Lakes & Reservoirs


White bass can be found in lakes and reservoirs throughout most of the country.  At times, these fish will school up in big numbers, which makes catching them a lot easier once you find them.  In lakes and reservoirs, they can be found in many areas as the bait fish and water temperature will usually dictate where they may be on any given day.


Spring Spawning Runs

White bass make large runs up tributaries of major lakes and reservoirs.  There are plenty of lakes that don’t have a river connected to them, so the spawn will be a little different on these waters than what most people are looking for with white bass during this time of year.  The river runs get most of the attention because they are so large every spring that you can literally catch dozens of white bass per day during the peak of the runs.


White Bass Jumps

White bass jumps are when white bass will school up and chase bait fish to the surface.  At times, there can be dozens of white bass busting on small shad and other bait fish near the surface.  This feeding frenzy usually attracts the attention from many birds, which then attracts the fishermen.  On good white bass lakes, some anglers will use binoculars to try and find birds circling and diving down towards the water.  This usually happens when the white bass are in a feeding frenzy and if you can get your lure into the frenzy, you will have non-stop action until it ends.

It is not uncommon to catch a fish on every cast for 5 to 10 minutes while the frenzy is going on.  All of a sudden, it will just stop and the white bass will disappear below the water’s surface.  Any lures that mimic a small shad will get bit.  Some of the better lures to use are curly tail grubs, small crankbaits, small spinners and small jigging spoons.


Suspended White Bass

During the summer months, white bass will often suspend over deeper water.  They constantly roam in search of bait fish such as shad and smaller minnows.  Some anglers troll, others will vertical jig with live bait or jigging spoons and some anglers prefer to fish for other types of fish until they see a school of white bass chasing bait fish up to the surface (known as “white bass jumps“).  The key to finding these fish below the surface is having good electronics.  If you find the schools of bait fish, there’s a good chance that schools of white bass will be nearby.  The more schools of fish that you find, the better the fishing and the more likely you will get to see a school of white bass busting on bait fish at the surface.


Follow the Baitfish

During the summer and fall, you want to find the schools of baitfish.  The white bass won’t be very far behind, so find the baitfish and you can find the white bass.  In summer and fall, you will most likely be fishing deeper water or at least over deeper water.  White bass may be found anywhere throughout the water column based on where the baitfish are.  Cover water, use your electronics and when you find the fish, make sure you have your rods ready with the right baits tied on because as quickly as a school fires up, it can shut down.