John's Journal...

How to Catch the Big White Bass

Trolling the Tailrace and Jigging White Bass

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: To become a great fisherman, regardless of the type of fish you want to catch, you need to learn who has the best tips for catching the species you want to catch, and then fish with them and learn from them. Over the years, I’ve fished with some of the greatest fishermen in the nation. Some of these anglers, like Tom and Don Mann, have passed on to the other side of the pond. But the wisdom and the tactiClick to enlargecs I’ve learned from them work today as when they first taught them to me. The river may change its course and the fishermen may fade away, but the fish, especially the white bass, still take the same kinds of lures they always have.

To get your bait down near the bottom to where the big white bass feed in tailrace areas, tie a deep-diving crankbait like Mann’s 20+ or 30+, a Bagley’s DB3, a Norman’s Big N or a deep-diving Bomber to the end of the main line. On the last set of treble hooks, attach a 24-inch piece of 10-pound-test leader. To the end of the leader, tie on either a silver spoon, a Rooster Tail, a small crappie jig or a tube fly, normally used to catch white bass on the surface. Troll this rig across and up the current. The crankbait willenable you to get the lures down close to the bottom. The side-to-side waddling action of the crankbait also will give your striper lure that’s attached tothe last set of treble hooks an erratic action that will cause big white bass, hybrids and saltwater stripers to attack.

Jigging White Bass:Click to enlarge
Many anglers will fish small crappie jigs, 1/8- and 1/32-ounce each, on 4-, 6- and 8-pound-test line to catch white bass. Fishermen often will take a large number of small white bass with this tactic. However, if you’ll use a 1/4- to 1/2Click to enlarge-ounce jig with either a feather or a plastic ripple tail, you can get your bait down quicker and catch more big white bass than when you fish the smaller jigs.

To fish the larger jigs through a school of white bass, don’t set the hook as the jig falls toward the bottom. If youdo, more than likely, you’ll catch only the smaller white bass in the school. Instead, let your jig drop all the way to the bottom. Then either swim the jig along the bottom, or hop it off the bottom. You’ll find that you’ll catch the biggest white bass in the school with this strategy. Usually the size of the bait directly relates to the size of the white bass you’ll catch. You’ll take bigger white bass using larger lures than you will when you fish smaller lures.

Tomorrow: Rattling Them Up

Check back each day this week for more about "How to Catch the Big White Bass"

Day 1: Catching Big White Bass
Day 2: Catching Big White Bass in a Tailrace
Day 3: Trolling the Tailrace and Jigging White Bass
Day 4: Rattling Them Up
Day 5: Catching Big White Bass at Night



Entry 412, Day 3