How to Catch White Bass: In Depth Guide

I remember when I first started fishing for white bass. I’d go from spot to spot fishing different lures trying to understand how to catch these fish. At times I was confused and became frustrated.

However, after years of experience and fishing with other anglers. I was able to learn key strategies, tips and techniques on how to successfully catch white bass.

And in this no-nonsense guide, I’ll share with you everything I’ve learned over the years and show you exactly how to catch white bass.

So how do you catch white bass? Catching white bass is pretty straight forward. You’ll need to have a spinning rod setup with 4-6lb monofilament or fluorocarbon. Next you’ll need to select a lure (my favorite is a small jig). Now it’s time to head to the water and start fishing. The most productive white bass areas are rivers, creeks and streams or anywhere there is current.

For more in-depth information on how to target and catch white bass, please continue reading below.

How to Catch White Bass: 4 Easy Steps

If you are reading this article you are probably wondering how you can catch white bass. Fishing for white bass is pretty simple. They’re an easy fish to target, they taste great and they are a lot of fun to catch.

Here are 4 easy steps on how to catch white bass:

  • Use the right gear
  • Select the best baits & lures
  • Understand when and where to fish
  • Use key white bass fishing techniques & strategies

Let’s talk about each of these in more detail.

Choosing the Right White Bass Fishing Setup

Just like any other type of fishing, having the right setup and gear is super important and will make your life a lot easier.  

Here is the different gear you’ll need to get started:

Rod & Reel

An average white bass is typically around 12 inches. Because these fishing don’t get very big the best rod and reel setup for these fish is a light to medium power, 6-7-foot rod.

This light fishing setup will allow you to easily cast lighter baits and lures and will make fishing these feisty fish a lot of fun.

Fishing Line

After you have your rod and reel ready to go, it’s time to make sure you are using the right type of fishing line.

Because white bass aren’t very big and the baits and lures you’ll be using are fairly small, the best line to use is 4-6lb monofilament or fluorocarbon.

Fluorocarbon is my preferred choice because of the sensitivity but monofilament is more affordable and works great as well.  

Pliers & Snippers

Some other helpful items you’ll need when fishing for white bass is a nice set of pliers and some line snippers.

The snippers will make it easy to cut your fishing line when tying on your baits and lures and the pliers will be handy for when you need to remove your lures for from the bass.

Now that we covered the basic equipment you’ll need let’s talk more about what are the best baits and lures to use when fishing for white bass.

Best Baits & Lures for White Bass

When of the most important things to understand when trying to catch white bass is selecting the right baits and lures.

Choosing the right bait and techniques will allow you to have a lot more fishing success.  

Here are the best baits and lures to use while fishing for white bass.

Inline Spinners

Using inline spinners is a great way to target and catch white bass. The flash, sound and vibration of these lures is what makes these spinners so effective.

Here are some tips on choosing the right spinner for while targeting white bass”

  • Spinner Size: 1/16 to 1/14 ounce
  • Best Colors: White, chartreuse, gold, black, silver, yellow and rainbow.
  • Best Brands: Mepps, Rooster Tail, Blue fox, Panther Martin.
  • Technique: Vary your retrieval speed and mix it up by adding hops and jerks.

Small crankbaits and spoons

Another effective way to catch white bass is with small crank baits and spoons. The action, vibration and bait imitation makes these another fun way to catch them.

Here are some a few of my favorites.

  • Spoon and Crankbait Size: 1/16 to 1/14 ounce or 2-4 inches’ long
  • Best Colors: Gold, silver, rainbow, perch, white and chartreuse.
  • Best Brands: Rapala, Jakes minnow, Acme, Blue Fox.
  • Technique: Vary your retrieval speed and mix it up by adding hops and jerks.

Tubes and marabou jigs

One of my favorite ways to catch white bass is with small tubes and jigs. This is also a great option for kid and for those that are beginners.

Here are some specific details on the best tube & jigs for white bass:

  • Jig Size: 1/16-1/8 ounce seems to works best
  • Plastic Trailers: 1.5 to 3inch. White bass isn’t very big so it’s important to have a small bait profile.
  • Colors: White, chartreuse, black, silver and pink
  • Technique: Mix up the speed of your retrieval by adding hops and jerks.

Tip: Try adding a small amount of bait to your jig hook. Red worms, wax worms and white bass meat are all great choices.


If fly fishing is more your style, there are plenty of flies that will help you catch a ton of white bass.

Here some of the most effective from my experience:

  • Minnow imitating streamers (1-3 inches)
  • Best Flies: Clouser minnow, wooly bugger, sparkle minnow.
  • Colors: White, chartreuse, black, gray, flies with sparkle and flash are the best
  • Technique: Vary your retrieval speed and mix it up by adding hops and jerks.


Another very effective way to catch white bass with is with live bait. Below I’ve listed my favorite baits as well as some tips.

  • Best Baits: Red worms, night crawlers, wax worms and thin white bass meat.
  • Common Techniques:  Worm and bobber, tipping your jig with some bait or a light weight jig head with a casting bubble is also effective.
  • Tip: A worm and a bobber is super effective especially for kids.

Where to Find & Catch White Bass

One of the most important aspects of fishing is understanding where to find and catch the fish that you are targeting. Often times anglers waste a ton of time fishing in unproductive areas.

The first thing you’ll need to identify is what bodies of water have a good population of white bass near you. You can do this by simply performing a google search where you’ll find plenty of websites with information on where you can find white bass.

Once you’ve found a good place to try it’s time to start scouting out some areas to start fishing. Here are some high percentage areas that are typically great places to catch white bass:

Best White Bass Fishing Spots

  • Rivers
  • Streams
  • Inlets
  • Around Bridges
  • Rocky Banks
  • Weeds

Catching White Bass by Season

One of the great things about fishing for white bass is that you can catch them year round as long as you know what to look for and what to use.  

To help you be successful regardless of what time of year you are fishing in, I’ve created this quick guide on how to catch white bass by the different seasons.

How to Catch White Bass in the Spring

The springtime is one of the best times of the year to fish for white bass. In the early spring when the water temperature hits 55 to 60°F, white bass will gather in the upper ends of reservoirs and begin migrating into creek arms and tributary streams leaving behind their winter homes.

This transition and the spawn provides anglers with some great fishing opportunities. White bass will group up and become more aggressive making them easy targets once you can track them down.

In the spring the best areas are typically going to be where the water temperature is the warmest. White bass will congregate to these areas looking to feed on small bait fish and other forage.

How to Catch White Bass in the Summer

After the spawn when water temperatures continue to rise white bass will begin heading out to deeper cooler water, where they will spend their summer. This can be a great time to target and catch these fish.

Crankbaits, jigs, swimbaits & spinners are all great ways to catch white bass in the summer. The key to having success in the summer is to find current & cooler water.  If you can find these areas, you’ll have a lot of success.

How to Catch White Bass in the Fall

One of the best times to catch a monster white bass is in the fall. They’ve had all spring and summer to feed up and will be some of the biggest you’ll catch all year.

During October and later into the fall, the areas you choose to fish for white bass is extremely important. In my experience you’ll have the best success in the fall fishing larger rivers and tributaries.

For more information about fishing for white bass in the fall check out this article: It’s Time for Huge White Bass.

How to Catch White Bass in the Winter

Winter can be a great time to catch white bass. Most anglers will throw in the towel and wait until spring to fish again, but this can be a big mistake.

You can find and catch white bass all winter long fishing lakes through the ice, in river or in open water.

During this time of year white bass will typically be found schooling deep around humps, river bars, long points and other types of structure.

For more information about fishing for white bass check out this article: Winter White Bass Blast!

White Bass Fishing Techniques and Strategies

Fishing for white bass is pretty straightforward and simple however there are some key tips and strategies you should keep in mind as you fish for and target these fish.

  • Mix up your retrieval speed
  • Use light line
  • In rivers target eddies, bends, breaks and shade
  • Mix in jerks & twitches when using artificial lures

Here is a video outlining some key tips and strategies you can use to catch more white bass.

Final Thoughts

Fishing for white bass can be a lot of fun and you can have a lot of success if you know what lures to throw and where to target these fish.

I hope that you have found this how to catch white bass fishing guide to be helpful and that you use the techniques, lures and strategies we discussed in this post to help you catch more white bass and in turn have a great time out on the water.

Tight lines

Aaron Warner

Aaron Warner is an avid angler with over 15 years of experience. He has participated and won fishing tournaments all over the country and enjoys fishing for bass, trout, walleye and other species.

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