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#12371435 - 08/03/17 05:13 PM How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling
Dennis Christian Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/20/09
Posts: 2383
Loc: Cedar Creek Lake
Well, it is that time of year again (August and September) when white bass fishing gets more difficult on north Texas lakes.. Even some guides take a break until fishing picks back up again in October. Many of the guides that do take clients out during this period have to resort to trolling the hell-pet combo to put fish in the boat. A number of people , including me, do not care for trolling – it seems boring.

So, I wanted to offer some evidence that you can still put fish in the boat without having to troll. Let me start with my theory re why fish become hard to catch in August-September. I believe it is a new hatch of threadfin shad that becomes the dominant forage of white bass during this period. Some of the older, bigger shad are still around, and you might stumble upon some fish that are feeding on them. But as you get further and further into August, white bass will be feeding on the new hatch. These new shad are ¾ inch to 2 inches long compared to the previous generation, which are 3 to 4 ½ inches long. The older larger shad swim faster, and you can catch them by working slabs and larger spinners (#4 Mepps) faster.

The smaller, younger shad are slower and easier for the whites to catch. When the trollers go to the hell-pet rigs, they are using small pet spoons and moving them slowly, horizontally along the bottom – with best results after they have located fish on their sonars. Those who know my story, know that I use Mepps spinners pretty much exclusively to catch white bass and whatever runs with them. Most of the year I use #4 Mepps, but when August/September hit I usually have to resort to #2 Mepps. It began for me this year July 23 when I found a really good school of whites on the bottom at Key Ranch Drop-off on Cedar Creek Lake, but I couldn’t get them to touch a #4. I switched to a #2 and started catching a fish every cast. It repeated again the next couple of days.
Another observation is that during these months fishing is better in 11 to 15 fow. Many times I have located fish on deep patterns (20 to 30 fow) but can’t get them to bite throwing everything in my tackle box at them including various sizes of Mepps.

So, I looked up my statistics using the Mepps #2 pattern in 11 to 15 fow over the last 6 years and here they are:
Year.........Aug/Sep Trips........Total caught.............Average Caught/Trip
2011............14......................627.............................45
2012............20......................738.............................37
2013............8.......................755.............................94
2014............8.......................515.............................64
2015............6.......................437.............................73
2016............9.......................503.............................56
Total...........65......................3575............................55

Of the 65 trips, 70% of them I fished alone.

If you are interested, here is my rig and how I use it. I use 10 lb fluorocarbon line on a 5 or 6 to 1 ratio smooth reeling casting reel – like a Shimano Curado CU-200 or a Mettle H2O Express on a 5 ft 6 inch or 6 ft medium action rod like a Shakespeare Durango. I tie a #2 silver Mepps plain Aglia spinner to the line and add a mash-on 3/8 oz weight about 15 inches up the line. It’s the old fashioned elongated weight with dog ears on each end. The weight is required to make the rig heavy enough to cast. It also gets the rig to the bottom faster.

After I locate fish in 11 to 15 fow, I mark where they are by tossing over a float near but not on top of the fish taking note as to where the fish are relative to where I tossed over the marker. Then I back off an easy throw’s distance from the fish and anchor the boat with an anchor or iPilot. Then I make a cast beyond where the fish are and let the rig sink to the bottom. Now, unlike the way I fish a Mepps #4, I leave a little slack in the line , get my hand on the reel crank, then jerk start the retrieve and keep it moving by reeling medium to medium slow for 3 to 6 turns of the reel. If no strike, I release the reel and let the rig fall back to the bottom. Then I repeat the jerk start as I reel the Mepps 3 to 6 turns of the reel more. I repeat this all the way back to the boat. To help feel the Mepps blade start turning immediately, put a very slight bend in the Mepps wire where it comes out of the base.

I hope this helps/encourages you to not give up on August/September fishing. Please feel free to ask questions if I didn’t make it clear enough.


Edited by Dennis Christian (08/03/17 05:24 PM)

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#12371477 - 08/03/17 05:47 PM Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian]
Buzzard Breath Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/25/11
Posts: 1500
Loc: 32�42.136′N 97�6.772′W
great info, thanks.
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#12371528 - 08/03/17 06:36 PM Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian]
scruboak Online   content
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/11/03
Posts: 934
Loc: Cisco,tx
Interesting stats and read thanks.

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#12371584 - 08/03/17 07:17 PM Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian]
Ledeez Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 09/01/15
Posts: 897
Loc: Lake lavon
Good stuff! Thanks for sharing! thumb
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#12371593 - 08/03/17 07:22 PM Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian]
ToadThrower Offline
Angler

Registered: 06/29/07
Posts: 361
Loc: Arlington, TX
Thanks for the tips...I have been stumped lately...so I will give this a try...just as you said... I can see fish stacked up but no bites...now I have something new to try...I really appreciate you sharing your experience.

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#12371622 - 08/03/17 07:38 PM Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian]
SteveStrasemeier Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 1514
Loc: Garland TX
Agree with you on the trolling, not a fan but if it is hot sure helps cool off a little.
Thanks for the info, next time will target the 11 to 15 fow.
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Texoma guide
http://www.striperexpress.com/

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#12371758 - 08/03/17 08:56 PM Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian]
SeaPro-Todd Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 04/04/05
Posts: 7132
Loc: Richardson TX
Denise tells it 100% like it is cuz I had thegood fortune to fish with him smile Good stuff and lots of good info from many hours on the water. Thanks, DC! Hope you are feeling better smile
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#12371789 - 08/03/17 09:08 PM Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian]
lenahorse Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 10/11/12
Posts: 3907
Loc: Cash, Texas
1st post with new eye! Dennis's tactics work very well, I can's say enough and honored to fish with him a few times and Todd also, I caught 4:1 last Friday with Mepps over slabs, Tuesday before my visit to hospital on a quick trip we caught on Mepps well and had a dead period and went to BIG slabs here at Tawakoni and got some real good sized fish but fished them Dennis's way. Hope to be back on the water next week, HOPING!
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903/786/4477


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#12371827 - 08/03/17 09:31 PM Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian]
CenTexan Offline
Angler

Registered: 04/19/15
Posts: 326
Loc: Texas
Good stuff as always Mr. Christian.
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#12372015 - 08/04/17 04:50 AM Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian]
beltonbill Offline
Angler

Registered: 01/23/13
Posts: 349
You are an inspiration to us all.

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#12372059 - 08/04/17 06:52 AM Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: SeaPro-Todd]
etu Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/24/11
Posts: 1555
Loc: Grand Prairie TX
Originally Posted By: SeaPro-Todd
Denise tells it 100% like it is cuz I had thegood fortune to fish with him smile Good stuff and lots of good info from many hours on the water. Thanks, DC! Hope you are feeling better smile



Who's Denise roflmao
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#12372075 - 08/04/17 07:19 AM Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian]
Joe Slab Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/28/13
Posts: 1320
Loc: NTX
Great post Dennis. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I have trouble locating fish that stay in area long enough to set up on them.

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#12372098 - 08/04/17 07:42 AM Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian]
dustinmoorman Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 07/18/16
Posts: 134
Loc: Rockwall, Tx
Awesome tips Dennis!! I am gonna pick up a few Mepps today and give it a try tomorrow!

Thank you for sharing.
Dustin
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#12372104 - 08/04/17 07:47 AM Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian]
Brad R Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 1510
Loc: Texas
Dennis, I saw the link to your Mepps article, went over to take a look and I recall reading it some time ago. Your post here and that reference article are just a great combination, a "how to" primer on white bass fishing.

Last night, I was out in my kayak on Lake Athens. The wind was next to nothing and I could look across the water and see little disturbance patterns on the water and I knew these to be shad where those nearest the surface create those little waves as they move by. So, some came toward me as I floated along silently . . . and when I looked down, I could see what appeared to be hundreds or thousands of just what you described: little shad about 3/4" or so in length. Every few minutes, there'd be a commotion as LMBs would explode on them somewhere in the area I was fishing, some shad jumping out of the water trying to escape. The evening before, they were chasing these small shad so shallow, the LMBs were about a foot off of the boat ramp from the water's edge.

I've really got to master white bass . . . looks like so much fun!

Thanks! Brad


Edited by Brad R (08/04/17 08:09 AM)

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#12372227 - 08/04/17 09:34 AM Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian]
mickeytfc Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 194
Loc: Little Elm
Thank you Dennis for all of your teaching!
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Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. Henry David Thoreau

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