Discover the Largest White Bass Ever Caught in Florida

Written by Abdulmumin Akinde
Published: January 17, 2023
© "White bass" by USFWS Mountain Prairie is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0. – License / Original
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Florida has a long history of setting fishing records. The Sunshine State has produced some spectacular catches, including some of the largest swordfish, sailfish, and tarpons ever caught. The white bass (also called the silver bass or sand bass) is one of the most popular sportfish found in Florida’s Apalachicola and Ochlockonee river systems. Many people travel to the Sunshine State in search of huge white bass catches, but only a select few are ever as fortunate.

Read on to discover interesting details about the record-breaking catch and other facts about the white bass. 

White Bass — Overview and Description

White Bass
The head of the white bass is compact and pointed.

©Mahler1780 / public domain – License

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The white bass is a spiny-rayed freshwater fish with an elongated body. This fish can grow to be lengths of about 10 to 17 inches long and weigh up to two pounds on average. The color on the sides of the belly is typically silver to white. They have multiple black lines or stripes that run horizontally along their body length. 

The head of the white bass is compact and pointed. The upper jaw extends past the eye, and the dorsal fin is notably double, divided into spiny and soft-rayed sections. The fins are clear to dark gray. The sportfish has a single stripe that extends all the way to the tail. 

People often confuse this fish with other members of the temperate bass family, such as striped bass and hybrid striped bass. Striped bass and hybrid striped bass, on the other hand, grow much larger than white bass. White bass is a popular sport fish for anglers. Anglers must learn to distinguish between the different bass species because they frequently coexist in the same reservoir.  

White bass also tend to have streamlined bodies, which makes them excellent swimmers. They can move quickly through the water and make sharp bends, making them difficult to catch.

The Largest White Bass Ever Caught in Florida 

White bass on a white background
The largest white bass caught in Florida weighed 4.69 pounds.

©”White bass” by USFWS Mountain Prairie is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0. – License

The average size of white bass is 0.5 to one pound, with an average length of 9 to 15 inches. Generally, a white bass must weigh more than 2.5 pounds and be at least 15 inches long to be declared a trophy. 

Richard Davis exceeded this benchmark when he caught a monster white bass weighing 4.69 pounds 14 ounces in the Apalachicola River, Gadsden County. This river is one of Florida’s least polluted, undeveloped, resource-rich rivers. 

In Florida, the white bass is common among sport anglers, as are other bass species, such as the largemouth bass and sunshine bass. They grow to enormous sizes in Florida’s waters. Experts believe the fast growth rate in Florida is due to the warm temperature and long growing season. 

Largest White Bass Ever Caught in the World

The catch by Richard Davis is the largest white bass catch in Florida to this day, and it is unlikely to be beaten anytime soon. However, this record-breaking fish is significantly smaller than Ronald Sprouse’s 1989 catch from Lake Orange, Virginia, and Corey Crochet’s 2010 catch from Louisiana. Both anglers caught white bass fish weighing a massive six pounds and 13 ounces. They are currently tied for the record of the largest white bass ever captured in the country and the world.  

Other varieties of bass grow significantly bigger, and the current record has some really remarkable entries. For instance, the largest largemouth bass ever caught in Florida was a 17 pounds fish caught by Billy O’Berry in 1986. Similarly, the largest striped bass ever caught in the state was a 42 pounds and four ounces fish. Alphonso Barnes caught this fish in the Apalachicola River in 1993. 

White Bass Fishing in Florida

Florida is often called the “bass fishing capital of the world.” The state provides many excellent opportunities for sports anglers to catch different species of bass fish. Anglers in Florida catch a lot of white bass because of the species’ willingness to bite artificial lures and its annual spawning migration. From January through April, white bass moves up river and stream tributaries, making this the best season to catch white bass in Florida. Large schools of white bass cluster at the extreme upper ends or riverine areas of reservoirs during the spring season, making them more vulnerable to anglers.

Any angler interested in catching bass species will find a fantastic opportunity in Florida’s shallow, productive lakes and rich greenery. White bass can be found in the Apalachicola River, the Ochlockonee River, and Lake Talquin. A few have also been discovered in the Escambia and Yellow rivers, but these are rare. The best time to fish for white bass is usually in the early spring (around April and May). During this period, the fish are gradually moving back to deeper waters and are heavily feeding. This makes it more likely for them to bite the bait. 

The white bass has an aggressive temperament and will strike your bait or lure as hard as it can. Casting, spinning tackle, and fly gear can be used to catch bass. Small crayfish or grass shrimp connected to hooks are useful bait for luring this fish. You must have a current freshwater fishing license from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to fish for white bass in Florida.

Conclusion 

The record for the largest white bass caught in Florida by Richard Davis in 1982 remains unbroken. White bass is among the most interesting freshwater fish species to catch. Anglers of all ages and experience levels enjoy fishing for this bass variety. You may want to try your luck at catching this fish if you’re ever in the Sunshine State. Who knows? Maybe you’ll end up with a catch for the record books too. 

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White bass on a white background
Despite their name, white bass are silver colored.
© "White bass" by USFWS Mountain Prairie is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0. – License / Original

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About the Author

Abdulmumin is a pharmacist and a top-rated content writer who can pretty much write on anything that can be researched on the internet. However, he particularly enjoys writing about animals, nature, and health. He loves animals, especially horses, and would love to have one someday.

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