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Jan 23rd, 2013
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How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling #12371435
08/03/17 10:13 PM
08/03/17 10:13 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,617
Cedar Creek Lake
Dennis Christian Offline OP
Extreme Angler
Dennis Christian  Offline OP
Extreme Angler

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,617
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 inch to 2 inches long compared to the previous generation, which are 3 to 4 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 couldnt 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 cant 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. Its 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 throws 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 didnt make it clear enough.

Last edited by Dennis Christian; 08/03/17 10:24 PM.
Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian] #12371477
08/03/17 10:47 PM
08/03/17 10:47 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,570
32�42.136′N 97�6.772′W
B
Buzzard Breath Offline
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Buzzard Breath  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,570
32�42.136′N 97�6.772′W
great info, thanks.


DON'T LITTER!

Originally Posted By: Cast
Cutting torch the nuts.
Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian] #12371528
08/03/17 11:36 PM
08/03/17 11:36 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,292
Cisco,tx
scruboak Offline
Extreme Angler
scruboak  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,292
Cisco,tx
Interesting stats and read thanks.

Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian] #12371584
08/04/17 12:17 AM
08/04/17 12:17 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,335
Lake lavon
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Ledeez Online content
Extreme Angler
Ledeez  Online Content
Extreme Angler
L

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,335
Lake lavon
Good stuff! Thanks for sharing! thumb


Teamgetsome$$$
Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian] #12371593
08/04/17 12:22 AM
08/04/17 12:22 AM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 405
Arlington, TX
ToadThrower Offline
Angler
ToadThrower  Offline
Angler

Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 405
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.

Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian] #12371622
08/04/17 12:38 AM
08/04/17 12:38 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,622
Garland TX
S
SteveStrasemeier Offline
Extreme Angler
SteveStrasemeier  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,622
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.

Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian] #12371758
08/04/17 01:56 AM
08/04/17 01:56 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 7,380
Richardson TX
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SeaPro-Todd Offline
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SeaPro-Todd  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 7,380
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

Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian] #12371789
08/04/17 02:08 AM
08/04/17 02:08 AM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,108
Cash, Texas
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lenahorse Offline
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lenahorse  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,108
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!

Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian] #12371827
08/04/17 02:31 AM
08/04/17 02:31 AM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 330
Texas
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CenTexan Offline
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CenTexan  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2015
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Texas
Good stuff as always Mr. Christian.


Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian] #12372015
08/04/17 09:50 AM
08/04/17 09:50 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 396
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beltonbill Offline
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beltonbill  Offline
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Posts: 396
You are an inspiration to us all.

Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: SeaPro-Todd] #12372059
08/04/17 11:52 AM
08/04/17 11:52 AM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,574
Grand Prairie TX
E
etu Offline
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etu  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,574
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


Ed
Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian] #12372075
08/04/17 12:19 PM
08/04/17 12:19 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,388
NTX
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Joe Slab Online content
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Joe Slab  Online Content
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Posts: 1,388
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.

Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian] #12372098
08/04/17 12:42 PM
08/04/17 12:42 PM
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 134
Rockwall, Tx
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dustinmoorman Offline
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dustinmoorman  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 134
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


Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian] #12372104
08/04/17 12:47 PM
08/04/17 12:47 PM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 1,967
Texas
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Brad R Offline
Extreme Angler
Brad R  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 1,967
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

Last edited by Brad R; 08/04/17 01:09 PM.
Re: How to catch white bass in August/September without trolling [Re: Dennis Christian] #12372227
08/04/17 02:34 PM
08/04/17 02:34 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 216
Little Elm
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mickeytfc Offline
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Little Elm
Thank you Dennis for all of your teaching!


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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