack them mercilessly, wounding many that do not get eaten. This attracts seagulls, who eagerly clean up the left-overs. So look for disturbances on the water, and flocks of circling gulls. When you see them, power over to the spot as fast as safely possible. Chances are, when you arrive at the location, there are Sand Bass chowing down. Work the school until they move on, and then start over. This is a very exciting way to fish.

Tailraces and the annual spawn present a different challenge. Most often, a boat is out of the question. The current is fast enough to make wading a suicidal proposition. The best way to harvest Sand Bass from this scenario is to cast your lure upstream and retrieve it through eddies, backwashes and shoals.

My favorite method is to rig two 1/8 oz. jigheads, 18%u201D apart, about 3%u2019 under a bobber. I tip them with a natural Sassy Shad body on top and a chartreuse one on the bottom. Then, I cast it upstream as far as I can, and let the current drift the rig downstream as far as long as I can stand it, keeping the slack out of my line. I regularly hook two fish at a time with this rig.

Fly fishing works the same way as conventional gear. Just find a school, and work it. The all-time best fly pattern I’ve ever used has been Bob Clouser’s fantastic Clouser Minnow. Puglisi-style shad patterns, such as the Mushmouth, Puglisi Shad, Double Bunny, Grey Zonker and Matukas work well, too.

White Bass are delicious, and can be prepared in almost any way. Just be careful when you are filleting them. If you see a dark strip in the meat, it is a Striped Bass or Hybrid, and the dark strip must be removed before cooking. My favorite methods for cooking them is to boil water, then drop a packet of Crab Boil in it. I cut the fillets into 2 inch strips and drop them in the water. When they float, they are done. Try it sometime.

Happy Fishing.

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Dan Eggertsen is a fellow bass fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on bass fishing since 2004.

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