Pound for pound, a hybrid bass is the best fighting fish in the lake! No, they don’t jump like a smallmouth, or grow to the size of blue cats, but when it comes to hitting your bait with aggression, making multiple runs, and stippling drag, nothing beats a hybrid!
The Hybrid Striped Bass, half striper and half white bass, have gained popularity since hitting the fishing scene back in the 70’s when they were first introduced into Lake Cherokee in Tennessee. Today, hatcheries produce nearly 10 million annually and are stocked in impoundments to keep bait fish under control and provide an additional sport fish.
In spring hybrids can be caught among the spawning white bass. Even if they don’t reproduce themselves, they’ll often cruise with their cousins up river. That’s a fun surprise when a 3-4lb hybrid hits your ultralight rig while you’re catching 1lb white bass! Later in spring and early summer, look for them schooling on flatter banks where the winds have been blowing for a few days as has the shad piled up. Also with spring comes more rain and as water is released through dams creating current, hybrids can be found on shallow points, humps, and cut throughs. Anyplace where current flows, white bass and hybrids can be found.
As far as bait selection goes, anything resembling a shad will do. Matching the size of your bait to the shad the hybrids are chasing is key in fooling them into hitting your offering. Spoons, Rattletraps, chrome colored crankbaits, soft plastics, and other shad imitating lures will get positive results. Recently, two of us caught about 40 hybrids, with a few white bass mixed in, in about 3 hours of fishing! It was fun! And that’s exactly what hybrids are…fun!