What most people call “White Bass”, we down here in Oklahoma call them “Sand Bass.” I believe that is mainly due to the fact that a lot of these fish are caught in some of our sandy rivers and streams across the state. Whether you call them “Sand Bass” or “White Bass”, here’s a little sand bass fishing 101 lesson on how to catch these feisty little fish!
A sand bass is a feeding machine. It’s closely related to the striped bass. And if you know anything about striped bass, you know they move in huge schools and are ferocious feeders! The same is true for sand bass. Their favorite food is shad, but they will eat anything they can catch, they’re not picky.
This is good news for sand bass fishermen! Any shad colored lures work great. Whether that is a white curly tail jig, a white and red bucktail jig or a shad colored crankbait, sand bass will hammer it! Spoons and slabs also make excellent lures for catching sand bass. Rat-l-traps and Little Georges’ are two very popular fishing baits for sand bass.
Sand bass also like moving water. While you can find them in lakes, they are a lot happier in a river or stream that has moving water. Below hydroelectric dams can be awesome fishing as well whenever they are running water to generate electric. Just be sure to check your local fishing regulations before heading out. When fishing such rivers or streams for sand bass, look for back eddies or where the water changes speed. This is where the sand bass will be hiding, waiting for their food to come washing down the current.
I like to use either light or ultralight tackle when fishing for sand bass. They put up an excellent fight when hooked. You’ll have all the action you want if you hang into one on ultralight tackle. I use an Abu Garcia spinning reel coupled with a Quantum ultralight five and a half foot rod. This combination is awesome fun when I hook into a sand bass weighing a pound or two!
My favorite technique is to tie a tandem jib rig. I use a one quarter ounce white curly or hair jig on the bottom and a one eighth ounce yellow curly tail jig on the top. I space my jigs out between 12 and 18 inches. The faster the water is moving, the closer I tie my jigs.
If I’m fishing in a stream with heavy current, I load up my reels with 10lb test line. No use for braid, mono line is good enough. If the water is a little slower, I may go down to 6lb line. You’ll get many more bites on light line than you will with heavier line.