Post date: Monday, September 16, 2013 - 12:02
Updated date: 10/17/14
White Bass -  Morone chrysops

 

The white bass are running! In any big-river town, the word spreads quickly in the springtime. Folks from all walks of life throw their fishing rods into the back of their pickup trucks and head for the nearest dam. It's a carnival-like atmosphere on the river bank, with bent poles and thrashing fish everywhere. Smiles and laughter are the rule of the day, and nobody goes home empty-handed. Every so often, a school of chunky, aggressive white bass will attack a school of baitfish near the surface, and the splashy explosions that dot the river evoke oohs and ahhs from the crowd.

 

 


Description

 

White bass are chunky, slab-sided, silvery fish. They have white bellies and several horizontal stripes. Usually, only one of these stripes extends all the way to the tail. They have large mouths and a spiny dorsal fin. White bass grow quickly and easily reach several pounds in weight. The white bass is the State Fish of Oklahoma.

 

 


Habitat

 

White Bass live primarily in medium to large rivers and impoundments.  They have a very strong migratory instinct, and may travel considerable distances to find spawning riffles.  their adhesive eggs need well-oxygenated water to survive. As it turns out, dams provide good spawning conditions as well as block the white bass's migration, so the place to find huge numbers of white bass in the spring is below your nearest dam. During the rest of the year, they follow the baitfish, often feeding in open water on roaming schools of shad.

 

 


Tactics

 

White bass are not known for selectivity. Put a small lure or bait anywhere near it's face, and the white bass will attack it with gusto. Jigs, inline spinners, flies, small spoons, or small crankbaits are favorites for artificial lures. Live minnows are deadly baits for natural bait fishers. Since white bass often congregate in fast-moving, surface-oriented schools, it's often necessary to make a long, accurate cast to get your bait into the school before it moves off.  because of this, heavy, compact lures can give you an advantage. Some lures that fulfill these requirements include the Kastmaster, Little George, and sparsely-tied bucktail jigs. Small Clouser Minnow flies are absolutely deadly for white bass. White bass are attracted to commotion near the surface - noisy splashing means dinner-time to a white bass. A bunch of sloppy, splashy false casts with a heavy fly hitting the water can attract a school of white bass right up to you, so a very skilled (or very sloppy) flyfisher can sometimes increase their odds by beating the water to a froth. Seagulls often follow white bass schools around, feeding on the baitfish stunned or crippled by the rampaging bass. Keep an eye out for wheeling and diving birds whenever you're in white bass territory!

 

 

Hybrids

Government aquaculturists have created an artificial hybrid of the white bass by breeding female striped bass with male white bass. The most common way to do this is to inject the female bass with human gonadotropin hormones to force her to breed with males from a different species. The resulting hybrid fish is called a Wiper, Hybrid Striper, Whiterock Bass, Sunshine Bass, or Cherokee Bass. These are popular fish because they are easier to raise in hatcheries than either white bass or striped bass, more tolerant of polluted water, and they grow faster. Although the "broken lines" on the side of this fish are distinctive, such lines can also occur on both striped bass and white bass, so they are an unreliable identifying feature. The best way to identify them is by lookinf at the tooth patches on the tongue - hybrids will have two, while white bass will have only one. Since this fish is not a true species, it doesn't count as a seperate lifelist or contest entry from its two parent species.   

 

Links

 

Range Map


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