True Bass of Arkansas are aggressive game fish, popular with many anglers.
From bank fishing at the Arkansas river Dams to the open water of the large reservoirs, True Bass provide anglers with a diversity of fishing opportunity.
Smallmouth and largemouth bass are actually members of the sunfish family.
True bass and black bass not only differ in appearance, but also in habitat requirements and spawning behavior.
True Bass of Arkansas
True bass are distinct in appearance. They are generally silvery white
in color and most have dark horizontal lines along their sides. True
bass are spiny-rayed fish with strong spines in their dorsal (back),
anal (bottom rear), and pelvic (bottom front) fins. They have two
separate, or only slightly connected, dorsal fins and numerous small
True bass spawn or reproduce in the spring. Adult bass migrate into
rivers or shallow water areas of lakes to disperse their eggs. They are
broadcast spawners, simply releasing the eggs into the water. Eggs hatch
quickly, within two to four days. Unlike other fish, such as black bass,
true bass do not build nests and do not provide parental care for the
True bass release a tremendous number of eggs during spawning.
female striped bass has been known to release as many as four million
This huge number of eggs makes up for the lack of parental care
and helps make sure enough young fish survive.
Bass feed on a wide range of organisms. Young bass eat insects and
crustaceans. Older bass primarily eat small fish. True bass are
schooling fish and can act together in an organized method of feeding.
White bass are especially known to herd schools of baitfish to the
surface. The bass then attack in a "feeding frenzy," often forcing the
baitfish to jump out of the water.
True bass are among some of the most exciting freshwater fish species in
Ranging in size from six to 55 inches, these bass can
provide fishing opportunity for all kinds of anglers.
As a group, true bass are aggressive game fish and put up a good fight
when hooked. During feeding, they will often strike just about anything
you put in the water. If anglers locate one of these feeding
concentrations, fishing action can be fast and furious.
At one time, several species of true bass were important commercial fish
species. However, for some, declines in catch and market value reduced
their commercial value.
The one exception is for striped bass which
remains one of the more sought after species on the east coast.
Two species of true or temperate bass and one hybrid are found in
Arkansas waters: striped bass, white bass, and hybrid bass.
brief description of each is provided in the chart.
The Striped Bass speed, power, and large size
makes them one of the most exciting sport fish known.
Striped bass or "stripers" are the largest of Arkansas temperate
They are easily distinguished by the seven to nine dark
horizontal lines found along their sides, two to three of which extend
from the head to the base of the tail.
Unlike white bass,
stripers have a streamlined body shape, with the depth of the body
generally less than the head length. In addition, striped bass have two
patches of teeth on the tongue.
Smaller striped bass in the ten to 20 pound range generally travel in
large schools. Older and larger fish are usually in small "pods" of only
a few fish.
Stripers broadcast their eggs near the surface over deep water
that has some current or turbulence. The semi-buoyant eggs drift with
the current and hatch in two to four days. By early summer, young
striped bass move to shallow water .
Anglers use a variety of methods and tackle to catch these incredible
Although boat fishing
provides the best catches, shore anglers take their share of fish.
White bass occur in the open water habitat of large lakes and
reservoirs, as well as some large streams and rivers. They prefer clear
water over firm bottom and usually travel in large schools. Sometimes
confused with striped bass, white bass can be distinguished by their
deeper body shape and single tooth patch on the tongue. In addition,
white bass have only one of their dark stripes run the entire body
length from head to tail.
Spawning takes place in tributary streams, near shore areas. Female white
bass release their eggs near the water surface. The eggs sink and attach
to rocks, sticks and bottom vegetation and hatch within two to four
White bass are fast growing .
White bass are known for feeding at the surface in large schools.
They primarily eat insects and small shad and minnows.
White bass are locally popular sport fish. Their aggressive nature and
schooling tendency make them one of the easiest fish to catch. The best
fishing is in spring when schools of white bass move inshore. Casting or
trolling streamer flies, jigs, spinners, and spoons or still fishing
with minnows will produce good catches. Since white bass often feed near
the surface, be sure to keep lures and bait off bottom.
Morone saxatilis cross Morone chrysops
Hybrid bass are a cross between female striped bass and male white bass.
They were originally developed to provide large sport fish that have the
fighting quality of striped bass and feed on open water prey fish.
Hybrid bass are stocked in waters with large populations of forage
fishes and do not compete with sunfishes or black bass.
Hybrid bass are similar in appearance to both parents. They have two
patches of teeth on their tongues like striped bass, but are deep-bodied
like white bass. The dark stripes found on hybrid bass are usually
broken into short dashes.
Hybrid bass are fast growers. reaching eight inches in length in the
first year and are double that by age three. Adult hybrid bass feed in
open waters and primarily eat forage fish, such as tredfin and gizzard
Hybrid bass are popular sport fish. They are hard fighting and good