As we enter a new spring season, life is about to again head outdoors. Ample opportunities to hunt and fish, with a heavy emphasis on the angling. Of all of the game species of fish in Oklahoma waters, the first to snap out of that winter fast is the humble white bass - AKA - the sand bass. They'll start moving inshore to bed up and spawn when the water temperature hits fifty degrees, and that's not far off in most bodies of water. Obviously, larger deeper lakes warm slower, and if you pick your lakes right, you can fish the spawn for a good long time.

Have you ever fished for sand bass? I'll be honest, they're fun to catch if you haven't spoiled yourself on the hybrid population in our reservoirs. They're small and feisty, putting up a good enough fight. They feel ten times bigger on the lighter gear than on your bass rod, but chucking any bait with a five foot pole is daunting. You really need that length to get our there in the biomass.

I haven't spent much time fishing for them, but I've caught quite a few on accident over the years. They, like most fish, will bite mostly anything that stands out in whatever the water conditions are that day. The Oklahoma Wildlife Department recommends small lipless crankbaits in gold, silver, and red. Deeper diving shad looking crankbaits and jigs also work. There's a full write up on their website about it. While I've never intentionally gone out to catch sand bass, if I'm fishing small it's got to be crappie, I have had fishing trips where they couldn't resist a silver roostertail spinner. Literally just reeled in one after the other. Was it the bait or the opportunity for a meal? I couldn't tell you, I just know it worked for me the one time we went after them.

If you want to plan out your spring fishing, aiming for the various spawns that will have them on the banks, be sure to periodically check the lake reports out over at OWDC. If you want to know how to clean and cook a sand bass, you'll have to google it yourself.

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