The first warm days of summer are bursting on to the scene.  The warming rain of spring and the gradual increase in daytime temperatures signal the White Bass that it is time to go on a feeding frenzy.  To anglers it is a time for fishing frenzy. 

Whites are found in the Mississippi River and it tributaries as well as most of our reservoirs.  They are distinguished from the Striped Bass by a single patch of teeth on the back of the tongue.  Striped Bass have two patches of teeth on the back of the tongue parallel to each other. 

The timing of the white bass run is keyed by three factors: water temperature, light intensity, and current. 

The water temperature is the most important factor.  Current is important although it is the least of the three factors vital to the spawning fish. 

White bass are members of the sea bass family.  They range in size from 3/4 to 5 pounds.  Adult white bass dine on small fish, insects and crustaceans in that order.  They school up to hunt in large pods for food. 

The bass feed by driving forage fish to the surface from which they cannot escape.  The most active feeding is done in the morning and evening.   

Prior to spawning, the white bass collect in staging areas.  They school up and wait for the prime conditions and then move into the tributaries of a river to drop their eggs.  Fishermen locate them during this period by covering a lot of water. 

A good topographic map or an electronic depth finder is very helpful in locating and mapping good staging areas.  Locate islands and flats where the staging fish stock up on groceries.  The better ones are near creak channels or other locations with current. 

Watching what other anglers are doing also is a good tip.  If someone in the middle of the lake, reeling in fish one right after another, he is probably in a school of white bass.  In all likelihood he has found a submerged island loaded with the fish. 

Some of the better areas are current breaks with rock or gravel points.  They can often be reached by wading. 

For those who like to fish in the evening or at night, the best location appears to be near concrete.  This usually comes in the form of pilings for bridges.  Fishermen anchor near the bridge prior to dusk and wait for the night feeding fish to arrive.  Concrete located near a current is best.  The insects seem to be attracted to the warm concrete at the end of the day when air temperatures begin to cool.  The fish come in search of the insects. 

For the average angler, spinning gear is preferred.  

The pattern of choice is to present an image of a crippled minnow.  Some anglers like the metal flash of a silver spoon for catching white bass.  Small crankbaits are effective.  Spinners such as the Mister Twister in light colors are good.  Blade baits will also work. 

Live bait anglers use a jig and minnow combination.  A leadhead jig is tipped with a minnow and cast out.  It is allowed to sink to the bottom and then retrieved in short hops.  If fishing rocky areas smaller jigs do not get hung up as easily as the larger ones.  The perfect size for this type of fishing is a jig that will reach the bottom and slowly bounce downstream with the current. 

Some anglers use a floating jig rig to avoid getting the bait down into the rocks and hung up.  A colored floating jig made of cork or Styrofoam is tipped with a minnow.  The floating jig allows the bait to float off the bottom where it will stay free.  

Jigs can be used with light color twister tails.  They are attached instead of the minnow but the pattern remains the same. 

When the white bass action heats up it is really great fun fishing for these little wolf packs of predatory fish.  It does not require great angling skill just a little attention to detail.



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