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Iowa Wipers

29187 Views 43 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Toothfish

(Female Striped Bass x Male White Bass)

Other names - wiper, sunshine bass, silvers, silver bass

Hybrid striped bass have been released at two locations in Iowa. The original stocking in 1981 was into Saylorville Reservoir, which was followed each year with plantings of additional sac-fry. Fingerling sized hybrid striped bass were released into Pool 14 of the Mississippi River in 1984, and stocking has continued each autumn.
Since the initial introduction, the Morone hybrids have dispersed widely from Saylorville until they presently inhabit a large segment of the Des Moines River system. Fish have been observed upstream near Ft. Dodge and as far downstream as Ottumwa. Based on these observations, this species will undoubtedly extend its range in the Mississippi River. Abundance of the hybrid depends wholly upon the release of hatchery propagated fish.
Like most hybrids, this fish exhibits taxonomic features of both parent species. It has the deep flat body, small head and the distinct back arch of white bass; yet it maintains the dark gray or blue silvery body coloration and thick dark longitudinal body stripes of the ocean striped bass. Although the hybrid closely resembles white bass and striped bass, it still differs slightly in several features. Two distinctive tooth patches are located near the middle of the tongue. Also, the first stripe below the lateral line is distinct and complete to the tail. Positive identification of hybrid striped bass is considerably easier when viewed alongside purebred parent specimens. There are obvious external differences, but these are not so apparent when viewed alone. From observations in other localities this fish seldom exceeds 10 pounds when fully grown.
Knowledge about hybrid striped bass in Iowa is quite limited since this is a new fish to the region and its life parameters remain under investigation. However, several characteristics are well known. First of all, the most obvious is that hybridization of the parent stock is successful only in the most controlled hatchery conditions. Natural hybridization of the female ocean striped bass and the male white bass or the reciprocal cross is virtually impossible since the two species rarely exist in the same water. In Iowa, this is assured by the fact that striped bass are absent from our waters. Hybrid bass are nearly always monogenetic, which makes secondary hybridization with either parent species virtually impossible. Some mature female hybrids have been collected in the southern United States. Like the white bass, eggs of the hybrid are small in size compared with striped bass. Spawning activity of hybrids has been observed with white bass in one southern location, but no natural reproduction was found.
Hybrid striped bass grow rapidly in Iowa, but like white bass, they are fairly short lived. Three years after the initial stocking of sac-fry in Saylorville Reservoir, specimens of 20 inches in length and 5 pounds in weight were reported by fishermen. The record hybrid caught in the Des Moines River below Red Rock Reservoir in 1985 weighed 8 pounds, 3 ounces.
The hybrid striped bass, like its parent stock, is carnivorous, feeding voraciously on schools of gizzard shad. It is also known to forage for silversides, sunfish, insects and crustaceans.
*Mayhew, J. (editor). 1987. Iowa Fish and Fishing. Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Des Moines, Iowa. 323 pp.
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Tooth, you got it made, all them fishies in your back yard! :)
Great info, makes me want to make a road trip to Iowa.
I thought only corn hybrids grew in Iowa!

What's the Iowa hybrid record now? I know I could look it up, but I figure you probably have ready access to that info.

What's the Iowa hybrid record now? I know I could look it up, but I figure you probably have ready access to that info.
19 lb. 10 oz. 33" Des Moines River 8-05
This fish was caught in the river below Saylorville res.

Edit ** Jim / pic. =
19.10! That's a nice fish! Our record is a little over 22 lbs., but I figure anything over about 2.0 is a heck of a fish! Our record was taken in the tailrace below a dam.
Last Sunday I finally got on our local reservoir.
Water level is 35 feet above normal pool !!! Good part (I guess it's good ) is the water is the clearest I have ever seen it ...4 - 5 feet.
Didn't find the gizzard shad (a lot of water to check) but did get a 15" wiper into the boat. We are going to try again this week end. Any suggestions on locating the shad and in turn ... the wipers ???
Water temp at °69

Up river ??
In the trees ??
In the newly formed coves ??
Deep... due to more light penetration ??
Up in the trees, chasing all my Shadraps.
Hey Toothfish,

With 69 -70 degree water temps. The shad should be on the banks spawing at night. They do this up in the shallow flats. That is where you should concentrate now. Big, long mud flts are the bet now.

Yaz is right. Stick to the shallows morning and evenings. Disregard the pods of shad. Those aren't the ones the wipers are after. They want the leftovers form last year.
I notice Iowa has no limit on wipers. That seems reasonable, given the difficulty they often present in finding them. In Indiana we can keep twelve, if memory serves me, but only two can be over 17 inches long.
Got out again this past weekend. Saw a couple of white fish jumping in an area of 20' flats. Threw everything but the kitchen sink...trolled ...and drifted with live white bass or wipers caught. We did get some nice crappie while trolling blades.
Maybe should fish before sun up and after dark in the same area. Lake is still 30' over normal pool with clear water. (up to 5' clarity)
Not going to be able to fish the res. again for a couple of weeks.

There is no limit on wipers or white bass in Iowa. Thanks for the suggestions on location and best time to target these fish.
Last weekend Jr. and I got out again. Caught numbers of White bass but only one small Wiper in the group.
Crankbaits , blades , spinners ...nothing would work unless there was a minnow (fathead) involved in the presentation.
Water level still up 25' over normal pool. Going to try some night trolling this weekend...
Sat. afternoon we are trolling along and have caught a number of White Bass and a couple of small Wipers when BANG one of the 9' poles is trying to leave the boat !!! I pull the rod out of the's a big one !!! My son shuts the motor down and I bring the big fish to the boat !!! Nicest 24" Buffalo you ever seen ....crap !!! Back to trolling....:icon_redface:
24" is a big ass hybrid. thumbsup.gif
I want to try my luck this week if the weather isnt to sticky.
Today was awesome but I missed it. Yesterday was jungle humid.
I wont be going to Iowa though. lol I want to try a preserve in sullivan county NY.
24 inches would be a good wiper. Hell, it ain't a bad buffalo, either. One time a saw a herd of wipers smashing shad at the surface of the lake and my buddy and I tossed spoons at them. We both hooked up at the same time, but mine was obviously larger. He boated his fairly quickly, but mine took some time. When I finally got it in, it turned out to be a channel cat of about twenty pounds. The thing was swimming with the hybrids. I was real disappointed.
Hey ! They kind of have a stripe....:icon_redface:
Oh,yeah, I see that. Right down the middle, right?


They are everywhere you want stripes and wipers to be, (this was Lake Erie last weekend, no stripes in there! Well, I did catch some white bass, they DO have stripes! ;) )
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I am torn between what I know will catch Wipers .... (IF I can find them ,with all this water in our lake) ..and what will catch numbers of White Bass at any time , but probably won't attract the larger Wipers.

Translation :
I can troll with Wiper lures and MAYBE get a shot at a large fish . This may not produce even one fish if I can't locate the mature Wipers.
I can troll with White Bass lures and catch many fish.
I am convinced this White Bass method will not attract anything over 16-18 inch fish.

Last Sunday we trolled with our White Bass stuff and caught approx 30 fish with only two being small Wipers. (10"-12")
Largest Whites at 14 1/2 inch.
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