I think it can be important to consider the variables when taking youngsters out fishing. Depending on the age, some scenarios can be better suited for some than others. Generally speaking though, fishing for a species of fish requiring little presentation skill, a constant need for movement and one that can be caught in the masses is a safe bet. For me, the white bass spawn run is that time. Provided it, it will require the willingness to tie on what feels like 1000+ jig heads but the trade off is well worth I think. There is nothing more rewarding than have a couple young fishermen on the river bank reeling in fish so fast, you can’t even get a hook in the water. I personally don’t think there are many ways better for successfully passing on a love for fishing than fishing for white bass during the spring spawn. Some of my favorite memories over the years, both as a child and parent/mentor are during this time.
Another benefit to seizing this seasonal opportunity is the amount of tasty vittles that can be put in the freezer and atop the family dinner table. For us, the actual harvest and food put on the table is equally as important as the experience. I hear varying opinions regarding the quality of white bass meat. However, for myself and those whom I typically feed, it is a delicious harvest. When preparing the meat prior to cooking, it is quite important to not cut corners in the process though. I do cut away the red meat strip that is on a white bass filet, however I do not waste it. I’ll touch on that ahead but once fileted, I will separate the red meat from the white and soak both in a strong saltwater solution for at least 48 hours. Changing the water once every day. You can go up to 4 or 5 days if you wish. The longer it soaks, the more firm and cleaner it will become. The salt draws out a lot of the “fishiness” that can be associated with white bass. Once soaked, the white filets can be breaded and fried or baked/grilled with your favorite seasonings. I prefer breading and frying in Andy’s Red mix with some additional Cajun seasoning added. For the red meat, I like to dice that into half in cubes and marinate in a Mexican spice blend for a few hours. Then sauté in a hot skillet until cooked through and use to make fish street tacos. A warm flour or corn tortilla, a pickled slaw and some cilantro lime flavored sour cream and you have quite the tasty meal. Any fish caught above what can be eaten before spoiling, I package in Ziplock bags filled with 10 filets and water and then freeze. Freezing in the water puts a solid 3 months to the freezer life of the meat….if not longer. To sum it all up, if your looking for an opportunity to harvest lots of fish and have a blast while doing so, white bass fishing may just be your ticket. Have questions regarding anything mentioned in this blog or if you have material, recipes or techniques you would like discussed, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to hear from you!