Catch Lake Wipers

Stocking Shadyside Lake Wipers

In 1983 the Indiana DNR began stocking hybrid Striped bass or Wipers in many of our freshwater lakes. Five years later my son Greg and I wanted to catch Lake wipers at Monroe Reservoir. We were vertical fishing about 23 feet deep with solid tubes on wire hooks tied to six-pound test mono. The six fish we landed weighed from four to over seven pounds. These are great fighters with the instant surge to break lines and or straighten hooks. It was later on when Shadyside lake Wipers were stocked.

Shadyside Lake has received a semi-annual stocking of wipers since 1990. The lake record shadyside lake wipers weighed over 16lbs. if my memory is correct. Steve Calloway caught the fish in March while testing his boat for the upcoming season. He had one rod with a tube jug left tied from the previous season. He made three casts to the middle of the north pit. Steve’s photo made the front page of the DNR fishing regulations magazine.

Identifying Shadyside Lake Wipers

Identifying wipers is difficult for the novice and can be costly if one gets it wrong. Shadyside Lake has three species looking similar. Yellow bass are rough fish that seldom reach a pound. They have lateral stripes similar to a striped or hybrid striped bass and have a yellow tinge. The record yellow bass, 2.7 lbs. came from Morse Reservoir.

shadyside lake wipers
Indiana Wiper. Photo Ken McBroom

Hybrids mix the patterns of Stripped and white bass. Hybrids have a streamlined body with a bluish/black back, silver sides, and a white belly. The kicker is their horizontal lines are most often broken forming a “W” pattern above the lateral line. As with striped bass, hybrids have two parallel tooth patches on the center of their tongue. White bass has but one. The horizontal lines on a striped bass are usually straight and connected.

CATCH INDIANA LAKE WIPERS

Only a few bodies of Hoosier water have strippers. Brookville and Raccoon (Hardin) reservoirs, as well as the Ohio River, come to mind. The state record striper weighed 39.8-lbs. Shadyside’s water quality is not good for this species.

Hybrids often weigh five to 20-lbs and do not successfully spawn. White bass seldom push three pounds and reproduce well.

Hybrids and whites are included under a combined daily catch limit of 12 fish, single or in aggregate. No more than two of these fish may exceed 17 inches in length. This rule does a good job of separating the species.

Shocking Wipers

A DNR biologist once told me he shocked some large wipers from deep water just before you get to the canal linking the lower pits. These fish suspend in open water while feeding on shad. Try a big swimbait and get ready for a fight.

I believe Bobber’s Restaurant has wiper photos posted.

For as long as I can remember Shadyside Lak has received 1,000 wiper fingerlings every other year and will remain that for this stocking. The state record is 22-lbs., 2-ozs.

Other lakes being supplemented with hybrid striped bass include Monroe (53,700), Patoka, (44,,000) Freeman, Hardy, Nyona, Worster, Clare, Freeman, and Shafer.

A hot spot for wipers and walleye, during any season, is below the dam at Monroe. Expect a lot of hang-ups.

Have you been overlooking some quality fishing in your own backyard? Perhaps, most of us have. There is a species of fish that grows to 22-pounds and is quite near most readers of this column.

The Wiper Fish

This fish, called a wiper, is a cross between a white bass and a striper. A white bass seldom weighs over three pounds while a striper can easily hit 40 or more pounds. These two species are crossed in hatcheries and cannot reproduce. Our backyard lake has been receiving stockings of wipers to the tune of 1500 or more every other year for the past 24-years.

One spring an angler launched his boat in early March just to bug it out. In the boat was a casting outfit rigged with a bass tube bait. The anglers decided to test the function of the reel and made a cast in the middle of the lake. His photo wound up on the front cover of the Indiana DNR Fishing Regulations magazine. I believe his wiper weighed over 16-pounds.

Wipers are stocked because they pursue schools of shad that usually swim in open water, thus, fishing the shoreline is out. Think big, there are plenty of 10-pound plus wipers in this lake. Use large swimbaits, crankbaits, and top waters. Our mystery water, Shadyside Lake just received a stocking of 1,575 wipers which are also called hybrid striped bass.

Shadyside is far from the only body of water to receive stockings of striped bass and wipers. The Indiana DNR stocked over 125,000 2-inch striped bass in four southern Indiana lakes and some 134,000 2-inch wipers in nine Hoosier lakes. Hatchery production exceeded the expectations of our DNR.

Brookville Reservoir Stripers

Brookville Reservoir received the bulk of stripers at 72, 600. Cecil M. Harden Reservoir (Parke County) 40,600, Hardy Lake (Scott County) 1,000 striped bass and 10,000 hybrids, and Patoka Reservoir with 11,353 striped bass and 44,000 wipers.

Lakes in the mix for wipers only, besides Shadyside, are lakes Cedar, Clare, Shafer, Monroe (53,750), Nyona, and Worster.

Indiana Striped Bass

Hoosier striped bass is not a very successful spawner. Our DNR fisheries folks have to be creative to get these as fry from other states and commercial sources. We sometimes trade species with other state agencies.

The staff at the East Fork State Fish Hatchery got quite astute at setting up a new relationship with the Jack D. Bayless Fish Hatchery at St. Stephen, South Carolina. These folks supplied us with 500,000 striped bass fry. This new relationship will benefit Hoosier anglers for years to come. These fish will exceed 20-inches in three years.

There are two other species in Shadyside that look like a wiper. There is white bass that has connected horizontal stripes above the lateral line and yellow bass (most in Shadyside will measure less than seven inches) with broken horizontal stripes and a yellowish belly. The wiper has broken lines too, but the first stripe below the lateral line is complete. Know the difference. The limit on wipers and white bass combined is 12, but only two may exceed 17-inches. There is no limit on yellow bass.

Start chunking some big shad-looking baits in the middle of Shadyside Lake. You may have it all to yourself.

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Early Season Wipers

About Rick Bramwell 30 Articles
Grew up in rural Indiana fishing farm ponds and hunting woodlands. Bramwell has been writing outdoors for 48 years. He harvested the record typical whitetail for his county and hunts rabbits with his beagle Tramp. He fished bass tournaments, including Red Man, until 1989. Bramwell has put together an ultra-ultra light system for catching panfish that mostly involves tight-lining a small jig. He attended college at Indiana State and Anderson University. Bramwell has two sons in their 50s, Brian and Gregory. A daughter Jourdan age 27. His greatest memory: fishing trout, salmon and halibut in Alaska. Bramwell's passion, apart from the outdoors, has been coaching high school age fastpitch softball.