Striped Bass and White Bass are very similar fish. They live in many of the same waters and have pretty similar markings. That’s no surprise – they are cousins, after all. So how do you recognize White Bass vs. Striped Bass? That’s what this article is all about, with some extra pointers on identifying their cross breed: Hybrid Striped Bass.
White Bass vs. Striped Bass Identification
Some of you may be thinking, “It’s easy! One’s long, the other’s fat!” You’re completely right. The simplest way to distinguish White and Striped Bass is by their body shape. However, that’s not the only difference between them.
If you’re not sure whether you’re holding an underweight White or a squashed Striper, take a look at their markings. Striped Bass have strong, clear horizontal stripes that reach all the way to the tail. White Bass have much more faint stripes, and only one of them normally reaches the tail.
Finally, if you want to be completely certain you’ve caught the right fish, open its mouth. White and Striped Bass both have raised, sandpaper-like tooth patches on their tongues, which help them grip their prey. The difference is that White Bass only have a single patch, while Stripers have a double one.
When Bass Meets Bass: Hybrid Striped Bass
Striped and White Bass are pretty easy to recognize, but there’s one fish that throws a spanner into the works. That fish is the Hybrid Striped Bass, also known as Wiper, Whiterock Bass, or Sunshine Bass.
These guys look like exactly what they are: a cross between Striped and White Bass. They’re shorter than Stripers, but not as deep-bodied as Whites. The easiest way to recognize them is by their broken, patchy horizontal lines. They also have a double tooth patch, just like a Striper.
Whiterock Bass are the perfect stocking species. Unlike many hybrids, they’re fertile. However, they can only reproduce with White and Striped Bass, not with each other. Because of this, they’re self-sustaining alongside their pure-strain relatives. At the same time, they can be introduced in non-native waters without worrying about their numbers exploding.
North America’s Temperate Bass are an amazing family of fish. Whether you’re fighting trophy Stripers on the beaches and boulder fields of the northeast coast, or chasing tasty Whites in the country’s southern lakes, you’re always in for a treat. Hopefully, you’ve learned how to spot each fish. Now you’ve just got to practice catching them.
What’s the biggest Striper you ever caught? Have you ever landed a Hybrid? If so, how did you recognize it? Drop us any comments or questions below. We always love hearing from you!