White Sand Bass Fishing

The white bass also known in some areas as the sand bass is a freshwater fish belonging to the Moronidae bass family. This type of fish is also the state fish of Oklahoma. They can be found in the large rivers and lakes throughout the United States of America and are quite similar with the white perch but a little bit larger. The back of the white bass is actually dark with wide sides and belly, and with quite narrow stripes that run through the sides of the bass.

The average white bass ranges from 10 to 16 inches in length and they gain from 1 to a maximum of 4 pounds although exceptions of 5-6 pounds have been caught by various fishermen. As a matter of fact, the current world record for the largest white bass ever caught is 6 lb (2.7kg) and 13 ounces and was caught in Virginia, US. For angling the sand bass, the conventional fly fishing tackle and panfish tackle are recommended.

This type of fish has the tendency to move in schools and they also prefer swimming in crystal clear waters. The closest related fish species to the sand bass is the yellow bass which can be located in the Mississippi River. Although the meat of the white bass tends to be oily from time to time, many anglers enjoy eating the fresh meat of the bass, it depends on tastes basically. The white and yellow bass resemble to one another, but as their names logically suggests, they have different color patterns. The white/sand bass has separated dorsal fins while the second anal spine is one-third the length of the head, and the seven longitudinal stripes under the dorsal fins are solid. The yellow bass which is has a very limited population by the way, has joined dorsal fins, the second anal spine is half the length of the head, and the seven longitudinal stripes are broken.

The white bass fish is a carnivore and they usually eat other fish, crustaceans and insect larvae. They are known as visual feeders and when they are not frightened they have the tendency to bite readily at live bait like minnows or worms. They are native to the rivers that flow to the Mississippi River and since then they have been introduced into rivers like Yadkin and Catawba which flow in the Atlantic Ocean. They usually inhabit streams, rivers with deep pools, reservoirs and ponds.

Regarding their spawning, the sand bass have a very strong homing tendency and they are known to find their home spawning ground even it that location has moved to a different part of the same lake. They enjoy spawning in moving waters in a tributary stream but they do spawn in windswept lake shores if they have the occasion to do so.  The sand bass spawns only during the daylight and the female bass can lay from 242,000 to a maximum of 933,000 eggs. These eggs stick to the surface of objects. The parents do not care about the young fish as they move to deeper waters after spawning.

The young white bass fish will live in shallow waters for a brief period and after that they move to deeper waters. Sometimes, they will spawn with the yellow bass thus creating the yellow bass hybrid. A little advice for the fishermen, the sand bass can be caught in large numbers during the spawning period as they are very active feeders.

The white bass are the fifth most preferred species among the licensed Texas anglers. Once a school has been spotted, efficient anglers often fish the surface with spoons or spinners. Bottom fishing during the night hours with live bait may also produce incredible success. White bass are known to be excellent fighters, and are considered superb table fare.

As we have mentioned that the sand bass is the state fish in Oklahoma it is good to know that an estimated one and a half million pounds of sand bass are harvested every year in this state by sport fishermen. Thanks to their relative limited lifespan along with the high reproductive capacity, no creel limits are imposed on several lakes located in the state. Both amateur and professional anglers learn to pay attention for circling and diving gulls and/or surface disturbances as sure signs of schooling shad.

For many people, the sand bass is also known as the barfish, the striper or the silver bass. Their lifespan is 3-4 years although some can live up to 10 years. The female sand bass grows slightly faster in comparison to the males and also have the tendency to live longer than them. As far as their sporting quality is concerned, the sand bass is a fierce fighting fish. Their aggressive nature, combined with their schooling tendencies, makes them one of the easiest fish to catch.

White/Sand Bass Fishing Tips

- Use light tackle;
- The slab is the best around;
- Use spinners, flies, minnows or small plugs as bait;
- Locate feeding schools off points in deeper waters;
- Mornings and evenings are the best time to watch for schools feeding in shallow waters;
- In summer and fall, watch for surfacing schools.

Some of the best lakes to catch sand bass are:

  1. Altus Luggert;
  2. Canton;
  3. Fort Cobb;
  4. Oolagah;
  5. Fort Gibson