Nailing White Bass Before the Spawn

Nailing White Bass Before the Spawn

It was early March, and my friend Brad Wiegmann, a fishing guide on Beaver Lake near Springdale, Arkansas, invited my son Zach and me to join him for some white bass fishing. In just a few weeks, the whites would start their spawning runs up the tributary streams feeding the lake. But on this day, the temperature was barely above freezing and clouds hid the sun. The fish were still holding in deep water offshore.


“Most of them are staging around creek mouths and coves in the lake,” Brad said. “They’re hard to find sometimes, but when we do, we should be able to catch them one after another. When they’re in the smaller rivers and creeks to spawn, they’re easy to catch, so that’s when most people fish for them. But early birds like us can catch them, too. We just have to find them first.”

To our delight, find them we did. We were trolling several shad-colored crankbaits behind the boat as we watched Brad’s fish-finder for signs of the schools. Then suddenly one of the trolling rods went down. Zach grabbed it and quickly reeled a jumbo white bass close enough for Brad to net it.

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