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Lake Francis Case Smallmouth Bass

smallmouth bass

Lake Francis Case Smallmouth Bass Regulations: Daily limit of 5 fish and possession limit of 10. There are no length restrictions for smallmouth bass on Lake Francis Case.

Smallmouth bass are found throughout Lake Francis Case with the best fishing usually found in the middle and lower portions of the reservoir. However, good shore fishing opportunities exist in the upper reservoir in May and June. Boat anglers often focus on rip-rap areas below Big Bend Dam or near Chamberlain; rocky areas and bays around Snake, Platte, and Pease Creeks; numerous bays around the North Point area; and the face of Ft. Randall Dam.  During early summer smallmouth bass can also be found on mudflats in and around stumps searching for shad.

1.3 percent of anglers fishing Lake Francis Case during 2014 targeted smallmouth bass.  Anglers caught an estimated 40,835 smallmouth bass during 2014, and harvested 12% of those for an estimated harvest of 5,090 smallmouth bass.  Smallmouth bass in the angler harvest averaged 13.2 inches in length.

Smallmouth bass spawn in May and early June in Lake Francis Case. Males build nests in shallow water and attract females to the nests. Males will guard nests and newly hatched fry after hatching. After spawning, smallmouth bass will disperse from the shallows and occupy mud flats in search of food during summer months.

Lake Francis Case white Bass


Lake Francis Case White Bass Regulations: Daily limit of 25 and possession limit of 50. There are no size restrictions for white bass on Lake Francis Case.

White Bass: Often called stripers or silver bass, white bass are common throughout the reservoir. Fishing for white bass in the upper third of the reservoir in May and June has proven productive. Anglers often target the tailrace area for white bass, but don’t overlook wind-blown shorelines. White bass feed effectively by working together to trap schools of prey fish against underwater structure (typically the shoreline) or the water’s surface. During calm evenings, schools of white bass can often be seen chasing baitfish on the water’s surface. Excellent white bass production in 2010 and good production in 2011 should provide great angling opportunities for the next several years. The extremely large 2010 white bass year-class will be common in angler catches during 2015. White bass production during 2013 and 2014 was poor.

Less than 1% of Lake Francis Case anglers target white bass.  Most white bass harvest occurs as incidental catches by walleye anglers.  Estimated harvest of white bass in 2014 was 16,720, which was 39% of the over-all catch (42,608). White bass are excellent to eat if served fresh with the red meat trimmed from the fillets.