White Bass Spawn

Non-Trout pursuits

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schoNUFF
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White Bass Spawn

Post by schoNUFF » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:17 pm

I'm looking for any fly/tactic recommendations for going after the white bass spawn over the next couple weeks. I'll be going with a veteran over Spring Break, but would love to get some fishing in this week on Town Lake by Red Bud Isle (I saw a bunch jumping last Friday) and possibly other locales if given the time.

Thanks in advance. I've spent hardly any time going after bass.

LabRat
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Re: White Bass Spawn

Post by LabRat » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:59 pm

If you are fly fishing you will need a sink tip line. Whites really hug the bottom.

For flies, Cypert's minnows, small white clousers (sparsley tied) and white wooly buggers should be all you need. Whites aren't that picky.

My flies are usually size 8, or close to it. Take quite a few flies since you are fishing on the bottom; expect to lose several.
Mark Dillow

Jimbo Roberts
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Re: White Bass Spawn

Post by Jimbo Roberts » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:06 pm

I'm no expert, but fortunately you don't have to be when the female White Bass finally join the males already staging.
Depending on water depth floating lines for shallow water and sinktips or full sinking for deeper waters.
A good selection of flys will include, Clousers, Cypert minnows, Cat's Whisker, and other small bendback streamers.

Jimbo

schoNUFF
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Re: White Bass Spawn

Post by schoNUFF » Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:29 pm

Thanks fellas. I just picked up a new 4-wt rig (giggidy) that I'm going to put a sinking line on. I'm going to bring my 5-wt with floating line along as well considering how many I saw rising last Friday.

pontoonman
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Re: White Bass Spawn

Post by pontoonman » Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:24 am

When whites are spawning, WHERE is much more critical that WHAT. You could use a safety pin and catch them where they bottle up on rivers....

Pon
schoNUFF wrote:I'm looking for any fly/tactic recommendations for going after the white bass spawn over the next couple weeks. I'll be going with a veteran over Spring Break, but would love to get some fishing in this week on Town Lake by Red Bud Isle (I saw a bunch jumping last Friday) and possibly other locales if given the time.

Thanks in advance. I've spent hardly any time going after bass.

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Coconut Groves
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Re: White Bass Spawn

Post by Coconut Groves » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:58 pm

schoNUFF wrote:Thanks fellas. I just picked up a new 4-wt rig (giggidy) that I'm going to put a sinking line on. I'm going to bring my 5-wt with floating line along as well considering how many I saw rising last Friday.
Whites usually run shallow enough at spawn time that you don't need to get super deep. I suggest using a sinking leader around 10' to 15' in length. You can attach it to the end of your floating line. With a weighted fly you'll be able to get into the eat zone.

There are pros and cons to full sink lines. I fish full sink, sinking leader, and shooting head with intermediate running line. A good suggestion is to take an older floating line and cut off the head, then attach a shooting head to it with a braided loop. You can cut back the shooting head to the length that suites you.

Full sink lines typically have to be stripped back in before your next cast, so it does limit the quickness of your cast. I moved to a shooting head with int running line to help alleviate that issue. When a boil happens you need to be able to recast somewhat quickly.

Depending on where you fish, you might get a big hybrid or striper under the whites. I laid into a good sized striper on a 5 wt a few weekends ago and man, it was a fight! That rod was twitching like there was a marlin on the other side of it!
"Strip... Strip... Strip...... Fish On!"

schoNUFF
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Re: White Bass Spawn

Post by schoNUFF » Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:03 am

I went yesterday with a buddy to Reimer's Ranch in west Travis County. Though very low, the Pedernales still had plenty of deep pockets and holes that held white bass. It was colder than expected and the wind was howling up the river valley. After an hour of changing flies and depths, the fish started to bite. And then they wouldn't stop.

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They're not the biggest fish I've caught, but they put up a great fight on a 4-wt.

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In the end I caught 10, and released all but three who made it into my ceviche last night. I never keep fish I catch fly fishing, but my friend told me they tasted delicious - he was right. I'd have felt better about my take, especially for my first time, if my friend who took me hadn't caught 25. Maybe it's because he was willing to go anywhere to catch them.

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I ended up picking up a sinking tip line (not a ton of options in the Austin-area) that I was extremely happy with. I wasn't fortunate enough to hook anything bigger than those 12" whites, but there's always tomorrow. Thanks for the suggestions, Coconut Groves. I'm bringing a another friend with me tomorrow who also has a 9 day weekend (Spring Break!), so maybe we'll try the longer sinking leader and weighted fly for him. I never had to cast more than 35 feet or so, so if the wind's not blowing like yesterday that could be a cheap option.

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Ron Mc
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Re: White Bass Spawn

Post by Ron Mc » Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:04 pm

all 12-inch and better white bass are honkin fly rod fare.
Also great to fillet, because you can't damage their population.
Ron Mc

schoNUFF
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Re: White Bass Spawn

Post by schoNUFF » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:02 pm

Another good day at Reimer's yesterday. Everyone I talked to said they've had no luck all season. We hiked down-river, and once past park property we started slaying them. I caught 8 (all released), but would have taken more if I hadn't spent an hour teaching a buddy how to cast my fly rod. He's a good angler, so he picked it up quickly. Here he is trying to figure out how to land a fish on a 9-ft rod (look at the bend on my 4-wt!).

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And his first fish on a fly rod.

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He was surprised by the fight these little suckers put up and loved the challenge of taking them with the fly. Needless to say, my friend is now hooked and will be buying his first fly rod and reel in the next couple weeks.

A little after this fish he got my fly caught on the other side of the river. He crossed and released the hook, and as he waded back away from where we were fishing I decided to strip the line in by hand, sans rod. Three or four tugs across that pool and I was hooked into my biggest white bass of the day! I doubt it will become a regular strategy, but catching that fish with just a line was definitely my favorite part of the day.

jchristensen77
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Re: White Bass Spawn

Post by jchristensen77 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:39 pm

Ron Mc wrote:all 12-inch and better white bass are honkin fly rod fare.
Also great to fillet, because you can't damage their population.
???
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Coconut Groves
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Re: White Bass Spawn

Post by Coconut Groves » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:25 pm

jchristensen77 wrote:
Ron Mc wrote:all 12-inch and better white bass are honkin fly rod fare.
Also great to fillet, because you can't damage their population.
???
Do some searching on white bass stunt, or population stunting. The limits put in place help keep the population healthy - without them, they would overbreed, creating a larger population of smaller fish. I've never heard the phrase "the white bass population is in trouble."

I used to question the 25 bag day limit on whites, but during their run there is definitely enough of them to keep me from getting down to the stripers under that boil.

Personally, I throw back way more than I keep since I fish for sport and don't really enjoy cleaning that many fish.
"Strip... Strip... Strip...... Fish On!"

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