Choosing a Squarebill | Focus on Water Conditions

Choosing a Squarebill | Focus on Water Conditions


Squarebill crankbaits produce year-round, but are especially productive in spring during the pre-spawn and the following months. Choosing the right squarebill can make the difference between success and failure depending on the water you are fishing. With different water conditions, anglers need to be prepared to react to those conditions. Whether that means throwing a different color or switching between rattling and silent squarebills, having the right squarebill setup can lead to a great day on the water.

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Video transcript:

Mikey Balzz:
What is going on, guys? It is Mikey Balzz from Monster Bass Fishing. Today, we're going to talk about a topic that's super integral to your spring fishing, and that is squarebills. Squarebills are a super universal tool for this time year. Fish are moving up; they're getting kind of shallow, mid-depth. And having a reaction bait, that you can bounce off some of this cover, run through some of those shallow flats where they spawn, can catch you some monster bass.

Mikey Balzz:
But one of the big questions that at least I run into and get asked a lot is, "What color squarebill do I need?" So, I'm going to run through a few factors that I use to analyze the water that I'm on, the temperature, the season, the time of year, to pick which color is going to catch big bass. One of the first things that I look at and it, and it's probably one of the simplest, is watercolor. And you can do it right at the ramp, right when you get there. And when I'm talking about watercolor, I'm talking about clarity; also, the color or the stain that the water has.

Mikey Balzz:
We're on a body of water right now. Water's kind of greenish looking. It has a slight stain. And what I mean by that is there's a little bit of impediment, I guess you could say, to the visibility, to maybe a foot, two foot or so. And that's what you're going to see in spring a lot, whether you're up north and you got snow run-ins, or you're down south and it's raining and coloring up the water. Usually, you got a little bit of stain in that water. So really, you need to pick a squarebill that stands out, but at the same time, matches that color that the water has, so that you're being natural and matching what the forage are going to look like in that water.

Mikey Balzz:
One thing that I do with my squarebills, as well as my top water and actually just my crankbaits in general, with the exception of lipless crankbaits, is I use this little clip. And basically, it's on almost like your old-school leader clips, but there's no leader on there. The reason I do this is a crankbait bite is a reaction bite. I don't think these fish are really analyzing, "Hey bro. Is that a worm? Is that a bluegill? Is that a shad?" I think they're reacting a lot to the movement and the silhouette that they see. So, I don't think it takes away from the actual presentation. But what it does is too really key things. One, I'm all about efficiency. It makes it a lot more efficient to switch out a bait. All I need to do is pop that clip just like this. And it opens up, and I can slide that bait off. I can grab my other monster bass squarebill, drop it right through the split ring right there. And I am ready to go once I clip it in.

Mikey Balzz:
The other thing, too, is we always talk about action in the bait and getting the most action out of it you can. And traditionally, you would tie a loop knot to these crankbaits if you're tying directly to the line. Well, with this crankbait, you achieve that same loose, uninhibited action with that clip. I honestly think too, it adds to the sound dimension of it, because you get a little bit of clicking and tinging. Efficiency, as well as fluidity of bait movement, that's what that clip gives you. And I think it's a perfect add. I've never had any issues with them opening them up. And it's definitely something to give a try to quicken and make more efficient your squarebill and crankbait process.

Mikey Balzz:
The last factor that you got to look at, when you're thinking about colors for squarebills in spring, and it's probably the most nuanced aspect, but it's one of the most easy to identify, is what fish are in the lake? We're down here in Tennessee. There's largemouth, there's spotted bass, there's smallmouth. We got the whole gamut of fish species.

Mikey Balzz:
And oftentimes, those fish species show preferences for different colors. So, no matter what the water quality or color is, you can pre-pick some of your baits just for the situation that you're in. And probably, one of the most important aspects of that is, since they're smallmouth out here and spots, you cannot be chartreuse. For some reason, smallmouth and spots really gravitate towards those brighter colors: oranges, fluorescent greens, chartreuses. And even if you have super clear water, it seems to call them in.

Mikey Balzz:
The same thing goes for this guy right here. And this is the big sneakster: the red. There's something about largemouth in early spring that absolutely love red. And that's sort of not withstanding water color. I don't care if it's clear, I don't care if it's dingy. There's something about red that just draws those largemouth in.

Mikey Balzz:
Those are a few factors that you can pick out to crunch the math on squarebill fishing, any time of the year, really. Think about water quality. Think about water clarity. What kind of species are in the lake that you're targeting, as well as what kind of forage? It's a great bait for covering water, getting reaction strikes, bouncing off a cover, whether it's wood, grass, rock; it's super versatile. And it's actually a really fun way to fish. Dude, when that rod loads up, it is one of the best feelings in the world. But grab yourself a squarebill. There's always going to be little nuances that you figure out as you're fishing, but that's part of the fishing game. But I guarantee you, you use that equation, you're going to catch you some big bass all year round.

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