Bass fishing presents different challengesWritten by Lew Horn | | email@example.com
When I compare Walleye fishing in April on the Maumee River to fishing for white bass in May, I am reminded of an old George Carlin routine that compared the intensity of football to the laid-back attitude of baseball.
In April the Maumee is usually high and fast moving. Anglers stand shoulder to shoulder, and tempers sometimes flair. The weather can be downright nasty with wind, cold, and yes even an occasional snowflake.
Venders line the shore selling fishing tackle, and anglers travel from all over the country to take part in the big walleye run. Game wardens must be on the lookout for illegal snaggers, and the rules are strict: one hook only, four walleyes per angler, 15 inch size limit, no fishing after dark.
Fast forward to May. Temperatures turn balmy. Breezes are calm, and if it rains at all, it’s a gentle shower. OK, that might be stretching it a bit, but in general the weather is a lot nicer.
The one hook rule is relaxed. Beginning May 1 anglers can use multiple hook rigs and treble hooks. As a result, lures like small spinners and plugs can be used.
There is no size limit on white bass, and you can keep as many as you want. Although many anglers take advantage of the white bass run, fishermen still have lot more elbow room. Wading in slower, shallower water is much easier.
If you do fall, the water temperature is about 10 degrees warmer; not a pleasant experience, but nothing like the shock of 46-degree water in your waders.
White bass are caught in pretty much the same area as walleyes. Most anglers stick with the jig and twister-tail combo that worked so well for walleyes, but with the relaxed rules, many add a second jig in a tandem set-up that often produces doubles.
Small spinners and plugs also work well, and as an added bonus, sometimes a nice smallmouth will grab the lure. Anglers are reminded that bass season on the Maumee is closed in May; so all bass must be returned.
Techniques that worked well for walleyes also work on white bass. Cast upstream and keep a tight line as the jig or lure comes back to you. White bass are real scrappers and give a good account of themselves on light tackle. They average ten to twelve inches, but can reach 16, which is a real trophy.
Live bait is another option. Some fishermen like to float a bobber with a lively minnow underneath. Most just cast upstream and let the rig drift through a hole. Remember, in moving water your line is often bowed, so reel in the slack before you set the hook.
Now many fishermen keep white bass and enjoy them on the table. I don’t. But don’t judge by me. I only eat walleyes or perch, and bluegill when I get them big enough. I enjoy catching white bass, and release them after a good fight.
So whether you’re looking for a meal or just some relaxing fishing hit the Maumee on the next balmy May afternoon and try for some white bass. You won’t be disappointed.