When water temperatures hit 50°F focus your efforts at the mouths of inflowing creeks and rivers on a water body. Mid-March through early-May typically provides the best fishing window for white bass. Key factors to look for during the peak of the spawning run are water temperatures around 55°F and measurable rainfall.
Curly tail grubs, baby shad, paddletail swimbaits, inline spinners, spoons, slabs, Super Dupers, blades, lipless crankbaits, diving crankbaits, jerkbaits and hair jigs in shades of white, silver and/or chartreuse are all effective lures.
The biggest thing with catching termperate bass, such as white bass, that rely so heavily on shad as forage is finding the right size lure. It doesn't matter the type of lure as long as it mimics a shad. More often than not white bass are munching on 1-2" shad, even the bigger fish. Starting off as small as you feel comfortable throwing will put you on more fish more often. It's easy to size up when you're already catching fish, but you can lose confidence quickly when you're not getting bites and you may have the right lure on, just a little too big.
In clear water try white and silver colored lures with dark backs, like black, green and blue if the lure is dual-colored. In stained or muddy water try chartreuse and red patterns.
When fishing with artificial lures, keep a steady retrieve speed, unless vertically jigging. Vertical jigging requires casting or letting line out directly under the boat allowing the spoon or slab to fall to the bottom and pulling the rod tip from a 3 o'clock position to a 12 o'clock position repeatedly, after each pull allowing the spoon or slab to erratically flutter back to the bottom (most bites come during the fall back to the bottom).
You can also use a live worm, minnow or shad on a small- to medium-sized bait holding hook attached to a 12-inch leader line below a barrel swivel and 1/4th up to 1-ounce egg weight depending on wind and current (the more wind and current, the heavier the weight). Let the line off of the reel directly below the boat to your desired depth. If fishing from the bank, you can use the same setup with a slip-bobber float. Try to get your bait within a couple feet of the bottom.
If surface feeding occurs and all you have is live bait, use a fixed-bobber float a foot or two above your hook (remove weight and swivel). Otherwise, switch to artifical topwater lures like walking dogs or poppers.
Fly anglers can find success stripping jig and beadhead flies such as Clouser Minnows and Woolly Buggers in white, chartreuse and shad patterns.
In lakes that do not have inflowing water, try the bait selections described above around coves, points and rip rap areas, especially during morning and evening hours on the wind blown side of the water body.
Follow the fish upstream during the spawn and target brushy areas along the bank, riffles, shoals and mouths of connecting tributaries.
White bass are a schooling fish, so if you’re not getting bites using these types of lures/baits change locations often until you find them (typically by finding the shad).
When white bass are not surface feeding, they can usually be found near the bottom. Try to keep your lure or bait near the bottom during the retrieve.
During the pre-spawn and summer patterns, white bass anglers have success vertically jigging spoons and slabs off the bottom over ledges, channel breaks or deep water flats where white bass are congregated. An Oklahoma classic jigging spoon for white bass is the 1/2 ounce Fle-Fly Bendable Minnow in white, red or chartreuse.