What is a wiper bass?

Answered by Willie Powers

A wiper bass, also known as a hybrid striped bass, is a fascinating fish that combines the characteristics of both a striped bass and a white bass. This hybrid species has the appearance of a striped bass, with distinct striping along its sides, but has a smaller mouth compared to its striped bass parent.

The wiper bass is a result of crossbreeding between the striped bass (Morone saxatilis) and the white bass (Morone chrysops). This hybridization is often done in fish hatcheries to create a fish species that possesses desirable traits from both parent species.

One of the distinguishing features of the wiper bass is its striped bass-like appearance. It has a sleek and elongated body with horizontal stripes running along its sides, similar to those found on a striped bass. These stripes may vary in intensity and coloration, depending on the individual fish.

However, despite its resemblance to the striped bass, the wiper bass has a smaller mouth. This is a characteristic inherited from its white bass parent. The smaller mouth size affects the wiper bass’s feeding habits and prey selection. It tends to feed on smaller baitfish and insects compared to the larger prey targeted by striped bass.

The wiper bass is known for its strength and fighting ability, which it inherits from both parent species. Anglers often seek out these fish for their exciting and challenging nature. When hooked, a wiper bass can put up a formidable fight, testing an angler’s skills and equipment.

In terms of size, wiper bass can vary depending on factors such as genetics, environment, and food availability. They generally grow faster than purebred striped bass, but not as fast as white bass. The average size of a wiper bass ranges from 2 to 8 pounds, although larger specimens exceeding 10 pounds are not uncommon.

The wiper bass is a popular game fish, especially in lakes and reservoirs where they are stocked. They are known for their aggressive feeding behavior, often chasing down baitfish near the water’s surface. This makes them an ideal target for anglers using techniques such as topwater lures, crankbaits, or live bait.

It’s important to note that wiper bass are not naturally occurring species in the wild. They are intentionally bred and stocked in certain waters to provide recreational fishing opportunities. The specific regulations and availability of wiper bass can vary from region to region.

A wiper bass, or hybrid striped bass, is a unique fish that combines the characteristics of both a striped bass and a white bass. With its striped appearance and smaller mouth, the wiper bass offers anglers an exciting and challenging fishing experience. Whether you’re targeting them for sport or simply appreciating their beauty, encountering a wiper bass can be a memorable experience for any angler.