Barbs and Backlashes

Feeding Frenzy! by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
August 26, 2009, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Fishing | Tags: ,

We will be turning the corner into fall soon.  In fact with some of the weather we have had recently, it has already felt like fall some evenings.  But, for now, we are living in the last days of August and fishing can still be tough.  A month or so ago I talked in general about summer and why it can be a tough time to catch fish, .  Now let me be a little more specific about some fishing that really heats up in summer and here in the last days of summer many anglers will still be able to take advantage of it.

Thank goodness for white bass!  The dog days of summer can actually be the best white bass fishing of the year.  In addition on many of our Nebraska reservoirs you can find some wipers cruising around with the white bass.  White bass and wipers are open-water predators who make their living preying on open-water baitfish like gizzard shad.  During the summer there can be billions and billions of gizzard shad available for predator fish to eat.  Since there are so many baitfish, feeding periods can be short, but they can be very intense.  If you have ever seen a school of white bass or wipers chasing shad to the surface, short and intense nails it!  Those predators push the shad to the surface and when they get there the water can literally boil with white bass or wipers chasing shad and shad jumping out of the water to try to save themselves.  If you can get within casting distance of one of those feeding frenzies, well, you are almost guaranteed to hook up.

You will hear many Nebraska anglers talk about chasing the gulls during late summer.  As the shad are pushed to the surface by aquatic predators the feathered predators take advantage of the feeding opportunity from above.  Keep your eyes and ears open and the birds can lead you to some hot fishing.  Most of the time those feeding frenzies will occur early and late in the day, but on a good day you might see some surface feeding activity at any time.

The key to catching white bass or wipers during a feeding frenzy is to keep from spooking them.  Those fish will be near the surface chasing baitfish and can be easily spooked by a boat that gets too close.  Shut the outboard down some distance away and then drift in and use an electric motor to get close enough to catch fish without moving over and spooking the school.

A variety of baits will catch fish when white bass or wipers are chasing shad to the surface.  Baits that can be cast a long distance will help ensure that the school is not spooked.  There is nothing better than catching fish on top-water baits and during a surface feeding frenzy a Pop-R or Chug Bug will get smashed.  KastMaster spoons can be cast a long distance and will also catch fish.  Once the feeding activity dies down casting jigs or trolling crankbaits in the vicinity can pick up some additional fish or try vertical jigging with slab spoons.

White bass and wipers are found in a variety of waters throughout Nebraska and most anglers will be near one of those fisheries.  Check here if you need some ideas on where to fish, .




2 Comments so far
Leave a comment


Do you have any shore fishing tips- bait/lures and locations- for Salt Valley fishermen?

Thanks in advance,


Comment by Melvin Burbach


I fish from shore/in waders most of the time. I usually fish shorelines where the wind is blowing IN. Fish are more likely to come closer to shore and feed in those areas. I use a variety of baits, usually artificial baits, almost always something that imitates the most abundant preyfish that those predators are feeding on. In most cases those are baits that imitate gizzard shad. I use a lot of crankbaits/a variety of Rapala baits, Rattle Baits, jigs and swim-baits. The shore-casting game can require patience to wait until the fish come to you and it can require mobility to keep moving until you find them. Some days I just do not catch up with them, but other days can be fantastic.

Comment by Daryl Bauer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: