If you follow any of my YouTube videos, (Channel Name: Fishing Louisiana) you probably have a perception that squarebill crankbaits are one of my absolute favorite lures to catch Largemouth Bass, especially in the Fall. In this short article, I’ll be explaining what works for me when fishing this sweet setup!
I can put a square bill crankbait into just about any situation and it always seems to find a way to put bass in my hands. In my opinion, they are the most versatile lure when it comes to the crankbait world. Few baits are as effective in a broader range of water clarity, temperature, and cover types. It’s one of those lures that can be effective the from first light to sunset.
A typical square bill dives three to five feet, making it for the most part a weapon for attacking shallow water. My ideal gear setup for this presentation is the KastKing Stealth baitcasting reel (7.0:1 gear ratio) and a 6’5″to a 7′ medium action rod. This ratio allows me the most control over retrieve speed and enough bend in the rod to keep fish hooked up. Not to mention, the KastKing Stealth is constructed almost completely of carbon fiber and aircraft aluminum, which, in turn, makes it incredibly lightweight (5.9 ounces to be exact) and keeps my hands free of fatigue so I can spend all day chucking and winding. I’ll usually spool up with twelve pound fluorocarbon, although braid is the best option if it needs to be ripped out of really thick vegetation.
My key to being successful with a squarebill is to use it to “attack” or “bump” into cover. The sudden change of direction caused by running the bait into a piece of cover causes what most anglers call a “reaction strike”. This is a lightning fast instinctual reaction to a lure and doesn’t give the bass much time to decipher the difference between the artificial lure and a live baitfish.
The square bill gets snagged far less than a round billed crankbait would, making it easy for me to throw it in the middle of a laydown and reel it back out. Keeping the bait bumping the rocks or wood is often the key, and repeated casts to the area may be the key to triggering a bite. These are excellent areas to target, especially in bodies of water in my area where dirty water keeps fish tight to shallow cover and susceptible to a square bill.
Remember that no matter what type of water you fish, there should be some sort of shallow cover to attack and create a reaction bite. Fall bass are feeding up for winter, so if you haven’t tossed a square bill around your local lake, give it a shot this fall season! You won’t be disappointed!