White Bass?

Discussion in 'LOCAL SOUTH CAROLINA TALK' started by mudfishmusic, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. mudfishmusic

    mudfishmusic New Member

    Messages:
    326
    State:
    South Carolina
    Are there any healthy white bass fisheries left in South Carolina? I know they used to be plentiful in the Congaree but no one I know has caught them in years. I was watching a show filmed in Texas this morning where they were catching them and it just looked like a blast.
     
  2. droptine77

    droptine77 New Member

    Messages:
    469
    State:
    Anderson, SC
    Lake Russell ought to be as clean as you'll get. They say there catching them right now off points in the big creeks.
     

  3. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    Most any place in the state that has a high population of white perch seems to have a corresponding low or non-existent white bass population. :sad2: Back in the 70's, we caught plenty of white bass in the santee cooper lakes and both upper and lower santee rivers. About the only time we caught the anadromous white (Virginia) perch was when they made their spring spawning run up Santee River from the ocean. We would catch them on the bottom with earthworms, and my kids could have a ball, catch plenty, then cook them on the riverbank.
    Well, along comes the Corps of Engineers and build a re-diversion canal to divert excess flow from the Cooper River, where it was causing a silting problem in Charleston Harbor, back into the Santee River. Part of the agreement involving lost flows in the Cooper required building a new Striped Bass Hatchery on the re-diversion canal, as well as a fishlift to allow herring and shad to enter the lakes from the Santee in order to spawn upstream.
    Prior to the re-diversion project, the shad and herring traveled up the old Santee to be stopped by the Santee Dam on Lake Marion. There was no way for them to enter the lakes naturally. Where am I headed?..
    After the new fish lift went into the operation, the Santee River population of shad, blueback herring, etc, including white perch, had easy access into the Santee Cooper Lakes system, where they were landlocked to some degree, and guess what? They survived and reproduced until there are huge numbers of them. They are voracious little devils, feeding on many of the same food sources that young game fish use, reportedly including freshly spawned eggs of almost any species, juvenile fish and their forage, etc.
    So if you are having a lot of white perch showing up in your favorite waters upstream of us, you're probably going to have the same problem.
    I don't claim to be an expert, and I'm certainly not a biologist, but I've fished this system from my days as a kid, and I firmly believe what I'm saying. No more white bass on the river or in the lakes, very few stripers caught in the lower river, compared to pre-re-diversion days. We do have a lot more Blue and Flathead catfish in the river now, that migrated from the lakes, but few channel or bullheads, and the bluegill and crappie are hurting really bad.
    There are other factors that are detrimental to a healthy population of White Bass and Stripers, but I am convinced that white perch have done a lot of harm. The SCDNR has removed them from the game fish list, but I doubt if it will help reduce the numbers much; it may be too late. If I catch white perch for bait, I never release any live ones when I'm done.
    Ah, well, nothing much I can do about, so I'll quit spouting off. :wink:
     
  4. Dirtdobber

    Dirtdobber Guest Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,584
    State:
    Vian Okla
    NE Oklahoma has a lot of white bass (Sand bass) Good eating and the small ones make great flathead bait.:smile2:
     
  5. dudley-1

    dudley-1 New Member

    Messages:
    393
    State:
    SOUTH CAROLINA
    Man that gets me to reminiscing about the 80's and early 90's white bass run at lake wateree,up in cedar creek.I use to troll plugs for them and have a blast.They would be 25 or so fishermen standing in and across the creek casting green split tail jigs and panther martins.That has all but gone now.The biggest white bass I have ever seen was several years back caught behind the lugoff dam.it was somewhere in the 3.5 lb range I'd say,it was caught off of a minnow by a guy fishing off the platform.I read a lot about the ENO river in NC and the white bass run.
     
  6. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    From what I have heard fro a couple of people (one is the regional biologist and the other is a friend that used to work with the bios in the upstate), the white perch are the problem. My buddy says that while they were sampling this upstate lake (don't remember which one) the white basss were great until they fisrt saw the first white perch. Over the next few years they saw the numbers of white bass drop and the numbers of white perch increase until they completely replaced them. May be sort of the same deal with stripers.

    I bet an adult striper will eat a white perch now and then, but remember, they start out small, like everybody else. The little baby stripers are trying to compete with a mess of little white perch these days.

    Don't know what we can do about the white perch, though. I bet they are here to stay. Maybe one day the snakeheads will eat them up.:crazy:
     
  7. mudfishmusic

    mudfishmusic New Member

    Messages:
    326
    State:
    South Carolina
    I've fished the Upper Santee my whole live and have no doubts that betwean the white perch and the blue and flathead catfish (none of which are native if I'm correct) all the other fish species have really suffered. These three are voracious preditors and anyone who fishes these waters knows that they are now far and away the three dominant fisheries in this system. I think changes in the waterflow have made a big difference in which fish reproduce better as well.

    I was hoping maybe someone could point me towards a river sytem in SC that still had an active white bass population ad not such a strong perch and blue/flathead majority. I would jus love to fish a school of spawning action.
     
  8. Dirtdobber

    Dirtdobber Guest Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,584
    State:
    Vian Okla
    Whit perch are starting to show up here in NE Okla. Are they good for anything? (Bait or eating)
     
  9. mudfishmusic

    mudfishmusic New Member

    Messages:
    326
    State:
    South Carolina
    I've used them for bait and I've eaten them. They are OK for either but in my opinion they can't touch the Bream they are going to eventually replace as bait or tablefare.
     
  10. Dirtdobber

    Dirtdobber Guest Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,584
    State:
    Vian Okla
    Do they school up or are the like bluegills and black perch? How big do they get?:confused2:
     
  11. mudfishmusic

    mudfishmusic New Member

    Messages:
    326
    State:
    South Carolina
    I believe they spawn more like a striper, salmon, or white bass so at times they are certainly schooled up but not all year. The biggest ones I've caught have probably been around a pound but I think they can get a little bigger.
     
  12. Dirtdobber

    Dirtdobber Guest Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,584
    State:
    Vian Okla
    I hope Okla. catfish like them. I think they are coming out of KS and MO. Right now they are only in the northern part of the state. I forgot to ask. What do you catch them on?
     
  13. dudley-1

    dudley-1 New Member

    Messages:
    393
    State:
    SOUTH CAROLINA
    Here is a picture of a white bass and a white perch.Some folks have a hard time telling the difference between the two.The bass is on the top,both fish caught on a rattlin rap.
     

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  14. Dirtdobber

    Dirtdobber Guest Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,584
    State:
    Vian Okla
    We use sand bass for flatheads so by looking at the picture the white perch should work always looking for new baits to try shad, bluegills and bullheads don't work all the time
     
  15. mudfishmusic

    mudfishmusic New Member

    Messages:
    326
    State:
    South Carolina
    That pic says "Catawba River". When did you catch them? Where do you put in? Can I fish it with my 20' Jon or would I need to use a smaller boat? I've never fished the Catawba but I might give it a shot.:roll_eyes:
     
  16. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Where white perch exist in moderate numbers, like where they run up and down coastal rivers (anadramous), they get to be decent size and are a pretty cool fish.

    Problem is that when they get into a lake they tend to just reproduce like crazy and you end up with a million 4 or 5 inch long ones. They do make good baits, but those little pests aren't much worth eating.

    On Santee Cooper I have caught them with worms and such fishing around cover or structure just like sunfish, maybe slightly more in open water and more oriented to bottom structure rather than vegetation (?)
     
  17. Blackwaterkatz made the same point i've always said. 'Bout the time the re-diversion came about, all the whitebass dissappeared. I fondly remember the days of chasing schools of whitebass in early am and late
    pm and having a ball. Just sitting there on an island point or flat and all of a sudden the water erupting all around. lots of fun w/ light tackle.
    The arrival the white bass also seemed to end catching channel cats
    around church island in 6-10 foot of water. we would tie up to a dead tree and fish w/ cane poles and catch all the small channel cats you could want. Soon as the white bass showed up , the channels left that area for good. But, like anything else time goes on and we must adjust. But, its shore was a lot of fun!
     
  18. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    Did you mean "White Perch"? :wink: My feeling is that the perch feed on the eggs and/or juveniles of spawning fish. I would love to know for sure. I used to catch a lot of those channels, too, drifting in 6-30' of water with crickets and worms. Of course, there's probably a lot more to it than just white perch; remember the blue catfish were just coming into their own about that time, too. Also flatheads showed up in the system, drought years with low inflows into the lakes, the list goes on, but I still think the white perch gaining access through the re-diversion canal was at least one of the biggest factors.
     
  19. you are right Tommy. My bad. i mean't to say in those spots you highlighted "white perch".:eek:oooh: yeah the new cats in town(blues & flatties)
    probably did have something to do w/ it also.
    i remember the first time i caught a flathead way back when.i kinda looked like what my daddy called back then a "butter cat".
    Anybody else heard a catfish by that name?
     
  20. Indigo Flats

    Indigo Flats New Member

    Messages:
    382
    State:
    Lancaster,
    I have never enjoyed any fishing as much as White Bass Fishing on the Congaree below Columbia. The White Bass were plentiful and BIG.

    This particular picture is of my deceased brother and deceased daddy and myself. It was taken 24 March 1968.

    I wouldn't take anything for my youthful memories of all the happy days and nights spent on the Congaree, upper Santee, lower Wateree, Broadwater and Riser's.
     

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