What Is a White Bass Fish?

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Bass are popular game fish belonging to the order Perciformes, also known as perch-like fish. They are found in both the fresh and salt waters of North America. Since bass fish are majorly categorized by anglers according to their physical appearances and features, what then is a white bass fish?

What Is a White Bass Fish?

A white bass fish is a medium-sized freshwater fish that belongs to the family Moronidae. Also known as silver bass or sand bass, they are silvery-white fish adorned with 4 to 7 stripes across both sides. They possess distinctive separations between their first and second dorsal fins and are categorized as temperate bass.

An image of a white bass fish

On average, a fully grown white bass would weigh between one to two pounds and span 10 to 15 inches in length. These species travel as groups in the same direction, are known to be aggressive and can be very fun to catch, especially with the use of various baits and lures.

Where to Find White Bass Fish

This species inhabits big lakes, deep to shallow rivers, and reservoirs. They can mostly be found in the freshwaters of North America with vast circulations across river systems of the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys. These fish are native to:

  • The Texas Red River drainage
  • St. Lawrence River
  • The Rio Grande River, and
  • The Great Lakes

They generally avoid turbulence and prefer relatively clear water. While juvenile bass lives in shallow waters, their adults swim to waters as deep as 10 feet. These species are migratory, unlike other game fish. The need for mating season and their dependence on shad as a primary food source necessitates this way of life.

When fishing for bass, an angler should focus on the wind-driven sides of a lake and areas with quick changes in-depth. They should also target areas with shoals, rocky reefs, rip rap, and coves which are places where a school of shad is likely to be found.

Tips for Catching White Bass Fish

Catching this bass fish can be easier and more fun when you know what you’re doing. Below are a few fishing tips to help increase your chances of catching this bass.

Know Where and When to Locate Them

The key to catching these species is knowing where to locate them. They can be seen in large bodies of water except in spring when they gather in smaller creeks to mate. They feed on things that are above them or at their level.

To locate a school of them, watch out for surface activity in the early hours of the morning or late hours of the day, which is usually when they come out to feed.

Use Electronic Devices

Electronic devices can help you easily and consistently find this fish in large bodies of water. An electronic device known as a sonar that detects objects through sound waves is widely used in the fishing industry. When using a sonar device, bass can often be spotted hiding under schools of baitfish and fishing upwards at them.

Choose Your Lures and Baits Wisely

These bass are not particularly picky and will hit on various lures, most of which look like shad. White and clear shade lures are suitable most of the time, with chartreuse to assist when visibility is low.

After locating a school of this bass, pay attention to the water conditions and any baitfish you see. This will help in determining what lure or bait is best. For example, let’s say you see a school of shad swimming in clear water. A live shad as bait or a shad-looking lure will work best.

Since these bass are excited by splashing sounds, occasionally keeping a hooked fish in the water for a while can be helpful. Worms also work very well to attract this bass, so going with a canful might not be a bad idea.

An image of a box of fishing tackle

Use the Right Tackle

Since these bass are medium-sized game fish weighing around 1 to 2 pounds, they can be targeted using a light tackle. Light spinning or bait casting tackles, depending on what you prefer. These tackles are perfect for throwing the small lures needed to hook this fish species, using light lines in the 6 to 8-pound range.

Related Questions

Are White Bass and Striped Bass the Same?

No, white bass are different from striped bass. The major difference between them is in their length and size. The striped bass is longer and slimmer than this bass, growing up to 2 to 3 feet.

Also, there is a clear separation between this bass’ dorsal fins, which are short and close together, while that of the striped bass are farther apart from each other.

What Is the Best Bait for White Bass?

The best bait for white bass is minnows and silversides, whether dead or alive. They are excellent natural bait.


This species is one of the most popular and preferred game fish among anglers. They offer a fun opportunity all year round to those who fish them and taste good when prepared properly and eaten fresh. So when next you go fishing for this bass, remember to use the tricks and tips listed above for the best experience.