White Bass - (Morone chrysops)
Length: 9-15 inches (average sport catches)
Weight: 6 lbs. 7 oz. (world record )
Coloring: body is primarily silver, with dark green or gray on the back and white below; sides have 5-7 horizontal dark stripes
Common Names: silver bass, white lake-bass, striped bass
Found in Lakes: Michigan, Huron, Ontario, and Erie
White bass are native to the Midwest, with written records appearing as far back as the early 1800s. They are popular with anglers, who find them easy to catch during feeding frenzies or spring spawning runs.
These fish prefer open water habitat in lakes and some large rivers, and they seem to enjoy the warm water around power plants. They prefer to spawn in the moving water of tributary streams but will accept windswept lake shores when the preferred streams are not available.
The parents appear to have a strong homing tendency and can usually find their native spawning ground even after being removed from the water and relocated to a different area of the lake.
Spawning takes place during daylight, with each female releasing between 242,000 to 933,000 eggs. The eggs are heavy and adhesive, so they stick to rocks, plants, or other surfaces as they sink. The parents provide no care and move to deeper water soon afterwards. As the eggs hatch, the young fish remain in shallow water for a while before migrating to deeper areas.
White bass are carnivorous, eating microscopic crustaceans, insect larvae, and other fish. Larger foods become more important as the fish grow. They appear to be visual feeders, using their sense of sight instead of smell to locate prey. Because mature fish form schools, which also requires visual cues, white bass prefer clear water.
When conditions are right, anglers can expect large catches. The spring spawning run is probably the most productive. Sources recommend using streamer flies, flashy spinning lures, and ultra-light tackle.
White bass is an excellent eating fish, with firm white flesh that is appealing fresh or smoked.
copyright 2001 University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
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