White Bass feast mostly on baitfish, crayfish and the offspring of other predatory fish like the largemouth bass.

Habitat & Distribution

White Bass can be found in a large distribution ranging from the Mississippi drainage in the northern United States to central Canada through the red river into Lake Winnipeg. They adapt well to lake conditions and as such have been introduced to many reservoirs across the united states.

They enjoy lakes, reservoirs and rivers that offer clear, cool and deep water. Unlike other freshwater bass, White Bass feed in schools wondering from location to location. While they are aggressive fish, they are very picky so have a range of baits and lures ready.

Light Tackle

Medium to light tackle is all that is needed for White Bass. Moreover, light tackle is preferred for optimal sensitivity but in areas where other large game fish are present, medium weight tackle would be recommended as the baits and lures used to catch White Bass also catch large lunker bass like largemouth bass and striper bass, which the later can reach as large as 50lbs. But, unlike the striper bass, the white bass migrates within fresh water.

Food Preference

White Bass are relatively small and have small mouths. Use baits and lures accordingly. They feed on gizzard shad, fathead minnows, golden shiners and other baitfish. They also enjoy crayfish, smelt, alewives and leeches.


Lures are highly effective when they replicate baitfish popular within their habitat. For much of North America, the following lures work well: small crankbaits; jigging spoons, silver in colour; spinners; bucktail jigs and divers. Check with your local bait shop as to which work best in your area as water conditions and temperature may dictate different baitfish and feeding preferences.


In rivers, look to areas where streams enter into the lake or where bridges or bridge pilings disrupt the water flow. Pretty much anything that disturbs the water attract White Bass such as bridge piles, docks, embankments, sunken trees, underwater debris and embankments where the water has eaten away at the river bank providing a safe harbour.

Water temperatures are moderated compared to those found in the lakes. White Bass enjoy the river habitat as the oxygen levels are consistent from the river bed all the way to the surface. However, unless they are actively feeding, White Bass won’t stay in the main current, but find shelter in sunken pools, off to the side, around sunken rocks, debris and trees. Another White Bass river technique is to take advantage of the rich current that supplies white bass with constant food.