White Bass: (Morone chrysops)
Non-native that was originally found in the St. Lawrence/Great Lakes area, Hudson Bay, and Mississippi River basin. Introduced in 1960 to Arizona. Body silver-white with yellowish under parts, 4 to 7 dark horizontal lines. Lines below lateral line often faint and broken. Dorsal fins are distinctly separate, unlike the yellow bass, which are joined at the base. 2nd anal spine distinctly shorter than the 3rd. Lower jaw protrudes beyond upper jaw; Generally a single patch of teeth at base of tongue. A member of the “true bass” family. Length: 8 to19 inches. Weight: 5 ounces to 4 pounds. Relatively short-lived, maximum age is 9 years.
Location and Habitat
Found only in Lake Pleasant, although there may be a remnant population contained in Imperial Reservoir near Yuma. Prefer clear, open waters.
Spawn in large groups from March to May, generally when water temperature reaches 57 degrees Fahrenheit. Prefer spawning in current of rocky riffles or other areas of turbulence or circulation. Spawn over solid surfaces in lakes. Eggs are adhesive and sink as they are fertilized. Hatch in about 2 days.
Main diet is threadfin shad. Hungry white bass will often pursue schools of shad, causing the shad to jump and "boil" the surface of the water in their frantic efforts to escape.
Will also feed on insects, invertebrates and other small fish.
Effective lures are spinners, spoons, jigs and shad type crank baits. During a feeding frenzy, they will strike practically any shad imitating lure tossed into their midst.
The meat is white, firm, flaky and good eating. Red meat along lateral line may taste a bit “fishy” so it’s removal will enhance table quality.
Information From the Arizona Game and Fish Department.