stick500ParticipantMay 19, 2017 at 1:20 amPost count: 457
I’ve gotten into white bass a few times and have always loved the action, but today was just crazy!
I wasn’t expecting much of anything with a cold front and dark clouds moving in, and just had a few hours to goof around from shore on the Miss. in Dubuque.
Anyway, I hit a huge school feeding on minnows. Had them all to myself and they stuck around for about an hour and a half.
Could see they were feeding on the surface like a miniature school of tuna in the ocean so I tied on a little Rebel topwater plug.
I ended up having the most topwater action I’ve ever had in my life. Pretty much a good strike or a fish on every cast.
At one point it was so easy (and I was getting tired of pulling trebles out of their mouths) I actually tried to race the the lure back so fast that all the fish could do was chase it, and not get hooked! I have never purposely tried to not catch a fish before in my life (well, except when dinks were chasing a lure).
A few were good-sized and perhaps I should have brought a few home, but I let them all go. Got well over 20, perhaps 30.
What a blast! Gotta find some more action, soon. Really cool fish and glad to see they have a healthy population in the Miss. these days.
EDIT: checked on the internet to see if they’re good eating, and the general consensus is no as they have a lot of fishy-tasting red meat- red meat must be from all that racing around chasing minnows and Rebel top waters all day!
Also very liberal limits- none on inland waters and 25 in the Miss. Wonder if anyone smokes them? Whitefish, yes, but white bass?VScottParticipantMay 19, 2017 at 4:01 amPost count: 48
Good for you, I’m sure that was a blast. White bass are one of my favorites because of how aggressive they are.delmutsParticipantMay 19, 2017 at 10:57 amPost count: 525
I’m surprised they stayed around that long/ Had to be a blast !!orngruffeeParticipantMay 19, 2017 at 4:02 pmPost count: 900
I can remember after catching enough of them just getting the lip of the crank bait back. Just destroyed it.
A long nose tweezer was handy to just grab the hook and shake them off. I hate treble hooks n kicking fish.TrapCycloneParticipantMay 19, 2017 at 4:40 pmPost count: 2552
Every once in a blue moon I get into a school of white bass beneath one of the spillways. The action is definitely pretty sweet while it lasts! White bass make pretty good table fare too!jereseibParticipantMay 19, 2017 at 5:12 pmPost count: 441
I love catching white bass, the wipers especially put up a huge fight. That happened to me one night only I got into some largemouth. I was fishing a local lake from shore with a friend. We decided to stay a little after dark. Once it got completely dark the bass bite was unreal. We were just throwing shallow cranks out and every cast we would hook into a bass, most of them were in the 15 inch range also. We had to have caught 50 bass in about an hour, it was every cast like you mentioned.
Sometimes you just lucky and get into something like that, Ive never had another night like that since.MaverickParticipantMay 19, 2017 at 5:21 pmPost count: 4709
Lots of people out there say they are bad tasting……..I disagree. But they do take a little more prep work than some fish.
Ice them immediately after catching is step one, makes all the difference. Then fillet them as normal and soak fillets in a cold salt water bath for an hour. The water will turn dark with the blood coming out of the meat. Dump the water and soak again in cold salt water. Do this a few times until the water stays mostly clear. Bread and fry. Delicious.CRIA1576ParticipantMay 19, 2017 at 10:36 pmPost count: 571
White bass are my absolute favorite for aggressive action, pound-for-pound fight, and tablefare. They have extremely white, flaky, flesh, and the only special handling precautions you need to follow are to filet them “skinny” to avoid the blood strip. Brining them like Maverick suggested will also reduce the blood line and fishiness. When done correctly there is no fishy flavor at all, and they are very mild. In fact, my wife prefers bluegills slightly better, because they have a little more flavor. When they are running, it is very easy to fill a cooler, and the small amount of meat sacrificed to mitigate the blood strip is made up for in volume. 🙂
My friends and I search for schools like you describe on pool 4, and have witnessed the water “boiling” like you described. Other killer white bass baits on the MS river include chrome sonars, shad colored chug bugs, black chug bugs, bone colored pop-r, and 1/4 oz inline spinners in chartreuse, white, and shad. Very often we will pick up walleyes, saugers, smallies, and the occasional northern that follow these schools; picking off the shad and minnows that get crippled or separated from the bait ball.
Good luck!LonestarParticipantMay 19, 2017 at 11:16 pmPost count: 986
Definitely some of the best times on the water for me have involved white bass. When wading I’ve had the shad schools engulf my legs to the point I couldn’t see my shoes. All I had to do was drop my jig straight down and to get a fish.HugeRodParticipantMay 19, 2017 at 11:17 pmPost count: 213
Fun to catch, and good to eat. Tips on cleaning: clean like any other fish, but when cutting off skin, ride up a little, leaving most red meat on skin. There will still be some on lateral line, V that out and all you’ll have left will be white meat, very little waste. Enjoy!
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