White Bass Identification
Other names: Sand bass, barfish, streaker, silver bass
Morone is of unknown derivation. The species epithet
chrysops is Greek meaning "golden eye." As with other true basses, the
dorsal fin is clearly double, separated into spiny and soft-rayed portions.
White bass are silvery shading from dark-gray or black on the back to white on
the belly. Several incomplete lines or stripes run horizontally on each side of
the body. Adults resemble young striped bass, and the two are often confused.
However, striped bass have two distinct tooth patches on the back of the tongue,
and white bass have one tooth patch. Striped bass have two sharp points on each
gill cover, as opposed to white bass which have one, and the second spine on the
anal fin is about half the length of the third spine in striped bass, whereas it
is about two-thirds the length of the third spine in white bass.
White bass are the fifth most preferred species among licensed Texas anglers.
Schools of white bass feeding on shad generate much excitement in the fishing
community. Once a school has been located, successful anglers often fish the
surface with spoons or spinners. Bottom fishing at night with live bait may also
produce great success. White bass are excellent fighters, and are considered
superb table fare.
White bass are active early spring spawners. Schools of males migrate
upstream to spawning areas as much as a month before females. There is no nest
preparation. Spawning occurs either near the surface, or in midwater. Running
water with a gravel or rock substrate is preferred. Females rise to the surface
and several males crowd around as the eggs and sperm are released. Large females
sometimes release nearly a million small eggs during the spawning season. After
release eggs sink to the bottom and become attached to rocks, hatching in 2-3
days. Fry grow rapidly, feeding on small invertebrates. White bass may grow
eight or nine inches during the first year. Adults are usually found in schools.
Feeding occurs near the surface where fish, crustaceans, and emerging insects
are found in abundance. Gizzard and threadfin shad are the preferred food items.
White bass more than four years of age are rare.
White bass are native to the the central US west of the Appalachians,
including the Great Lakes, as well as river systems in the Ohio and Mississippi
river valleys. In Texas the species is native to the Red River drainage.
to temperate basses group