White bass moving upstream to spawn

By Lee McClellan
Kentucky Afield Outdoors

It is now the first of April. If you asked most Kentuckians what it feels like weather wise, they would say it is the first of March.
The warm winds finally began to blow from the South earlier this week and brought the white bass upstream with them.
The spawning runs are finally here.
Water temperatures breaking the 50 degree mark combined with rainfall signal to white bass that it is time to move upstream to reproduce. They need a gently rising river along with sun-warmed water to begin migrating from the main lake into the headwaters of reservoirs.
White bass fishing inspires such ardor in anglers because these fish strike practically anything that comes near them during their spawning runs. No other fishing compares to it when white bass are really on and biting. Bank anglers can enjoy fishing just as good as those fishing from boats.
White bass anglers invented the plunker and fly presentation, originally comprised of a piece of broom handle with an eyelet screwed into it. They tied a piece of heavy monofilament to the eyelet with a treble hook dressed in white marabou at the other end. They cast this rig into the boils of feeding white bass and popped the rod to draw the attention of white bass.
Modern anglers use a white chugger-style topwater with the back hook removed. They tie a piece of light braided or monofilament line to the eyelet of the hook and attach a 1/32-ounce marabou jig or a dressed treble hook to the business end. Some remove both hooks to keep the rig from tangling on the cast. This presentation still catches white bass as well as it did in the 1950s.
White or chartreuse 1/16-ounce marabou or feather jigs suspended under bobbers and allowed to drift downstream also work extremely well on white bass. Adjust the depth of the bobber until it disappears from a fish.
In-line spinners of practically any color, small silver spoons and white 2 ½-inch curly-tailed grubs rigged on 1/8-ounce leadhead all score white bass.
White bass are either right on top, a few feet deep or just above bottom. The depth you catch them changes from day to day and sometimes from hour to hour. Keep probing the water column until you find them. When they are mid-depth or deeper, the curly-tailed grub is hard to beat.
The white bass are here, signaling this dreadful winter is finally gone for good. Get out in the next couple of weeks for the most exciting fishing found.

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