White bass can be found in many rivers and in some areas, there are rivers that are connected to lakes that drives some very large spawning runs every spring. Anglers catch them by the dozens during the peak of the runs. White bass do well in rivers and can be found throughout the river systems in many different areas. Current breaks, deeper pools, rocky shorelines, bridges, dams and spillways are all popular places to catch white bass in the rivers. Once you find them, it is fairly easy to catch them.
Fish the Current Breaks
The current breaks are key for most species of fish in a river and white bass are no different. Fish the pools with slack water and any other current break you can find in the river. White bass will be found in the current as well, but the areas where you have some decent current and then a nice current break will usually hold more fish.
Fish the Dams & Spillways
White bass can be found in the tailwaters below dams and spillways throughout the year, but you will find large concentrations of fish in these areas during the spring and fall. In the spring, huge numbers of white bass will move into the rivers and migrate upstream. Good numbers of these fish will not stop until they reach some type of barrier and this will usually be a dam or spillway. In the spring, when waters reach the low 50s, you can expect to find good numbers of white bass near the tailwaters. Once the water temperatures reach the low 60s, most white bass will be finished or close to finished with the spawn. Once the spawn is over, white bass will move back into the deeper river channels or back into the main lake / reservoir. The fishing will be inconsistent for most of the summer near the tailwaters, but it picks up again in the fall as white bass follow the bait fish upstream.
Spring Spawning Run
Fishing during the spawn is one of the most consistent ways to catch white bass. Some of the better rivers for white bass will have thousands of white bass moving upstream to spawn in the spring. Once water temperatures reach the low 50 to mid 50s, good numbers of white bass will be in the rivers. Typically, when the lilacs are in bloom, the white bass fishing hits its peak. It is common to see anglers report 50 to 100 fish days during the peak of the spring run. You can catch them with live minnows fished near the bottom or on a bobber. Some artificial lures that work well are curly tail grubs, small crankbaits, small spinners and small jigging spoons.
During the summer, most of the white bass will move back out of the rivers into the main lake. If there isn’t a lake connected to the river, you can usually find white bass spread out throughout the river in the deeper channels.
In the fall, good numbers of white bass will move back into the rivers as they follow the bait fish. The fishing can be very good in the fall, but don’t except to find the large numbers of fish that you saw during the spring run.