One of the fun things about fishing is that you never know what you’re going to catch!  Such was the case over the weekend.
First, let’s talk fall white bass fishing. Once the water temperature drops into the low 60’s the fish get active. The cooler temps and the shorter days signal it’s time for the fish to feed up for the winter! The game plan on how to catch these fish is pretty basic too. All you need is a flat point or bank with the wind blowing on it and chances are there will be white bass nearby.
The wind blows the shad up onto the flatter banks. The shallow water makes it easier for the predator fish to catch their prey. Also too, be prepared to be on the trolling most of the day holding the boat in the right spot. Pay attention to the wind direction. The wind had been blowing hard from the south for a couple days, that means the north banks will be best as the shad get blown up. Had the wind been from the north, the opposite would have been true.
Lure selection is pretty basic too. A #4 or #5 black and silver Shad Rap is best. This balsa wood bait has a tight wobble that works best in colder water. Being that the bait is lighter and smaller, it requires that you fish is on lighter line. 6 lb test works best so you can make a longer cast and it helps the bait retain it’s action while coming through the water. Rooster Tails, Rat-L-Traps, and smaller chrome colored crankbaits will work too, but nothing beats the Shad Rap. Make sure and retie your line often because your line can get nicked up on the rocks.
As I mentioned earlier, you never know what you might catch this time of year. A bonus walleye, bass, catfish, or crappie are all possible while casting for whites. Even the non-predatory types will be roaming the same area trying to snag an easy meal. Such was the case when this monster Buffalo mistook a shad rap for the real thing. Landing this brute took several minutes and a little luck to get it into the net.

This pattern will continue until the water gets below 50 degrees or so. Don’t delay, hook up the boat and get to the lake! All the lakes in our region have large populations of white bass and this pattern works on them all. Within just a few hours of fishing we had 15 nice white bass in the live well and tossed back about a half dozen smaller fish. Good luck and happy fall fishing!