Lakecaster Online

White Bass
by JOHN PLUMB

Spring thinking As I sit here, the white bass are spawning. I know up the river it's going on. Jerry Racca of Onalaska and I went up to the lock and dam and found the spawn just beginning. By all reports, the major creeks are holding fish. I'm not sure why since there is no flowing water to speak of, but whatever.
Fish are being caught in Kickapoo and White Rock creeks, and probably others I have not yet heard of. Bouncing jigs on the bottom is best this time of year. The bait they chase up in creeks is generally smaller than later in the season. The jigs can't really be too small. 1/8 oz. Roadrunner types, or grubs will work well. Speck rigs if you got 'em.

As this hits the newsstand the spawn should be nearing its peak. Some of the creeks will play out, but up the Trinity, it should hold another week or 10 days. Use similar methods in either place. Slow bottom bumping will pay off best.

The good news is that as the fish spawn out, they will return to the lake. It is the beginning of everyone's favorite white bass time. Spring along the shorelines. It's the one time all year when it's easy to hunt the fish. For even the not so crazed white bass stalker, fish are pretty easy to find.

Penwaugh shoreline has long been a good area for post spawn fish. As the fish spawn out, they return to more open water in search of food. This shoreline holds an abundant supply of shad, and is an ideal area for fish to begin schooling up again. Tremendous schools of fish are quite likely to be encounted. All hungry, and willing.

As the shad are along the shoreline making their babies, so are the fish, and it will remain so until the shad spawn is over. Their return to open water will key the whites to move also. Simple, ain't it. Go where the groceries are.

Once you leave the creeks, or river environment, it's back to slabs. Yep. Given the water stays as pretty as it is now, any color will work. Unless I miss my guess, it should be a dandy season for white bass fishing. We should se an increase in quality fish this year, as it was bare nominal last year. Many of the fish we threw back will be staying in the boat this year.

The transition from spawn to open water is pretty easy to follow. Work shoreline points in the mouth of the creeks, lakeward. Follow the shoreline, as will the fish, toward open water. Producing fish until late June, this brand of protected water can be quite productive. I fish these places early and late. Don't be surprised if some schooling takes place in mid-day hours.

What it takes to be productive is to visit the prominent points and coves connected as many times a day as it takes. Targeting a specific section of shoreline can help you predict what time the fish will be active there. The same could be expected each day, with a small difference in timing.

It's evidently a good year for spawning, judging from what I've seen and heard. We will know in August how good. Until then, there should be some real good fishing, for all species. This is the wake up call. The cycle begins again. It's my favorite time to be out on the lake. See you there.

Back to Lakecaster Online contents