For fast action, nothing rivals jump-fishing for white
bass. Huge schools of bass herd baitfish, especially shad to
the surface. Attracted by the commotion, gulls swoop down
to grab baitfish injured by the feeding bass.
Jump-fishing refers to the technique for catching white bass when
they attack, or jump, baitfish on the surface. Anglers
look for circling gulls or signs of feeding white bass. Once they
spot a school, they quickly motor toward it. Most fishermen cast
shallow-running lures into the fish. When the school sounds, they
begin vertical jigging with heavy spoons or jigs.
Fishing the jumps generally peaks in fall, when shad form dense
schools that feed on plankton near the surface. But in some waters,
jump-fishing begins in early summer, when white bass feed on hatching
mayflies or small minnows. Anglers often find surface-feeding whites
on sand or gravel flats less than 10 feet deep.
In clear weather, jump-fishing is best early and late in the day. Whites
may feed all day under cloudy skies. Windy conditions make it difficult
to spot fish that are feeding on the surface.
White bass spook easily when surface-feeding. Move in quietly and
do not anchor. A heavy lure enables you to cast farther, so you can
stay away from the school.
Motor quickly to the feeding area when you spot a flock of circling and
diving gulls. A school may feed for only a few minutes. If you hesitate,
the fish may be gone when you arrive.
Stop short of the school to avoid spooking the fish. Cut the motor on the
upwind side and let the boat glide into position. Be ready to cast as soon
as you reach the school; the first few casts are the most productive.
Drift along the edge of the feeding area while casting into the school.
Use an electric trolling motor or oars to control the path of the drift.
Try to keep the boat just within casting distance. ~ Dick Sternberg
and Bill Ignizio
Something entirely different!