Originally found in Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River basins from Wisconsin and Minnesota south to the Gulf. Introduced into Arizona in 1930. Body has golden-yellow sides with 5 to 7 horizontal lines; Lines appear broken and offset about midway on the lower side. Dorsal fins are connected. 2nd anal spine is about as long as the 3rd anal spine. No patches of teeth on tongue. Like the striper and white bass it is in the “true bass” family as opposed to the sunfish family. Slightly smaller than the white bass. Length: 6 to 13 inches. Weight: 4 ounces to under 2 pounds. Maximum age is 7 years.
Found in the Salt River Reservoirs (Roosevelt, Apache, Canyon, Saguaro and Tempe Town Lake) and Upper Lake Mary. They are a schooling fish like white bass, but yellow bass relate to bottom structure more than white bass.
Spawn from March to May as water temperatures approach 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Prefer spawning over rocky gravel areas with water currents or circulation. Eggs are adhesive and sink as they are fertilized. Eggs hatch in 4-6 days.
Yellow bass prefer small minnows, shad, crayfish and insects.
The most effective lures and baits are jigs, spoons, spinners, small crankbaits, minnows and worms.
The meat is white, firm, flaky and good eating. Red meat along lateral line may taste a bit “fishy” so its removal will enhance table quality.
Updated October 2009