Spring time is white bass time.
Updated: Feb 25
All across the country the spring white bass run is on. It starts south and moves its way north as soon as area water temps starts to rise. And when the run is in full swing there is a simple way to get into a mess. Over the years I have used this method successfully from Arkansas to South Texas, especially in water I have never been on in my life.
With the internet you can often read when the bite is on in your area. And if there is a bridge access on a river you will see folks fishing from the bank. Once the bite is on you have maybe a month of hot fishing so get it while the getting is good. And your local tackle store should be able to help you with what is happening in your area. You don't need specifics, just are they biting?
First, in the lake or reservoir near you with white bass they will usually have a main feeder river or even several big creeks. That is where you need to start. It is that simple. Run up the river or big creek until it gets shallow. How shallow? Until you hit the skeg, then trim up and go farther. Of course that is an exaggeration, but you get the point.
The reason to attack it this way is that is where they spawn. Might as well start where they are going, not where they might be. From there just fish your way back. A lot easier than trying to guess where to start. Like the great Buck Perry said - "The fish are deep, shallow, or somewhere in between." So starting shallow makes sense. Once you get way up as you idle watch the locator, they like humps, bends, and flats. Pay particular to areas that are shoals. Any that are in the middle of the river is often the spot. Not only can you see fish, you will get a good idea of the areas to check. And never overlook a flat bank out of the wind with the sun on it. The baitfish like it and the whites will follow.
The easiest way i have found to find them is to troll first. Use a small shad colored crankbait that runs in the 5 foot range to start. I also like to mix in a white/pearl paddle tail on a 1/4 ounce jig head. Then troll at 2.5 to 3 mph with the bait 60 feet out and watch the locator. Simply cover water from dead shallow to deep, if the run is on you will find them. Then you can keep trolling over them, or stop and fish them with your bait of choice. Crappie jigs, twisters, spoons, small crankbaits, all will catch them. And you can use any color as long as it shad/silver/ pearl in clear water or some chartreuse if there is some color to your water.
And don't have a big fancy locator or boat? So what! A jon boat is just fine, troll at idle speed and hold on. Spring white bass fishing is not rocket science. Of course there is more to it than this, a book could be written. But this is the simplest way to start, you just might fill the boat.
Good Luck and Tight Lines