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White Bass

White BassScientific Name

Morone chrysops

Other Common Names

Silver bass, linesides


Temperate “true” bass family. Light greenish back, light yellowish-green to silver sides to a silvery-white below, 6 to 8 horizontal faint stripes; stripes below later line are broken; the first stripe below the lateral line is not complete to tail. Deep-bodied with distinctively arched back, considerably smaller than its striped bass cousin. Single spine on gill cover; variable patch of teeth on tongue. Commonly reaches 1/2 to 2 lbs.

Best Fishing

Rivers: New, South Holston, and the Dan and Staunton (during spawning). Lakes: Buggs Island, Smith Mountain, Claytor, South Holston, and Leesville.

Fishing Techniques

Spinning or spincasting outfits with live minnows, or artificial imitating minnows, including jigs, spinner baits, streamers, spinner-bucktails, crankbaits, spoons. Easily caught during the spawning runs, also below dams in the tailraces, and by jump fishing schools in open water.

Feeding Habits

Thrives on open water baitfish. Travels in schools pursuing concentrations of gizzard and threadfin shad and other small fishes. Also feeds on insects such as mayflies, crayfish and other aquatic animals. Active feeders during their spawning runs.


Native to the Tennessee River drainage streams of Virginia. Open water of moderate to large rivers and reservoirs with large connecting rivers.

Spawning Habits

Migrates upstream in rivers or tributary rivers of reservoirs to spawn. Spawns below dams, in riffles or other upstream barriers over gravel or rubble bottoms. They typically breed from mid- April to late May when water temperatures range between 58° and 64°F. The eggs are broadcast and fertilized in the current where they sink and stick to gravel, rocks or vegetation.