In the world of bass fishing, white bass are all too often overlooked. White bass make up a great subspecies to target. Whether you are trying to fill the freezer or just want to connect with nature, white bass can provide awesome fishing experiences. Today we’re talking about the best tackle for white bass!
Here’s what you’ll need for your next white bass adventure:
- Rod – light, fast action
- Spinning reel
- Line – mono or flouro
- Bait – real or artificial
- Stringer (If you plan to keep your catch)
Let’s go into more detail about each of these items…
Rod and Reel
A really important aspect of your setup is the rod and reel combination. After all, these two pieces are what ensure a safe, efficient catch. Here are some key points to keep in mind.
When shopping around for rods, there are a few buzz words you will see. One of which is action. This dictates how much the rod will bend when weight is applied. If there is a fast action, the tip will be super sensitive, and the rod will bend a lot. If it is slow, then there is a tougher flex. Fast action works best for White Bass.
The other key term to understand is power. Power is a similar designation, but it relates more to the lures you use and the species being targeted. Light action will bend a lot and be for smaller fish, whereas heavy is about bigger fish and heavier presentations. Go with light power when targeting White Bass.
For white bass, we recommend a rod with fast action and light to medium power.
The length of your rod can vary, but it is an important variable. Bass fishing in general harbors rods 6’6” and above. But, white bass are smaller and do not require a bit of oomph that comes with larger rods. For white bass, go with 6-foot rods and above. You can even go up to seven feet to add some versatility.
There are two main types of reels worth noting. There are spinning reels and baitcasting reels. Spinning reels have a completely different design and are more traditional. Baitcasters are for heavier lures and cast in a much different way.
For white bass, a spinning setup is usually best. Because the lures being used are lighter, spinning rigs work better.
The Best Rod and Reel Combo for White Bass
There are a lot of good rod and reels out there, but the one that stood out to me was the KastKing Centron Spinning Reel. KastKing is one of the newer brands in fishing. So far everything I’ve bought from them has been high quality and reasonably priced.
This rod is super versatile. It feels like it’s built to last, but is also sensitive enough to detect every nibble. Go with the 6’6″ or 7′ model for White Bass. As the description says, it also works for trout, panfish, and other species as well.
The next step in importance is the line. Although this seems simple and unimportant, your line choice is crucial. This is what connects you to the fish, so you need the right type for the job.
There are three kinds of lines: monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braid. For white bass, you should probably stick to fluoro and mono as these are clear and provide good strength for this fish.
Monofilament is the cheaper and more well-known option. Fluorocarbon is a bit fancier and more expensive but will last longer.
The weight of your line is an important factor as you need enough strength without overdoing it. For both mono and fluoro, you should stick to the 4-8 pound test. Any more or any less than risk your chances of hooking up. The weight does depend on the rod and reel setup as well as the lure weight, so keep that in mind.
These lines come in different colors, but sticking to clear is the way to go. There are green and blue tints, but all this does is hinder clarity and can prevent bites.
This is the biggest section as your bait selection is incredibly important. What you put in front of a white bass’s face will be the determining factor of if you catch it or not. So, bait and lure selection is huge.
Firstly, there is the live bait designation. Live bait is classified as organic matter and does not necessarily have to be alive. You can buy frozen or refrigerated bait and it will still fall into this category.
Minnows make up a good amount of the live bait arsenal for targeting white bass. This is a natural food source in many areas, so you can take advantage of that fact. You can also use cut-up shad as shad is prevalent in many areas. Either way, you need to match the hatch and target what can be found there anyway.
Artificial bait is man-made and has a different makeup. However, there is still a distinction between artificial bait and lures. Although on paper they are the same, for white bass, you can throw Powerbait and other packaged items as artificial. This is a bit of a grey area, but you can see artificial bait as a sector of the bait market.
Lures are definitively man-made and are there to imitate the natural food source as closely as possible. This is also the most popular way to fish for white bass. So, there are a few lures you need when fishing for this subspecies.
One of the most useful is the crankbait. Whether they be divers or lipless, small crankbaits do an excellent job of imitating natural baitfish that white bass love to eat.
Another top presentation is a jig. Subtle, small jigs do a great job of harboring bites. Whether you go with a traditional bass jig, hair jig, or just a jig head with a trailer, that same action is what you are looking for.
There are a ton of lures out there. We picked the 14 best lures for white bass.
Although we mentioned them briefly above, crankbaits deserve their section. These are very popular for white bass and knowing what types and colors to go with is key.
There are two types of crankbaits and both are great for white bass. Lipless cranks are fantastic for white bass because they are flashy and can be ripped through grass with a lot of success. Billed crankbaits are also good as long as you downsize and take a more subtle approach.
You should stick with colors like silver, chartreuse, and other ones that can be found naturally with bait. These are natural colors that keep your presentation close to what white bass will eat in nature.
The final leg in the connection between you and fish is the hook. Hooks need to be sharp and of the right size to supply a proper connection.
White bass are small, and their mouths are smaller. So, you need to downsize the hooks compared to largemouth or other subspecies. Generally, 3-5 is a good size range, but there is some give and take there. If you go smaller, you may not be able to get a good hookset. If it is bigger, the fish may not even take a bite.
One way to up the hook presentation is using a jig head. This combines weight, the hook, and a bit of action all into one setup.
What else do you need?
All of the above information is the nuts and bolts of white bass fishing. Now, we can lay out some additional accessories that will make the experience better but are not required by any means.
Whether you are going to keep your catch or not, pliers are incredibly useful. Especially when using treble hooks, pliers can be the best tool to safely unhook the white bass. Without these, you are putting your fingers at risk of being hooked.
If you want to ethically harvest your catch, a stringer is an important accessory. This is where all of the fish will be kept together and fresh.
You need a way to store all of your lures and hooks. Having proper tackle storage can maximize your time on the water and keep everything where it should be. Plus, hooks are sharp and should not be carried around loosely.
Tips for catching white bass
Here are some tips to help you catch white bass:
- Look for areas where white bass are known to congregate, such as points, drop-offs, and deep holes.
- Use small jigs or crankbaits in white or silver colors, as these are the most effective lures for white bass.
- Fish during the early morning or late afternoon when the water is cooler, as white bass are more active during these times.
- Try using live bait such as minnows or worms, especially when fishing in clear water.
- Vary your retrieval speed and technique until you find what works best for the day.
- Keep an eye on your line for any twitches or sudden movements, as this may indicate a strike.
Good luck and happy fishing!
Now that you know how to catch them, learn the best way to prepare and eat white bass.
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Hello! My name is Tim and I’ve been fishing for over 30 years. I’ve learned a lot about fishing during that time and I love sharing that knowledge with others. I’m also a member of the International Game Fish Association (IGFA). Thanks for checking out the site!