White Bass vs the Striped Bass

The White Bass & the Striped Bass Compared

White bass and striped bass are two of the most popular game fish species in North America. Both species are highly in demand by anglers because of their aggressive fighting style and delicious meat. Although both fish belong to the bass family and have some similarities, they have distinct differences in appearance, behavior, and habitat preferences. 

By carefully examining and understanding these differences, you can choose the best techniques and equipment to target each species successfully and boost your fishing expertise and skills. Reel in deeper with us as we will compare and provide an all-inclusive comparison of the white bass vs striper, examining their physical characteristics, habitat preferences, feeding habits, and other important aspects of their biology.

White Bass

The white bass, Morone chrysops, is a very sought-after freshwater fish inhabiting North America’s rivers, reservoirs, and lakes. White bass is a relatively smaller species of bass, typically reaching lengths of 10-12 inches and weights of 1-2 pounds. They have silvery bodies with dark horizontal stripes running along their sides.

White bass is typically found in cool, clear water with modest currents. You can most commonly catch them in the spring when they migrate to shallow areas to spawn or feed. They are eager feeders and will eat a variety of prey, including insects and small fish.

The white bass is a beloved fish known for its hard fighting and delicious flesh. With its original appearance and seasonal patterns, the white bass offers anglers a unique and attractive target. With some preparation and patience, you can catch these feisty fish and later enjoy some delicious meals as per your result.

White Bass

Striped Bass

The striped bass, Morone saxatilis, is a popular marine fish found along the Atlantic coast of North America. The striped bass has an exclusive appearance, with a silvery body and black horizontal stripes running along its sides. They tend to reach lengths of 24-26 inches and weights of 10-25 pounds.

Striped bass is known to migrate long distances along the coast and up streams and rivers to spawn and can often be found near structures such as rocks, jetties, or bridge pilings. They are on the look to eat a range of prey, such as fish, crustaceans, and squid. 

The best time for you to target striped bass can vary by location, but generally, it occurs during the spring and fall, when water temperatures are optimal for spawning and feeding.

Striped Bass

White Bass vs Striped Bass: Comparison

When it comes to fishing for bass, anglers often target two popular species: striped bass vs white bass. While these grand fish may look similar at first glance, they have several key differences that set them apart. One thing is guaranteed, whether you prefer the smaller, more aggressive white bass or the larger, more elusive striped bass, they both promise a unique and delicious experience that is sure to satisfy. Let’s further explore the crucial differences that go between the white bass and the striped bass:

Key Elements: White Bass Striped Bass
Size 10-12 inches 24-26 inches
Color silver-colored body with dark stripes along the sides dark greenish-blue back and silver-colored sides with several horizontal black stripes
Waters found in the central and southern United States found along the Atlantic coast from Canada to Florida, as well as in freshwater systems throughout the eastern United States
Habitat freshwater fish found in rivers, lakes, and reservoirs anadromous fish that spend most of their adult life in saltwater but return to freshwater rivers or streams to spawn
Diet small fish, crustaceans, and insects Small fish, insects, preference for larger baitfish, numbering herring or menhaden
Best time to fish in the springtime, during dawn and dusk spring and fall, early morning, late afternoon, and dusk 
Lures smaller lures, jigs, minnows, crankbaits, spoons bunker, herring, eels, spot, live bait
Taste tend to be flakier and have a milder flavor, contains more oil which gives it a more fishy taste a firmer texture and a slightly sweeter taste


While listing the central different points between these two breeds, they also share several important similarities, for instance: 

  • Both fish are considered close cousins of one another as they are in the freshwater bass family
  • They can be found in freshwater rivers, lakes, and saltwater bays and can be located in both deep and shallow waters
  • Many of the same fishing techniques, such as using jigs, crankbaits, or live bait, can be effective for both white bass and striped bass
  • Both are known for their strength and fighting ability, making them a challenging and exciting catch for anglers
  • Have similar body shapes
  • They are predatory fish and feed on a variety of prey, including small fish, crustaceans, and insects

Understanding the similarities and differences between these two types of fish, can enhance your angling experience, increase your chances of success while fishing, and overall become a more knowledgeable and effective angler.

Choosing One: Striped Bass vs White Bass

The decision to fish for white bass vs striped bass ultimately comes down to your favored location, personal preference, and the time of year. In general, white bass is more commonly found in freshwater environments such as streams, rivers, and reservoirs, while striped bass is found in saltwater surroundings such as estuaries, bays, and the open ocean. If you live near a freshwater river or lake, white bass may be a more accessible option for you. Additionally, striped bass is certainly a better choice if you live near the coast or have access to a boat that can handle saltwater fishing. 

Furthermore, think about your personal preferences. If you prefer freshwater fishing, white bass is most likely the way to go. However, if you enjoy the challenge of saltwater fishing and the potential for seizing larger fish, striped bass may be more your field.

The best time to go fishing for white bass is commonly in the spring, as the water temperature warms up, making it an ideal time to land them. On the other hand, the best time for striped bass adds up in the spring and fall but can also vary depending on their location and behavior year-round.

Regarding the necessary equipment to catch white bass, we strongly recommend:

  • a light to medium-action spinning rod and reel setup
  • jigs, spinners, and small crankbaits as lures
  • live bait such as worms and minnows

For catching striped bass, make sure you equip yourself ahead with:

  • a medium to heavy action spinning or baitcasting rod and reel setup
  • large swimbaits, topwater plugs, plastics, and crankbaits as effective lures
  • Live bait including bunker, eels, and herring

Ultimately, the decision between fishing for striper vs white bass comes down to your personal preference and choice. Both fish can deliver an exciting and rewarding fishing ordeal, so why not give both options a chance and see which one you enjoy more?

 White Bass vs Striper: Wrap Up

Taking everything into account, while white bass and striped bass share some similarities as members of the bass family, they also have distinct differences in their habitat, behavior, and individual life cycle. From their physical characteristics and habitat preferences to their preferred fishing techniques, understanding the differences between these two fish types is crucial for any anglers to better prepare themselves for their next adventurous fishing trip, as well as target these species more effectively. 

White bass is smaller, more abundant, and typically found in freshwater habitats, while striped bass is larger, harder fighting, and more commonly found in saltwater or brackish environments. Both species are opportunistic feeders and can be targeted using a variety of techniques, but the prime fishing time and location may differ. 

Whether you prefer the challenge of catching a striped bass or the quantity of the white bass, these two species ensure plenty of enthusiasm for anglers of all levels.


How do you tell white bass from a striper?

The main difference between white bass and striped bass is the body shape, mouth, and stripes. While both are similar in size, the striped bass is 24-26 inches in length, whereas the white bass is 10-12 inches.

What makes a white bass unique?

A physical trait that makes the white bass unique is the presence of stripes on its body. White bass has 5-8 dark, horizontal stripes along their sides that are set from the gills to the base of the tail. These stripes are usually irregular in shape and give the fish a characteristic appearance. The stripes also serve a purpose in camouflage, helping them blend in with their surroundings.

Do striped bass eat salmon?

While striped bass are not known to target salmon as an initial food source, they may occasionally eat juvenile salmon if they are accessible and within their feeding range. 

People Also Ask

Is striped bass expensive?

The cost of striped bass can vary widely depending on several key factors, counting location, season, availability, and demand. Generally, striped bass is considered to be a higher-priced fish in comparison to other types of fish. Many anglers prefer to catch their own rather than purchase one from a store nearby or a restaurant. 

What fish is similar to white bass?

One fish that is often compared to white bass is the striped bass, which is a larger, saltwater fish that is also a part of the bass family. They both live in many of the same waters and have pretty similar markings and coloration.


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