March Madness

White Bass Spring Spawning Run: A Photo Essay

On The Fly Freshwater

March 2022

Article and photos by Jimmy Jacobs

A spring-run white bass.

White bass are found throughout the southeastern U.S. and in Oklahoma they are the official state fish. In the month of March angling for them takes center stage as these fish in the hundreds make spawning runs up creeks and rivers out of major reservoirs. These fish have a short life span, have a high reproductive capacity and are delicious on the dinner table.

Biologists will tell you the spawning run starts when water temperatures reach 50 to 55 degrees in the reservoirs. On the other hand, old timers said it was easier to time it; just look for the redbud trees to start blooming.

Many of the streams the white bass run up offer shore access for casting.

The migrating fish stack up at the foot of dams on larger rivers.
Along sand bars in the current are good places to intercept the run.
The foot of shoals is another area where the fish stack up.
You should also look for them around any wood debris in the water.
A white Wooly Bugger is a go-to fly for white bass.
Regardless of where you find them, white bass can put a smile on any angler’s face in the spring.
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