White Bass
Feeding Habits

Fishing in the dark, focus on lures that provide a flash, much like baitfish.

Although White Bass spend most of their time in deep waters, they often come to the surface to feed on small schools of shad or other minnows and often make noise while doing so. Keep an eye out for this on overcast days and in the evening or late afternoon.

A century ago White Bass were found only in scattered watersheds across the eastern and midwestern regions of the United States, but today they have spread throughout most of the nation due to their fighting ability and its tasting abilities of a pan fish.

Young White Bass feed on zoo-plankton and other microscopic organisms and grow rapidly, reaching as much as nine inches by the end of the first year. After the first year, they start adding tiny insects and eventually other small fish like fat heads, gizzard shad and golden shiners to their diet.

Food Preferences

There are no surprises with the white bass. They go for all the same baits that other fresh water bass are going for. However, if fathead minnows are in abundance, then focus on using fathead minnows. During spring and summer, when insects are out in forces, the white bass are primed for them with the best places being under trees along sure lines as they fall into the water off trees. However, as summer gets on and the water heats up, the white bass head for deeper water and spend less time in the shallows. The best way to fish for the White Bass using insects is with fly fishing.

Bait Casting

A light tackle rod and reel are well suited for the White bass. Avoid ultra light rods and reels as many other big game fish inhabit the same waters. A 12-pound test line is sufficient.

There should be no surprises when it comes to bait casting. White Bass are most active just before sunsets, then after their eyes adjust to the dark, they are very active for a few hours after dark. They are just as active prior to sunrise in the morning and just after sunrise.

When fishing in the dark, focus on lures that provide a flash, much like baitfish. Spoons and spinners are very good at replicating this. However, crankbaits offer the best results as they can reproduce the vibrations caused by a wounded fish and increase your odds of catching getting a strike.

During the day, concentrate on weeded areas. Use a spinner and casting it across the edge of a weed bed, reel it in fast. Use a weedless hook to reduce your chances of getting snagged.