Catching Wipers, White Bass, and Walleyes

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Video white bass bait

When To Go

Late April to June produce the most number of walleyes. April through October produce the highest number of wipers and white bass. Spring, summer, and fall offers the best trophy fishing.

Seasonal Patterns

Winter

Late December to February (ice fishing) look for these fish in the deeper sections of the lake. Fish around humps, ridges and points along the creek or river channels, and look for shad in depths of 20 to 50 feet. The best lures are tail spinners in 1/4 or 3/4 oz., 1/4 to 1/2 oz. jigging spoons, and dropshot rigs with small plastic or live minnows.

Early Spring

Late February and March (after ice out) look for them in the same location as the winter months. 3/4 or 1 oz. tail spinners, jigging spoons (1/2 oz. to 1 oz.), 1/2 oz. to 3/4 oz. blade baits like a Silver Buddy, and dropshot rigs with a 3-inch plastic minnow or a live minnow will produce fish.

Spring

From late March to May (water temps of 39 to 65 degrees) some wipers, white bass, and

walleye will begin migrating upstream toward creek arms, while others can be caught on the main lake. Look for these fish along drop-offs near the creek channels, points and ridges, and look for schools of baitfish (particularly shad) along flats adjacent to the channels. The best lures are 3/4 or 1 oz. tail spinners, 1/4, 3/8, or 1/2 oz. flasher jigs with 3.5 inch swimbaits, 3.5 or 5 inch swimbaits on a 1/4 to 1/2 oz. Fish Head Hooks, dropshot rigs, jerkbaits, crankbaits, 1/2 oz. to 1 oz. lipless crankbaits (like a Rattl’ Trap), 1/2 oz. to 3/4 oz. blade baits, 3/8 oz. to 3/4 oz. spinnerbaits, and Carolina Rigs with live baits. Topwater lures will also work when wipers and white bass are feeding near the surface, usually when the water temperature exceeds 55 degrees.

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Summer

In June, July and August , when the water temperature warms above 70 degrees, most of these fish will head for the deeper main lake areas. Look for shad along points, humps or islands, and ridges along channels between the middle section of the lake and the dam. 3/4 oz. to 1 1/2 oz. tail spinners, 1/2 or 3/4 oz. flasher jigs with 3.5 or 5 inch swimbaits, 3.5 or 5 inch swimbaits on a 3/8 to 1 oz. Fish Head Hooks, 4 and 5 inch Flutter Spoons, 3/4 oz. to 1 oz. jigging spoon, 3/4 oz. blade baits, 3/4 oz. to 2 oz. spinnerbaits, deep diving crankbaits, dropshot rigs with a 3- to 5-inch plastic minnow or a live baits, and Carolina Rigs with live baits are the best to use during the hot summer days. Mornings and evenings will sometimes bring wipers and white bass to the surface to feed on shad. Use topwater baits and presentations to get in on this fast and fun action.

Anglers can also use live bait such as shiners and gizzard shad. However, shad can be used for bait only during July, August, September, October, and November by using a cast net on the same day they were captured and only in the same body of water where they were collected. Consult the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s fishing regulations for specific information on the capture and use of shad.

Fall

In September and October fish the same general locations as summer patterns, but move into slightly shallower water where these fish can often be found ambushing schools of shad between the surface and mid-depths. Wipers and white bass won’t relate to cover and structure as much, and they’ll suspend along flats adjacent to channels where shad schools often pass by. Watch for seagulls feeding on shad near the surface to locate baitfish, wipers, and white bass. 3/4 or 1 oz. tail spinners, flasher jigs with 3.5 or 5 inch swimbaits, 3.5 or 5 inch swimbaits on a 1/4, 3/8, or 1/2 oz. Fish Head Hooks, 4 and 5 inch Flutter Spoons, Topwater lures, crankbaits, 1/2 oz. to 3/4 oz. blade baits, 3/4 or 1 oz. jigging spoons, and Carolina Rigs with live baits are the best choices in the fall.

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Late Fall

From November to ice-up, these fish will follow shad into the deepest lake sections. Look

for them next to humps, ridges and deep points along channels. Vertical jigging with tail spinners, Flutter Spoons, Jigging spoons, blade baits and a dropshot rig with live or plastic minnows will be most productive. Look for shad, wipers, white bass, and walleyes in depths of 20 to 45 feet.

For more tips on bass fishing, check out this great and detailed article from our friends at OnTrack Fishing. 30 Bass Fishing Tips You Need to Catch More Bass

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>