Back to Previous Page



  • Scientific Name: Morone chrysops
  • Found in Illinois: Statewide
  • State Average: 10"
  • State Record: 4 lbs/14 oz (1981)
  • Best Lures: Minnows, small spinners, and small jigs with twister tails

Angling Tips:

A light tackle rod and reel are well suited for the white bass. Fly fishing with both floating and sinking insect flies can be a very successful and fun way to catch these fish.

Habitat: The white bass is commonly found in the larger rivers, such as the Illinois and Mississippi River, their backwaters, and adjoining bottomland lakes and major tributaries. They are also found in some of the natural lakes in Northeastern Illinois. Only the white bass is found in the Fox Chain O'Lakes. The white bass, while not as widely distributed throughout the state as the yellow bass, is also commonly found in the Great Lakes.

Feeding and Habits: Although White Bass spend most of their time in deep waters, they often come to the surface to feed on small schools of shad or other minnows.

Reproduction: The white bass begins spawning in May or early June when the water temperature is around 61 degrees F. About one-half of one million eggs are deposited over rocks and sand and gravel bars near shore, rather than in a nest like the bluegill or largemouth bass. White bass in large lakes often move upstream to spawn in shallow moving water. This fish matures in the second or third year to a length of 10-12 inches.