Tuesday, February 21, 2012

White bass fishing on Wheeler 2/17/12

Last Friday was so pretty that I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get out. Word was that the white bass were biting on the upper end of Wheeler. I figured it would be an awesome opportunity to throw the Bama rig and see what would happen.

I left work and put in on the Army Rec area and ran upriver. You can find these guys at the mouth of almost any creek entrance.

The first thing that I noticed was the amount of boats out. I probably counted 4-5 boats around the Rec area...which is VERY strange. As I passed Ditto Landing, the number kept increasing. I noticed that most of the boats sported matching jerseys. Turns out, the college guys were fishing Ditto. Oh boy. That's ok. I was fishing for white bass and I didn't figure it would be hard to get on one of the traditional white spot holes. I was wrong.

As I arrived at the Flint river entrance, there were boats about every 50 yards. Being the courteous fisherman, I idled up to one of the boats and asked which way they were fishing. When they told me, I pointed the boat in the opposite direction and started fishing. However, the lower point with all the rip rap wasn't producing. I bet it had been pounded. So, I scooted up to the up river boat. I essentially put the boat into the clay bottom and cast out to 19 feet.

I began throwing a red Xcalibur square bill. For about 4 casts, a white bass would follow it to the boat but wouldn't hit it. I thought that maybe I needed to rile up the school, so I started throwing the Bama rig.

However, it was only the little guys hitting it and they were having trouble getting the hooks of even the little Storm swimbaits in their mouths. So, I swapped the square bill to a Lucky Craft MR in Aurora.

That did the trick!
I proceeded to wear them out for the next hour. I had 3 streaks of catching them on 5 consecutive casts. I even managed to coax the bigger ones to start biting!

I only caught 5 of the larger ones, but I bet by best 5 went 10-11 pounds!

So, if you want to take your kids and get them hooked on fishing, you have to have a high success rate. Go find these guys and see how many you can catch! I caught about 50 in 2 hours. These guys are VERY depth dependent, so if you KNOW they are there and they aren't hitting, vary the depth. Color doesn't seem to matter as much as the depth. I usually catch them on a 7ft running crank. White works best. Keep this in mind.....they are feisty and have a lot of stickers on them. They will flat fin you, so watch out!

Also, while the kids are catching them, know that the spots normally are hanging out under them. Just to experiment, I threw a 6XD out there. First cast...2 pound spot.

Because my kids LOVE fishing, I brought some of the smaller ones home for them to play with.