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Anglers Edge

Posted by Don on June 1, 2008 in Angler Improvement Articles with No Comments

By Don Allphin

White bass in huge numbers are making their way up the inlet streams surrounding Utah Lake this week.  Though their size is on average a little small, their numbers are so great that anglers are enjoying the action regardless of size.

My son Don Jr. enjoys taking his young daughters to the Provo River this time of year and teaching them to fish while they can catch a fish on almost every cast. “The girls were able to catch fish all by themselves,” Don says. “We caught over 150 fish in just a few hours.”

One of the problems teaching children to fish is getting them over the enjoyment hump.  They must catch a few fish so they don’t become bored with the process.  Taking children fishing during the white bass run is a sure-fire way to get them excited about fishing while teaching them specific angling techniques that can be applied to other species as well.

I find that a small, white or chartreuse crappie jig (1/16th ounce) is perfect right now.  In addition, small spinners with silver blades work extremely well.  Remember to use in-line spinners so the profile remains small.  As I walk the bank I see a dozen different baits being used by a dozen different anglers.  This is a great time to fish.

Specifically with children it is important to concentrate on both the cast and the retrieve.  White bass continually move up and down rivers or streams; they swim in tight schools this time of year and are easily visible using your Cocoon polarized sunglasses.  Once a school is located make sure your child can cast directly into the school.  I sometimes watch parents allow their children to cast their lines in any direction just to keep them occupied.  When fishing for white bass, this is a mistake.  White bass will hold in the shade, and near structure. They love current but also enjoy the edges of current.  Teach your children where the fish are holding and then encourage them to cast to these spots.

 I find that retrieving jigs or spinners in a slow, consistent manner will entice more strikes than “burning” the bait or “yo-yoing.”  At times bass like to follow baits before deciding to bite.  A slow, consistent speed on the retrieve will attract several bass that will eventually compete for the presentation.

The problem with the spring white bass run is that it is unpredictable in length.  The run has been in full swing now for about a week.  So, take advantage right now and let a child get in on this bass bonanza.

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