White bass, commonly referred to as "sand bass" is abundant and a popular sportfish in most of Missouri's area lakes and lake feeder streams. This is mostly due to the fact that they are relatively easy to catch and more than willing to hit artificial lures. White bass provide exciting action throughout the year, but are extremely easy to find and catch in the spring of the year during their spawning migration up rivers and streams, that feed the lake reservoirs.
It is during these spawning runs , when literally thousands of white bass are concentrated in small creeks, rivers, and dam tailwater, and also when the majority of these whites are caught.
When they release water out of the locks below the dams , the white bass literally go crazy! While the water is swift it stirs up the baitfish and the whites start working these baitfish. While this action is taking place the fishing action heats up and it is a good time to catch your limit rather easily and in very short time.
A wide assortment of lures will catch these hungry white bass. Lots of fisherman like shad colored lures, for example shad raps, rapala lures, rattle traps, etc. Some fishermen use small bright colored jigs, roadrunners, and rubber minnows. Rooster tails in bright colors are awesome too!
It is a lot of fun trolling for these whites also. You can cover lots of ground and when they are hitting lures that are trolled they will literally jerk your rod out of your hands if your not careful. These fish are very aggressive and literally bend your rod double when you catch them trolling or casting either one.
You can catch them on crankbaits, shallow running lures of almost anykind
spoons, killer bs, spinner baits, just about anything in your box, so don't be afraid to experiment. During the spring they are not to picky, but some lures and colors work better than others on certain days. And remember where there is one white bass there are generally a whole lot more, considering they are a schooling fish.
White bass fishing usually involves lighter spinning and bait-casting tackle, since the average size of the fish caught is about two pounds. Small 1/8-ounce hair and plastic jigs in white, yellow, and chartreuse are popular lures, as are small silver spoons. At times, small topwater popping lures can also be used. Using light tackle makes and exciting day and gives even the most season veteran fisherman quite a thrill.
Remember Spring is the best time of the year to catch these aggressive white bass , but you can catch them all year if you can find them. Usually early in the morning or late in the evening you can find them surfacing, busting shad . Look for a lot of shad activity and pay attention to the gulls , this will clue you in to the location of a school of white bass, and also, stripers, and hybrids tend to hang around these feeding whites too.
Remember to fish safely , and respect your fellow fishermen, and you will enjoy fishing anytime and everytime. Keep your lures wet and catch a bunch, see you out there, and good luck! Keep what you can eat and release the rest, they might just grow on you for next time.