Wiper or Whiterock Bass, April 2014, Fish of the Month!
A Brief Note to Our Readers:
The Wiper Bass is the fifth in our list of members of the Temperate Bass family.
Wiper or Whiterock Bass
Morone chrysops X Morone saxatilis
Sunshine bass, Silvers, Palmetto bass
15 to 20 inches
1 ½ to 5 pounds and occasionally much larger
Distinguishing Field Marks:
(See the illustration.)
The Wiper tends to be shorter, more deep-bodied, and pot-bellied than either the White bass or the Striped bass.
The head is smaller than that of the Striped bass.
The stripes along the body are usually broken below the lateral line.
North American Range:
Map to the right shows approximate range in North America.
The young are fed appropriately graduated sizes of hatchery food. The adults feed almost exclusively on forage fishes, especially Gizzard shad.
The Wiper is a man-made hybrid of a male White bass, Morone chrysops, and a female Striped bass, Morone saxatilis. The species is consequently dependent on hatchery rearing and stocking to maintain fishable numbers. This bass is spawned in the spring or early summer from captured wild adults of each parent species. The young are hatchery reared until they are large enough to be released and able to fend well for themselves.
Fly Fishing for Wiper or Whiterock Bass:
See range map for possible locations and search the internet for individual state locations, fishing related services, regulations, and the like.
Approach the Wiper as you would landlocked Striped bass, remembering that they are found both in large rivers and lakes. Fly-fishing for this species will be best in the cooler water temperatures of spring or fall as well as both early and late in the day (or night).
Eight weight fly fishing systems will be your best choice for this type of fishing. Carnivorous predators, Wipers will feed almost exclusively on densely schooling forage species (as mentioned above) especially Gizzard shad. Large silver/white streamer fly and large surface popper patterns will be your "go-to" flies.
Significance to Humans:
A recent addition to the list of North American game fish species, the Wiper has developed a dedicated following of anglers who find it to be an excellent fighter as well as a prime food fish.
Maintaining only through annual hatchery stocking programs.